Oregon Takes on Arizona State in Pac-10 Tournament
March 11, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . Oregon will be the fifth seed for the 2003 Pac-10 Tournament and will take on No. 4 Arizona State Thursday, March 13 at 3:50 p.m. at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. It's the rubber match between two NCAA Tournament hopefuls who each held serve on their home courts. Fox Sports Net will televise the game live nationally.
No. 5 ALIVE? . . . Here's a trend Oregon would like to end: The No. 5 seed has yet to win a game, going 0-5 in the five previous Pac-10 Tournaments.
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE . . . Oregon will depart Eugene for Los Angeles Tuesday evening. The Ducks are scheduled to practice at the Staples Center from Noon until 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. All practice sessions during the Pac-10 Tournament are closed. Head coach Ernie Kent will conduct a 30-minute press conference beginning at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Staples Center. Players will also be available for interviews for 30 minutes beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Staples Center, location TBA.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 250 Sr. 7.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, .590 FG Pct.F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 Jr. 16.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.7 apgC 40 Brian Helquist 6-9 260 Sr. 3.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, .521 FG Pct.G 1 James Davis 5-10 175 Jr. 10.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 78 3 FGG 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 175 Jr. 20.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 6.5 apg
RIDNOUR NAMED PAC-10 POY; FOUR DUCKS HONORED . . . Luke Ridnour was named the 2002-03 Pac-10 Player of the Year earlier this week. Averaging 20.0 points and 6.5 assists per game, the Blaine, Wash., junior ranks second in the conference in scoring and leads the Pac-10 in assists as he was 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. 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.
Joining Ridnour on the conference's elite squad is junior Luke Jackson. The Creswell, Ore., standout is the only player in the Pac-10 to rank among the league's top-10 in scoring (16.6 ppg/7th), rebounding (6.6 rpg/6th), assists (3.7 apg/7th) and steals (1.8 spg/5th). Jackson earned honorable mention all-conference accolades a year ago.
Andre Joseph was named the Pac-10's Newcomer of the Year; the first such award for an Oregon player. The junior transfer from Lee Junior College in Baytown, Texas, is averaging 9.8 points coming off the bench this season. And Australian native Ian Crosswhite, who is scoring 9.6 points per game, earned Pac-10 all-freshman honorable mention honors.