Oregon Men's Basketball Awards Announced
April 6, 2002
EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon men's basketball team handed out its annual awards at Saturday night at the Valley River Inn and for the first time in school history, the entire team was named the winner of the Jesse Nash Award, which usually honors the squad's most improved individual.
The Ducks had an eight-and-a-half game improvement over a season ago, going 26-9 on the heels of a disappointing 14-14 campaign. Oregon won the Pacific-10 Conference for the first time since the league expanded in 1978-79. It was Oregon's first outright league title since the 1939 NCAA Champions won the Pacific Coast Conference. Oregon advanced to the NCAA regional finals for the first time since 1960, and the 26 wins were third-most in school history.
Leading scorer Frederick Jones was named Most Valuable Player. A third team All-American by Basketball Times and a Wooden Award finalist, Jones averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. His 650 points in 2001-02 is the second-most ever by a Duck in a single-season, surpassed only by Terrell Brandon's 745 in 1990-91. The all-Pac-10 first teamer also set a school record with 169 free throws this year and tied another with 63 steals.
In his career, Jones finished his four years ranked among the UO career top 10 in eight different categories: points (5th/1,644), field goals (7th/554), three-point field goals (5th/147), free throws (6th/389), free throw percentage (6th/.805), assists (3rd/367), steals (2nd/148) and blocked shots (tie-4th/74). No other Duck can make that claim. The closest is Anthony Taylor (1984-88) who ranks in the top 10 in seven different categories.
Sophomore Luke Ridnour picked up the John Warren Award as the team's most inspirational player. An Associated Press All-America honorable mention and an all-Pac-10 first team selection, Ridnour averaged 15.5 points per game and led the team with 5.0 assists per game. Two of his season numbers - 93 three-pointers and 176 assists - are the second-best efforts in school history. Only Orlando Williams' 94 threes in 1994-95 and Ron Lee's 184 assists 1975-76 surpassed Ridnour's 2001-02 season.
Senior Ben Lindquist won the Henry Ritchie Scholar-Athlete Award for the second straight year. He was a Pac-10 All-Academic first team selection after averaging 2.5 points in 18 games. Lindquist has a 3.24 grade point average in Business Administration.
Junior Robert Johnson was also recognized as the team's best rebounder and defender. The transfer from Santa Rosa JC led the Ducks in rebounding at 7.5 per game.