In 2007-2008 things began to unravel a little bit for the fab four. Hawes had moved on to a pro career. Nelson and Oliver had both transferred out. And Pondexter, as the only player left from that heralded class, was inconsistent at best and was taken out of the starting five early in the season. Head Coach Lorenzo Romar admitted that moving on had also crossed Pondexter's mind.
"We've had many conversations over the last few years, but nowadays that is almost par for course when things don't go particularly well," said Romar. "I would say that for the majority of the programs there is always someone in your ear saying the grass is greener on the other side. But Quincy found out if you water the grass where you're at it, it will be green right there."
Though times weren't always easy for Pondexter at Washington, expectations are high for his senior year and Romar has total confidence that he will meet all challenges.
"Usually people remember the last thing you do, but in Quincy's case, for some reason, people forget," Romar said of his talented forward. "Go back and look at the last nine or 10 games (of 2008-09), he was our leading scorer and second in rebounds. We were on the road at SC and he single-handily won the game for us as the go-to guy. It's something he has already done."
Romar said that Pondexter has begun to change this year and is becoming what a senior and star needs to be.
"He (Pondexter) has a high level of confidence right now and he is usually in the right position defensively. He knows what he is doing and is a mature senior at this point," Romar stated. "So you do notice that there is a change, but more so a swagger and not an arrogant swagger at all. There is just a very confident feel about him right now."
With Jon Brockman now gone after four great years, Pondexter will be taking over as the team leader and understands the contribution that Brockman has made.
"He (Brockman) was definitely a spokesman for the program. He did a lot of speaking engagements and media for us when guys had other things to do and he took the initiative himself to be that guy," Pondexter said. "To have someone that wanted to impact the community by being the face of the program and leading by the right example was a great person to have."
The leadership role is one he has acknowledged and has embraced.
"I know every day that I go out there I just want to be a good role model to the kids, to show them that they could be in the same position as I am," said the Fresno native. "I have the ability to lead vocally in ways that he (Brockman) didn't do sometimes because he was so much a leader by example that he didn't have to speak, but you knew that he was bringing it. I'm going to try to make sure to lead both vocally and by example."
Pondexter admits that there are differences between him and Brockman, but hopes he can fill the big shoes left behind.
"I'm a little bit different looking than Jon, but I hope I can hold up a good standard for our program," Pondexter said.
It's Been a Long Road for Pondexter
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