Southern California coach Michael Cooper was raised in Pasadena, Calif., but attended the University of New Mexico, so not sure why he approached the podium after his first win over UCLA with such fire. In typical Cooper pattern, he sat down and said “bleep UCLA.”
USC won heated matchup 70-63, getting solid play late in the second half from Briana Gilbreath and a game-leading 24 points from guard Ashley Corral of Vancouver, Wash.
Cooper (pictured right by ESPN) sent an apologetic letter to UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell on Tuesday. Caldwell hasn’t commented about the incident or letter. She also hasn’t made any posts regarding the situation on her Twitter account. The only post she’s made of USC there spoke of the game using the dollar sign symbol ($) to mark the “S” in USC.
“I want to offer my sincerest apology to you, your players and your university for the inappropriate comment I made after our game on Sunday,” wrote Cooper in the letter, according to the Daily News. “There is no excuse for it, and I realize it is outside the bounds of good sportsmanship.”
USC (10-6, 4-1 Pac-10) plays at Washington on Thursday. Huskies senior Sami Whitcomb called the matchup a “big game” because the team would like to keep its home win streak going. UW also doesn’t want to slip into a hole after a strong start to conference play.
Washington has only defeated USC once under coach Tia Jackson and has lost the past three matchups — nine of the past 12.
Elsewhere, the Pac-10 has fallen into place, which apparently is boring No. 2 Stanford (15-1, 5-0). The Cardinal players spoke of uninspired play in a 15-point win against Washington (8-8, 3-3) on Saturday, but Jackson called that their issue.
Oregon and Arizona played the conference’s highest-scoring game with the Wildcats winning 119-112. But the Ducks (12-5, 3-2) dropped off their platform with losses to both desert schools. And Arizona State (11-6, 3-3) has perked back to life along with the young California (8-8, 2-3).
Washington State (5-12, 0-6), one of the youngest teams in the nation, is the only program yet to win a conference game.
Here’s this week’s schedule:
Thursday, January 21
UCLA at Washington State*, 6 p.m. PT
California at Oregon*, 7 p.m. PT
Stanford at Oregon State*, 7 p.m. PT
USC at Washington*, 7 p.m. PT
Saturday, January 23
Stanford at Oregon* (FSN), 11 a.m. PT
UCLA at Washington*, 2 p.m. PT
USC at Washington State*, 2 p.m. PT
California at Oregon State*, 7 p.m. PT
Sunday, January 24
Arizona State at Arizona* (FSN), 4 p.m. MT
* Indicates Pac-10 game
Game times local to site
PAC-10 ON TELEVISION
Saturday, Jan. 23
Stanford at Oregon, 11 am PT (FSN)
Sunday, Jan. 24
Arizona Stat at Arizona, 4 pm PT (FSN)