Ducks Host Morris Brown
Dec. 26, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . Oregon closes out the 2001 calendar year by hosting NCAA Division I newcomer Morris Brown at McArthur Court for a 7:00 p.m. game on Thursday, Dec. 27. After the game with the Wolverines, the Ducks resume their steady diet of Arizona schools, Oregon is in the midst of a scheduling quirk that has them facing schools from the state of Arizona five times in six games - one against Northern Arizona and two each against Arizona State and Arizona.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 235 Jr. 9.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, .552 FG Pct.F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 So. 15.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.4 apgC 25 Chris Christoffersen 7-2 300 Sr. 9.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, .568 FG Pct.G 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 So. 13.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.7 apgG 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Sr. 15.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.4 apg
QUICK HITS...A brief look at what to watch for Thursday night:
High Octane. The Ducks are averaging a Pac-10 best 87.3 points per game. That number climbs even higher -- to 94.6 points per game -- when the Ducks play at McArthur Court.
Century Club. Against Arizona State and Arizona, Oregon scored 100-plus points in back-to-back conference games for the first time in school history, it was also only the third time overall in school history that the Ducks had gone over 100 points in back-to-back games. Both were the most points Oregon has ever scored against the Arizona schools, while the 30-point win over the Wildcats was the Ducks' widest margin of victory in the series.
7-up. Oregon's current seven-game home winning streak is the longest in the same season since the 1994-95 squad coached by Jerry Green won its first seven games at Mac Court. The Ducks haven't put together an eight-game home winning streak in the same season since 1986-87 when Oregon had a nine-game streak at Mac under Don Monson. Overall, the Ducks' seven-game streak is their longest at Mac Court since the 1999-00 team won its last three and the 2000-01 squad won its first six for a nine-game streak.
Senior guard Frederick Jones is threatening to become the only player ranked among the UO career top six in assists, steals, blocked shots and three-pointers. Already fourth in steals (107), fifth in blocked shots (60) and sixth in threes (105), he needs just two assists Thursday night to reach sixth place. Jones enters the Morris Brown game with 289 career assists, two back of sixth-place Darius Wright's 291 (1998-00).
Jones scored 21 points against Arizona and climbed to 14th in UO career scoring with 1,165 points. He needs another 18 points for 13th and another 21 for 12th.
When Jones (28 points) and sophomore guard Luke Jackson (27 points) combined for 55 points against Arizona State last Thursday night, it marked the most points scored in a game by two Oregon players since Orlando Williams (40 points) and Darryl Parker (16 points) combined for 56 Feb. 19, 1994 at Washington State.
Jones' 28 points against Arizona State was the second-best effort of his career, topped only by the 36-point game he had last season against the Sun Devils in Tempe. That's 64 points in his last two outings against ASU.
Eight points. That's the difference between Oregon's current 8-3 mark and a perfect 11-0 record. The Ducks lost their three road games by a combined eight points.
Defense. The Ducks continue to be a much-improved defensive team. Through its first 11 games, Oregon is surrendering just 66.0 points per game, compared to 73.2 ppg at the same point a year ago.
Continued contributions from the bench. In losses to UMass and Portland, the bench players struggled, scoring just three points against the Minutemen and 12 against the Pilots. The 'hustle team' got back on track with 26 points in the loss to Minnesota and had 33 in the win over Pepperdine (though 21 of those points came from Jones, who did not start for the first time this season). With Jones' help again, the bench was big with 36 in the win over Northern Arizona. Mark Michaelis had a career-high seven points in that win. The reserves came up with 19 against Arizona State and 28 against Arizona.
Jones, who became the 22nd 1,000-point scorer at UO in the season opener, has two MVP awards already this season (America's Youth Classic and the Pape Jam).
Jones moved into the UO career top five in blocked shots against Alabama State, and enters the Morris Brown game with 60, needing three more for fourth place.
Jones moved into fourth in UO career steals during the Minnesota game and now has 107. He needs seven more for third place.
Sophomore guard Luke Jackson had a career-best effort in scoring with 28 points at Portland. But his best all-around game was his triple-double (14 pts, 11 reb, 10 ast) last year at Washington.
Senior center Chris Christoffersen notched his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds at Massachusetts.
JC transfer Robert Johnson is making a tremendous impact up front. Johnson has three 10-rebound games in his first 11 outings as a Duck and leads the team at 8.2 boards per game. Johnson debuted with a double-double -- 14 points and 10 rebounds -- against Alabama State and was named to the America's Youth Classic all-tournament team.
Christoffersen climbed to ninth in UO career blocks against Massachusetts and now has 46, he'll move into eighth with two more.
Senior guard Anthony Lever enters the UO career top 10 with four more 3 FG.
UNDER THE RADAR . . . Some things you might have overlooked in the first 11 games:
Coming off the bench, senior guard Anthony Lever is shooting 51.7 percent (15-of-29) from three-point range.
Northern Arizona was the only opponent to out-rebound Oregon this season. The Ducks still have a wide rebound margin of 39.4 to 30.1.
HEAD COACH ERNIE KENT . . . Ernie Kent (Oregon '77) is in his fifth year at Oregon. He has a 76-52 ledger with the Ducks and an 11-year career record of 166-132. 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 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).
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.
KENT CLIMBS COACHING LADDER . . . With eight wins this season, Ernie Kent has moved up to seventh in Oregon career coaching victories. He moved past his predecessor, Jerry Green, when the Ducks defeated Pepperdine.
Coach (years) W L1. Howard Hobson (1936-47) 212 1242. W.J. Reinhart (1924-35) 180 1003. Steve Belko (1957-71) 179 2114. Don Monson (1984-92) 116 1455. Dick Harter (1972-78) 112 826. John Warren (1945-51) 87 767. Ernie Kent (1998-02) 76 518. Jerry Green (1993-97) 72 709. Bill Borcher (1952-56) 70 67
LUCKY SEVEN . . . Under Ernie Kent, Oregon is 18-14 in its last 32 games decided by seven points or less.
REMEMBER THE 90s? . . . For just the second time in school history, Oregon scored 90 or more points in four straight games -- 92 against Alabama State, 91 against Western Michigan, 97 against Long Beach State and 90 against Louisville to open the season. The only other time that happened was 32 years ago when Steve Belko's 1969-70 squad posted 98 points against California, 92 versus Stanford, 121 against Portland and 92 against USC from Feb. 13-20.
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 redshirt 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.
BASKETBALL JONES . . . Senior guard Frederick Jones is the only player in school history ranked among Oregon's career top seven 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 MORRIS BROWN . . . Morris Brown (1-10) is in its first season competing at the NCAA Division I level. The Atlanta, Ga., based institution is competing as an independent this year. The Wolverines and Ducks have one common opponent -- Alabama State. Alabama State swept MBC 80-67 in Atlanta and 77-46 at home. Oregon defeated the Hornets 92-52 in the season opener at Mac Court. This will be the eighth road game in 12 outings for the Wolverines. Senior guard Joseph Dunn is the only MBC player averaging double figures (10.7 ppg).
TENTATIVE MORRIS BROWN STARTERS
F 15 Amien Hicks 6-6 220 Jr. 6.4 ppg, 8.4 rpgF 21 Rashad Davis 6-7 240 Jr. 7.6 ppg, 4.8 rpgC 32 Franklin Major 6-7 270 Fr. 3.3 ppg, 2.2 rpgG 11 Joseph Dunn 6-3 210 Sr. 10.7 ppg, 4.5 rpgG 24 Larry Washington 6-2 190 So. 6.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg
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 seven in four categories: three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. He also has 1,165 career points, which ranks 14th in UO annals. Jones jumped two spots with 21 points against Arizona, he passed former teammate Terik Brown (1,152/1995-99) and Roger Wiley (1,163/1943-49) to take over the 14th spot.
Jones had six assists against Pepperdine to pass Mike Barwig (279/1972-76) for seventh, and now has 289 career assists, two back of former teammate Darius Wright (291/1998-00) for sixth.
Jones had his 100th career steal against Pepperdine and currently ranks fourth with 107, needing seven to catch current Minnesota Timberwolf Terrell Brandon (114/1989-91). He is fifth in blocks with 60 for his career, three back of No. 4 Brett Coffey (63/1987-89). He passed former teammate Alex Scales (104/1998-00) for sixth in three-point field goals with two against Arizona, Jones now shows 105 treys.
Christoffersen has 46 career blocks and needs three more to pass Keith Balderston (48/1984-88) for eighth.
Anthony Lever needs four three-point field goals to reach the top 10.
75 YEARS AT MAC . . . Mac Court's 75th anniversary is just around the corner. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Jan. 15 game against Willamette. The game will celebrate the very first contest ever played at Mac Court, Jan. 14, 1927, when the 'Webfoots' met the Bearcats. Mac Court is now the oldest Division I facility in the United States, and players from every era will be recognized at halftime.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING . . . Here's a look at Oregon's returning leaders from 2000-01 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
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 out-rebounded 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-tournament team were Oregon's Robert Johnson, the 49ers' Williams, Joey Ball of Alabama State and Steve Reynolds of Western Michigan.
LOUISVILLE RECAP . . . Frederick Jones scored 20 points, and Oregon got some unusually strong play from its big men to dominate Rick Pitino's Louisville team 90-63. Robert Johnson added 10 rebounds for the Ducks, who have won their games by a combined 140 points but needed to face a good opponent like Louisville to show how much they've improved over last season's 14-14 team. Erik Brown scored 20 points and Ellis Myles had 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Louisville. Center Chris Christoffersen, a 7-foot-2, 300-pound Dane who's still learning the game, had 13 points, including six during a quick 8-2 run to start the second half, when the Ducks expanded their lead to 24. Christoffersen, who averaged just 3.3 points and 9.0 minutes last season, put a spin move on Myles along the baseline for a layup and a free throw that made it 68-43 with 9:52 left. Oregon actually started pulling away midway through the first half, when Louisville was within 17-16. Luke Jackson made a 3-pointer, and reserve forward Brian Helquist had three inside baskets to keep the run going. Two free throws and a 3-pointer by Luke Ridnour ended a 22-9 surge that put Oregon ahead 48-30 at halftime. Helquist, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Florida Community College in Jacksonville, had 10 points. The 6-8 Johnson, who came from Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College, had only eight points, but his and Helquist's play freed up the outside shooters. Luke Ridnour had 13 points.
MASSACHUSETTS RECAP . . . Micah Brand sank a turn-around basket with 1:15 remaining and followed with a pair of free throws in the final minute to lead Massachusetts past previously unbeaten Oregon 62-58, Nov. 27 in Springfield, Mass. Oregon led 58-57 with two minutes remaining, but Brand's basket with 1:15 remaining put the Minutemen ahead for good. He added two free throws after the teams traded turnovers in the final minute. Shannon Crooks led UMass with 13 points. Frederick Jones led Oregon with 13 points. Robert Johnson, Luke Jackson and Chris Christoffersen had 12 each for the Ducks, who shot 35.8 percent from the field and were just 3-of-14 on 3-point attempts. Oregon opened up 11-point leads twice in the first half at 19-8 and 21-10. The Minutemen got back into the game with a string of 3-pointers and took their first lead at 27-26 on a driving basket by Anthony Anderson. The teams traded baskets before Christoffersen's layup put Oregon ahead 32-31 at halftime. Christoffersen had his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
PORTLAND RECAP . . . Coky Rochin hit 1-of-2 free throws with 12 seconds left to hand Portland a 79-78 victory over Oregon, Dec. 2 at the Chiles Center for Portland's first victory over Oregon since 1964. Adam Quick had a team-high 20 points, including a 3-pointer that tied the game at 78-78 with 12 seconds left. Sophomore forward Luke Jackson scored a career-high 28 points for Oregon, while point guard Luke Ridnour had 17 points and 7 assists. Rochin's winning free throw was set up when he intercepted a pass intended for Anthony Lever at the Ducks' foul line. Lever then fouled Rochin in an effort to prevent the turnover. Rochin had previously missed 3-of-6 attempts down the stretch. This time, he missed the first of two shots, but hit the second to put the Pilots ahead by one. The Ducks had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but James Davis shot a leaning 3-pointer that bounced off the rim.
MINNESOTA RECAP . . . Freshman Rick Rickert had 28 points and nine rebounds to lead Minnesota to a 75-72 victory over Oregon Dec. 10 in Minneapolis. Rickert, a McDonald's All-American recruit from Duluth, was 11-for-17 from the field. He had 18 points in the second half, including a key dunk that capped a Gophers rally. Kerwin Fleming added 14 points for the Gophers, who snapped a two-game non-conference losing streak. James Davis, Luke Ridnour, Frederick Jones and Chris Christoffersen each scored 11 points for Oregon, which has lost three games by a combined eight points. The Ducks ran off eight straight points early in the second half to take a 42-35 lead, but the Gophers quickly rallied, tying the game at 46-46 on a 3-pointer by Rickert with 15:23 left. Ridnour scored five straight points to ignite a 12-3 run that put the Ducks ahead 58-49 with 10:56 left. Rickert again led the Gophers back, scoring five points in an 11-2 run, including a dunk off a baseline drive that gave the Gophers a 60-59 lead with 7:20 to play. Davis hit a 3-pointer to put the Ducks back in front, but Tavarus Bennett's three-point play with 3:13 left put the Gophers ahead to stay at 63-62. Rickert hit two free throws and Fleming went 3-for-4 from the line down the stretch. Minnesota scored the first 12 points of the game, with two baskets by Rickert sparking the run. Oregon's bench led the Ducks back into the game, and a driving leaner by Davis gave the Ducks a 34-33 halftime lead.
PEPPERDINE RECAP . . . Frederick Jones came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points and Luke Ridnour had a career-high 20 points as Oregon snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Pepperdine 88-64 Dec. 14 at McArthur Court. Jones also had a season-high in rebounds with nine and matched a season-high in assists with six as he climbed from 19th to 16th in UO career scoring with 1,101 career points. The Ducks out-rebounded their opponents for the eighth straight game, posting a 54-28 edge over the Waves. Oregon held Pepperdine to just 31.7 percent from the field (20-of-63) and just 20 percent (four-of-20) from three-point range. Luke Jackson added 12 points and nine rebounds for Oregon, While Robert Johnson had 11 points and eight rebounds. Jimmy Miggins led Pepperdine with 17 points, while Portland native Craig Lewis added 12. Jones, who had his 100th career three-pointer and his 100th career steal during the game, did not start for the first time since Jan. 20, 2001, against Washington State. Senior Ben Lindquist got the starting nod instead, scoring four points with four rebounds in his first starting assignment since Jan. 4, 2000, against St. Martin's.
NORTHERN ARIZONA RECAP . . . - Frederick Jones, Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson each scored 15 points as Oregon shot 55 percent to easily beat Northern Arizona 86-51 Dec. 16 at McArthur Court. Robert Johnson added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks, who won their second straight. Brian McHugh scored 12 points for the Lumberjacks, who made just 2-of-19 3-pointers and trailed by 20 at halftime. Jones scored his 15 points in only 19 minutes, shooting 7-of-13 from the field. Jackson was 6-of-8 and Ridnour 5-of-7. Northern Arizona missed eight of its first 10 shots to start the game but trailed only 14-8 before the Ducks put the game away with a 23-5 run. Oregon shot 61 percent in the half. Northern Arizona committed five quick turnovers in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Ducks used a 9-0 run to go ahead 53-24. Ridnour and Jackson made consecutive 3-pointers to extend the lead to 32.
ARIZONA STATE RECAP . . . Frederick Jones scored 28 and Luke Jackson had 27 as Oregon opened the Pacific-10 Conference season with a 103-90 rout of Arizona State Dec. 20 in Eugene. Tommy Smith scored 16 to pace the Sun Devils, who had their four-game winning streak ended, and Curtis Millage added 15 points. Luke Ridnour and James Davis also had 12 points each for the Ducks and Robert Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds. Jones, who returned to the starting lineup after two games spent in a reserve role, kept Oregon in the game early with 15 first-half points, while Jackson scored 18 of his points in the second half as the Ducks blew open a game that was tied 52-52 after the first two minutes of the half. A jump shot by Jackson at 17:42 gave Oregon the lead for good at 54-52 and sent the Ducks on a 14-0 run that ended with a 3-pointer by Jackson for a 68-52 advantage. As a team, Oregon made 57 percent of its shots from the field and 35-of-39 free throw attempts, including a perfect 14-for-14 by Jones. The Ducks also and outrebounded Arizona State 31-24. The 103 points was the most Oregon has ever scored against Arizona State.
ARIZONA RECAP . . . Oregon tied a McArthur Court record with 13 3-pointers to rout No. 11 Arizona 105-75 on Dec. 22. It was the Wildcats worst loss since a 111-58 drubbing at UCLA in 1983, the season before Lute Olson became coach. The 30-point margin of victory was the Ducks biggest in the 48-game series. The previous high was a 17-point win in 1980. Luke Jackson, who led the Ducks with 28 points, had 16 points in a first half that saw the Ducks go on a 40-14 spree that turned a 17-9 deficit into a 49-31 lead. Frederick Jones added 21 points for the Ducks, and Luke Ridnour had 18 points and six assists. For the game, the Ducks made 13-of-22 (59 percent) from beyond the arc. They made 54 percent of their shots overall and were 24-of-27 from the line. Jason Gardner led Arizona with 19 points, while Channing Frye had 18 points and nine rebounds. Luke Walton, playing in the state where his father won an NBA championship, shot 3-for-15 amid taunts from the raucous crowd. Jackson's last basket put the Ducks over the century mark, the first time they've scored more than 100 points in consecutive Pac-10 games.