Lucas, John Earn Weekly Basketball Honors
Jan. 3, 2005
Corvallis - Following a thrilling sweep of the Los Angeles schools last weekend, Oregon State senior forward David Lucas was named the U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week today, and OSU Coach Jay John was named the National Coach of the Week by Dick Vitale on espn.com.
Lucas missed the first 10 games of the season due to surgery to repair the tendon in his right big toe. He returned last week for the first time and hasn't missed a beat, as evidenced by his 17.0 points per game in OSU's three victories. Lucas led the Beavers to a sweep of the Los Angeles schools, scoring team highs of 21 points against UCLA and 17 points against USC. He also had 13 points in his season debut against Sacramento State last Tuesday. In the three games, he shot 51.4% from the floor (19-for-37) and 81.3% from the foul line (13-for-16) and also averaged 4.3 rebounds.
'It feels great to win this award,' Lucas said. 'It shows that I actually helped the team last week. I went two months just sitting there watching. There was a lot of hard work in the meantime to prepare myself to play in a game. I feel so blessed and happy to be able to come back like I did. (OSU trainer) Michael Sandago worked with me twice a day before I got my release and my dad (Maurice Lucas) worked with me to get back into shape, so I have to thank them.
'This team doesn't compare to any of the others that I've played on. We have so much talent and experience. It's so much fun to be on the floor with some other big men who really know what they're doing. Sasa (Cuic) and Nick (DeWitz) have really come along and are helping a lot.'
Lucas' efforts, and John's coaching, helped OSU to end a number of negative streaks. The Beavers won a Pac-10 opener for the first time since the 1994-95 season. OSU moved to 2-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time since the 1992-93 season. OSU has beaten UCLA two consecutive times for the first time since 1989-90 and 1990-91. And, the Beavers swept the L.A. schools at home for the first time since 1998-99.
It's the second time that Lucas has been honored as Pac-10 Player of the Week. He also earned the award last year after averaging 21.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in a sweep of the Arizona schools. The last OSU player to earn the award more than once in his career was Corey Benjamin in 1997 and 1998. It's the 36th time an Oregon State player has been chosen.
Oregon State (10-3 overall, 2-0 Pac-10) is off to its best overall start since the 1989-90 season, the last time the Beavers went to the NCAA Tournament. OSU visits rival Oregon this Saturday (Jan. 8), looking to end an 11-game losing streak in Eugene.