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.
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.
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