Ridnour Named Pac-10 Player of the Year

March 10, 2003

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - University of Oregon guard Luke Ridnour has been named the 2002-03 Pacific-10 Conference's men's basketball player of the year in a vote of the league's coaches, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced Monday.

The Blaine, Wash., junior ranks second in the conference in scoring (20.0 avg.) and leads the Pac-10 in assists (6.52 avg.) to be named to the 10-player all-conference team for the second year in a row. He becomes the Ducks' first two-time all-conference honoree since Orlando Williams duplicated the honor following the 1994 and '95 seasons and is the school's first league player-of-the-year pick since guard Terrell Brandon earned the distinction in 1991.

Joining Ridnour on the conference's elite squad is junior Luke Jackson. The Creswell standout as well as the Ducks' second-leading scorer (16.1 avg.) and top rebounder (6.6 avg.) is the only player in the Pac-10 to rank among the league's top-10 in scoring (7th), rebounding (6th) and assists (7th, 3.7 avg.). Jackson earned honorable mention all-conference accolades a year ago.

Ridnour, who also is tied for the league lead in free throw proficiency (88.1%), eclipsed the Pac-10 record for consecutive free throws made (62) earlier this season in addition to breaking Ronnie Lee's school pinnacle for single-season assists (189). Lee was Oregon's only other player besides Ridnour and Brandon to ever be voted the Pac-10's best player, receiving the honor following the 1975-76 season.

Oregon was the only team besides regular-season champion Arizona and California to have two players named to the all-conference team.

Joining Jackson and Ridnour on the squad team were Arizona's Jason Gardner and Luke Walton, California's Joe Shipp and Amit Tamir, Julius Barnes of Stanford, Ike Diogu (who also was named conference freshman of the year), UCLA's Jason Kapono, and Philip Ricci of Oregon State.

Lute Olson (Arizona) and Mike Montgomery (Stanford) shared conference coach-of-the-year honors.

The latest Oregon honors come on the heels of Ducks' junior college transfer Andre Joseph being named as conference newcomer of the year a week ago.

Oregon (20-9) opens the first-round of this week's Pac-10 tournament at 3:50 p.m. Thursday against Arizona State, with the winner to play the winner of the Arizona/UCLA game Friday at 6:15 p.m.

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