Oregon Battles Louisville at Pape' Jam
Nov. 20, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . The annual Pape Jam finds the Duck men's and women's basketball teams heading to the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., for an exciting evening of basketball Saturday night. The women open the double dip by hosting Texas Christian at 5:00 p.m. The men are slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip against Louisville in a game that will be televised live nationally on Fox Sports Net.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 235 Jr. 10.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.7 apgF 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 So. 10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.3 apgC 25 Chris Christoffersen 7-2 300 Sr. 12.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 bpgG 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 So. 13.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.3 apgG 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Sr. 12.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.7 apg
QUICK HITS...A brief look at what to watch for Saturday:The defense. Like last year, Oregon is 3-0 out of the gate, but is yielding only 55.7 points per game (compared to 75.3 through three game in 2000-01). Western Michigan managed just 48 points, which matched the fewest allowed under coach Ernie Kent. Louisville also looks to be a vastly improved defensive team. The Cardinal forced 36 turnovers in a 92-38 rout of South Alabama in their season opener.
How's this for balance: through the first three games, seven Ducks are averaging double-figure scoring, but no one is averaging more than 13.3 points per game.
Sophomore guard Luke Ridnour scored a career-high 18 points in Oregon's win over Long Beach State. The 2001 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year is Oregon's leading scorer at 13.3 points per game.
Senior center Chris Christoffersen scored a career-high 18 points against Western Michigan, hitting seven-of-10 from the floor. Against Alabama State, he entered the UO top 10 in career blocks, and now has 42, he'll move into ninth with one more.
Junior forward Robert Johnson made his Oregon debut a memorable one -- 14 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. He nearly matched that against Western Michigan with nine points and 10 rebounds and was named to the America's Youth Classic all-tournament team.
Sophomore guard James Davis scored a career-high 18 points against Alabama State, including six-of-eight from three-point land.
Senior guard Frederick Jones became the 22nd 1,000-point scorer at UO vs. Alabama State and moved up to No. 20 on the career list with 11 against Western Michigan. At 1,030 career points, he's now just three points shy of 19th.
Jones, the MVP of the America's Youth Classic, entered the UO career top five in steals during the Long Beach State game and now has 91. He need six more for fourth place.
Jones moved into the UO career top five in blocked shots against Alabama State, and enters the Louisville game with 58, needing five more for fourth place.
Jones moves into sixth in UO career 3 FG with six more.
Jones moves into seventh in career assists with nine more.
Senior guard Anthony Lever enters the UO career top 10 with 12 more 3 FG.
UNDER THE RADAR . . . Some things you might have overlooked in the first three games:
Only one player -- Luke Ridnour -- has scored in double figures in all three games.
Coming off the bench, senior guard Anthony Lever is shooting an amazing 69.2 percent (nine-of-13) from three-point range.
Senior guard Ben Lindquist continues to exemplify the team concept. Coming off the bench in limited minutes, Lindquist matched his career high with four rebounds and four assists against Alabama State, and then matched his career assist mark for the second straight game with four against Western Michigan.
HEAD COACH ERNIE KENT . . . Ernie Kent (Oregon '77) is in his fifth year at Oregon. He has a 71-49 ledger with the Ducks and an 11-year career record of 161-129. He was an assistant coach for the 2001 USA Basketball 21-and-Under team that won the gold medal at the summer games in Japan. He also holds posts on the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee and is a member of the NABC's Board of Directors.
Kent won his 150th game as a collegiate head coach Dec. 12, 2000, versus Illinois-Chicago (110-87). He has won more games in his first four seasons as Oregon's head coach (68) than any other Oregon mentor since Howard Hobson (93) from 1935-36 through 1938-39. The former six-year Saint Mary's (Calif.) coach led the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament in 1999-00 and accomplished some pretty impressive feats along the way: 22 wins was the school's most in 55 years, 13 Pac-10 wins was the most in school history, the first road triumph over a Top 25 opponent since 1977 (67-66 neutral-court win over Wake Forest), a win over the highest-ranked foe since 1995 with the 86-81 upset of No. 3 Arizona. In 1998-99, Kent took the Ducks to a 19-13 mark and a trip to New York City for the NIT Final Four. Prior to St. Mary's, he served two-year tenures as an assistant at Stanford (1990-91) and Colorado State (1988-89).
LUCKY SEVEN . . . Under Ernie Kent, Oregon is 18-11 in its last 29 games decided by seven points or less.
COACHING STAFF . . . Assistant Greg Graham is in his fifth season, while Scott Duncan is in his second season. Fred Litzenberger is in his first season after spending the last six years with the Oregon women. Mark Hudson is in his fifth year with the program, but is in his first as director of basketball operations.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES...Anthony Lever, formerly Anthony Norwood, changed his last name to that of his natural father, former Arizona State and NBA star Lafayette 'Fat' Lever, during the summer. Walk-on senior guard Kristian Christensen will be wearing No. 21 -- the same number he wore as a freshman -- after donning No. 12 the last two years.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING . . . Here's a look at Oregon's returning leaders in each statistical category:
Points Frederick Jones 14.8Rebounds Frederick Jones 5.6Assists Luke Ridnour 3.8Blocked Shots Chris Christoffersen 0.7Steals Frederick Jones 1.1FG Pct. Frederick Jones .4723FG Pct. Ben Lindquist .381FT Pct. Ben Lindquist .850Minutes Frederick Jones 31.9
RAG TAG . . . Here's a look at where several preseason magazines and other services rank the Ducks in the Pac-10, and in the nation:
Source Pac-10 NationalThe Sporting News 8 66Basketball News 8 --Lindy's 7 --ESPN.com 7 --Street & Smith's 7 --Athlon 7 NIT
BASKETBALL JONES . . . Senior guard Frederick Jones is the only player in school history ranked among Oregon's career top eight in three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. A preseason all-Pac-10 pick by ESPN.com (along with Casey Jacobsen of Stanford, Jason Kapono of UCLA, Sam Clancy of USC and Jason Gardner of Arizona), Jones became the 22nd member of Oregon's 1,000-point club in the season opener against Alabama State. Jones was an all-Pac-10 honorable mention selection a year ago after averaging 14.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
ADD JONES . . . Joe Dwyer of FOXSports.com has tabbed Jones and Marist's Sean Kennedy as the two vastly underrated players that he will keep track of in a weekly watch.
AFTER RID-NIGHT . . . Luke Ridnour became the first player in Oregon history to be named Pac-10 freshman of the year. He averaged 7.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. 'Rid' was the first true freshman to start at the point for Oregon since Kenya Wilkins in 1993-94 and posted an impressive assist-to-turnover ratio of 106-to-67.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE . . . Coach Rick Pitino has brought about a defensive resurgence that resulted in a 92-38 season-opening win Sunday over Alabama State. The Cardinals forced 36 turnovers and had 15 steals and 10 blocks. Junior guard Reece Gaines paced the Cardinal with 18 points, while senior guard Erik Brown added 15 and sophomore forward Ellis Myles had 14 points and eight rebounds. Pitino has a 353-124 career coaching record. Louisville is 57-4 over the last four seasons when scoring 80 or more points.
TENTATIVE LOUISVILLE STARTERS
F 24 Luke Whitehead 6-7 215 So. 8.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apgF 33 Erik Brown 6-5 210 Jr. 15.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 spgC 2 Ellis Myles 6-8 230 So. 14.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 4.0spgG 12 Carlos Hurt 6-1 180 Fr. 13.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apgG 22 Reece Gaines 6-6 195 Jr. 18.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
LAST YEAR VS. LOUISVILLE . . . Bryan Bracey scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to lead five players in double figures as Oregon beat Louisville 88-65 Dec. 30 at Freedom Hall. Luke Ridnour had a then-career-high 15 points, Frederick Jones 14, Anthony Norwood 12 and Ben Lindquist 10. Reece Gaines scored 17 points, Marques Maybin 15, Luke Whitehead 11 and Erik Brown 10 for the Cardinals, who shot only 39 percent and got outrebounded 41-36. Oregon led by 10 at halftime and Bracey scored nine points during a 15-6 run to open the second half and put the Ducks up 57-40 with 16:08 to play. Following a Whitehead jumper and two Gaines free throws, Oregon hit three unanswered 3-pointers to go up 66-44 and force a Louisville timeout with 11:48 remaining. From that point, the Cardinals got as close as 15 but no closer. Oregon shot 58 percent (30-of-52) from the field, including 12-of-19 3-pointers, and recorded a season-high 22 assists, led by Jones with six and Ridnour with five. Flo Hartenstein scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds, one shy of his career high, and Chris Christoffersen added five points and seven rebounds.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS . . . A trio of Ducks are climbing the Oregon career charts. Frederick Jones and Chris Christoffersen will both end their careers among the UO career top 10 in blocked shots, while Jones will leave a larger legacy in many statistical categories.
Jones is now ranked in the career top eight in four categories: three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. During the Alabama State game, he had two blocks to pass Jerry Adams (57/1981-86) with 58 career. He is now five back of No. 4 Brett Coffey (59/1987-89). Jones had three steals against Long Beach State to give him 91 career, passing Gary Greatwood (89/1979-84) tying Felton Sealey (91/1977-81) for fifth. He need seven more steals to pass former teammate A.D. Smith (97/1995-00) for fourth. His 98 career three-point field goals are six behind No. 6 Alex Scales (104/1998-00). And his 270 career assists rank eighth, nine short of No. 7 Mike Barwig (279/1972-76).
Jones is also poised to make a major climb into the UO career scoring list. He scored 16 points against Long Beach State to tally 1,030 career points. He needs just four more to pass No. 19 Glenn Moore (1,033/1959-63).
Chris Christoffersen entered the career top 10 in blocks with two against Alabama State and is now 10th with 42, just one back of former teammate, Julius Hicks (43/1999-01).
Anthony Lever needs 10 three-point field goals to reach the top 10.
ALABAMA STATE RECAP . . . The Ducks won their tenth straight season opener by defeating Alabama State 92-52 Thursday. That streak is second in the Pac-10 to Stanford's 13. James Davis scored a career-high 18 points off the bench, while Robert Johnson impressed in his Duck debut with a double-double: 14 points and 10 rebounds. Five Ducks were in double figures and all but one who played scored at least two points. Oregon held the Hornets to just 52 points, that was the lowest total allowed in a season-opener by Oregon in 19 years (UC San Diego, 63-46 to open the 1982-83 season.
WESTERN MICHIGAN RECAP . . . Oregon's defense continued to shine, allowing the Broncos to score just 48 points -- matching the lowest total given up in coach Ernie Kent's five years at his alma mater -- in a 91-48 victory. Chris Christoffersen scored a career-high 18 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the floor. Anthony Lever came off the bench to add 15 points, including four-of-five three-pointers, while Luke Ridnour scored 12 points and Frederick Jones added 11 points and six assists. Robert Johnson just missed his second straight double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, while another newcomer, Brian Helquist neared a double-double as well with eight points and nine rebounds. The Ducks held the Broncos to just 30 percent from the floor (18-of-60) and outrebounded the smaller Broncos 46-26.
LONG BEACH STATE RECAP . . . Luke Ridnour had a career-high 18 points and seven assists as Oregon remained undefeated this season with a 97-67 win against Long Beach State in the America's Youth Classic. Tournament MVP Frederick Jones added a season-high 16 points, Chris Christoffersen 11 and Luke Jackson 10 points and eight rebounds. For the third straight game, the Ducks held the rebound advantage (35-33) and made more than half their field-goal attempts (35-65) en route to their highest point total of the young season. Oregon had scoring runs of 9-0 and 18-0 to start the game as it took an early 27-5 lead. James Davis came off the bench to score eight of the final 10 points in the last run, while the 49ers countered with only two field goals in the first 13 minutes of the game. Long Beach State fought its way back into the game, however, scoring 22 points in the final seven minutes, including nine from James Williams, who led the 49ers with 17 overall. But Oregon still maintained a 44-27 advantage at the break, and took little time extending it once the second half started, taking a 30-point lead on a three-pointer by Anthony Lever that made it 69-39 at the 11:25 mark and the teams played evenly until the end. Joining Jones on the all-tounament team were Oregon's Robert Johnson, the 49ers' Williams, Joey Ball of Alabama State and Steve Reynold of Western Michigan.