Sports

Stanford's Bright will finish his career at St. Mary's

Aaron Bright has finished his basketball career at Stanford, but he isn't through playing just yet. In fact, the Cardinal senior will be playing for St. Mary's next season.

According to ESPN.com, which had multiple sources on the story, Bright will transfer to St. Mary's this spring and be eligible to play for the Gaels next season.

The 5-foot-11 Bright suffered a dislocated shoulder during a practice on Thanksgiving Day. He underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. Bright was averaging 5.9 points and 2.3 assists, but had played in only seven games. That made him eligible for a medical redshirt.

After he graduates in June with an undergraduate degree in Science, Technology and Society, Bright will head across the Bay to Moraga and take advantage of the graduate-transfer rule and thus won't have to sit out a year.

Bright enjoyed his best season as a sophomore in 2011-12, averaging 11.7 points and 3.7 assists while shooting 43.2 percent overall and 43.6 percent from beyond the arc. Bright was a catalyst during Stanford's NIT title, coming off the bench in all five games to average a team-high 16.8 points while shooting 64.1 percent overall and 66.7 percent from long range. He was named MVP of the NIT.

Bright will step into a St. Mary's lineup that is losing senior point guard Stephen Holt.

Bright's Stanford teammates, meanwhile, will put their 7-5 Pac-12 Conference record (16-8 overall) on the line this week with two important home games. The Cardinal will face last-place USC (1-11, 10-15) on Thursday (8 p.m.) and No. 23-ranked UCLA (9-3, 20-5) on Saturday (3 p.m.) in Maples Pavilion.

Stanford is in sixth place, but has four games remaining against teams it is chasing in the Pac-12 race. In addition to USC and UCLA, the Cardinal will face Arizona (10-2, 23-2) and Arizona State (8-4, 19-6) on the road.

A number of hoop analysts have six teams from the Pac-12 advancing to the NCAA Tournament. Stanford is being listed as high as a No. 9 seed.

The Stanford women, meanwhile, could clinch no worse than a tie for the Pac-12 title this week by sweeping USC (Friday) and UCLA (Sunday) on the road. The Cardinal is 13-1 in the conference (24-2 overall) and could open a four-game lead with four to play should second-place Cal split against the Trojans and Bruins and fall to 11-5.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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