No. 9 is Just Fine for Ducks
Sept. 19, 2002
EUGENE - First the Oregon football team reached No. 9 in the current national polls. Then the Duck men's cross country team debuted at No. 9 in that sport's preseason poll. Now the men's basketball team makes it a trifecta with a No. 9 preseason ranking from Athlon.
Coming off its first league championship in 63 years and a run to the Elite Eight, the national magazine picks the Ducks second in the Pac-10, behind No. 1 Arizona, and projects a long stay in the NCAA Tournament for the team that will be led by All-America candidates Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson.
'Ridnour and Jackson will score big points now that (Frederick) Jones is gone and the points will be what carry Oregon deep into the tournament,' Athlon said on its web site, AthlonSports.com, which also ranked the UO women's team No. 22 in its preseason poll.
Three other Pac-10 schools made the men's top 50, including No. 11 UCLA, No. 34 California and No. 39 USC. Among Oregon's non-conference opponents, Kansas checked in at No. 2, Pepperdine was No. 13, Cincinnati was No. 19 and Minnesota was No. 44.
Practice for the 2002-03 season begins Oct. 12, with the first exhibition slated for Nov. 6 at McArthur Court.