Civil War Concludes Regular Season Saturday
March 6, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . The Ducks wrap up the regular season with a visit to Corvallis for the Civil War presented by your Northwest Dodge Dealers on Saturday, March 10 at 7 p.m.
NIT ON THE LINE? . . . You bet. Oregon has put in a bid to host a potential NIT first round game and has also agreed to travel in the first round of the NIT, if necessary. In order to be eligible, Oregon would have to have at least a .500 overall record, meaning a win over Oregon State is a must for NIT consideration. Last year, Penn State, a team with a .500 regular season record (15-15) advanced all the way to the NIT Final Four in New York and finished third. The NIT has extended bids to .500 teams six times in the past three years. NIT bids are traditionally announced late Sunday evening, following the announcement of the NCAA tournament bracket. With an average home crowd of 8,441 (93 percent of capacity) for all games and 9,004 (99 percent of capacity) for Pac-10 games, Oregon remains an attractive team for an NIT date. Furthering the Ducks' cause, the Pac-10 has been represented in every National Invitation Tournament for 19 straight years. The last season no Pac-10 team went to the NIT was 1981. Also, Oregon leads all Pac-10 schools with eight NIT appearances. If Oregon makes the NIT, it will mark just the second time in school history that the Ducks can claim three straight postseason appearances (joining the 1975-76-77 NIT teams).
FREDDIE AND THE CRUISERS . . . Junior guard Frederick Jones had a career game last Thursday against Arizona State. He scored 36 points in 37 minutes on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and hit 11-of-12 at the free throw line. The 36 points is the most by a Pac-10 player this season and is the most by an Oregon player since Orlando Williams scored 40 at Washington State Feb. 19, 1994. Jones now ranks in Oregon's career top 8 in four categories: assists (254/eighth), blocks (56/6th), steals (84/seventh) and three pointers (98/seventh). The Gresham, Ore., native has scored 980 career points entering the Oregon State game and needs 20 more to become the 22nd member of Oregon's 1,000-point club. Jones scored 18 points in the first game this season against OSU and is averagin 20.0 points per game over his last three outings.
OREGON TENTATIVE STARTERS
F 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Jr. 14.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.4 apgF 21 Julius Hicks 6-8 235 Sr. 7.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 bpgC 54 Flo Hartenstein 6-9 260 Sr. 2.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, .538 FG Pct.G 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 Fr. 7.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.9 apgG 34 Anthony Norwood 6-3 185 Jr. 10.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.1 apg
HEAD COACH ERNIE KENT . . . Ernie Kent (Oregon `77) is in his fourth year at Oregon. He has a 67-49 ledger with the Ducks and a 10-year career record of 157-129. He won his 150th game as a collegiate head coach Dec. 12 versus Illinois-Chicago (110-87). Kent won more games in his first three seasons as Oregon's head coach (54) than any other Oregon mentor since Howard Hobson (64) from 1935-36 through 1937-38. The former six-year Saint Mary's (Calif.) coach led the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament last season and accomplished some pretty impressive feats along the way: 22 wins was the school's most in 55 years, 13 Pac-10 wins was the most in school history, the first road triumph over a Top 25 opponent since 1977 (67-66 neutral-court win over Wake Forest), a win over the highest-ranked foe since 1995 with the 86-81 upset of No. 3 Arizona. In 1998-99, Kent took the Ducks to a 19-13 mark and a trip to New York City for the NIT Final Four. Prior to St. Mary's, he served two-year tenures as an assistant at Stanford (1990-91) and Colorado State (1988-89).
KENT FEATURED . . . As part of February's Black History Month, the Eugene Public Library featured a display on Ernie Kent as one of the city's prominent Black Americans.
STOP BUGGING ME . . . Oregon has been remarkably injury-free this season, something that can be attributed to the hard work of strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe and athletic trainer Clay Jamieson. When Julius Hicks missed two games in Los Angeles Jan. 25-27 with a sprained right ankle, he was the first Duck to miss a game due to injury since Flo Hartenstein sat out Oregon's two preseason games recovering from knee surgery.
LUCKY SEVEN . . . Under Ernie Kent, Oregon is 18-11 in its last 29 games decided by seven points or less.
TRIPLE PLAY . . . Oregon is first in the Pac-10 in three-pointers made per game at 7.52. Individually, Anthony Norwood is sixth in three-pointers per outing, hitting 1.9 a game. The Ducks have made at least 10 three-pointers eight times this season, with a high of 13 coming Nov. 25 against Portland State (two shy of the school record of 15).
BRACEY TOPS 500 POINTS . . . Last Saturday against Arizona, Bryan Bracey reached 500 points for 2000-01 and became just the 11th different Duck to score 500 points in a single season. He is the first Oregon player to reach the 500-point platteau since Orlando Williams scored 524 in 1994-95. Bracey's 503 points this season ranks 16th at Oregon and he needs just 21 points to reach the top 12.
THE LIFE OF BRYAN . . . The No. 2 scorer in the Pac-10 and an all-conference candidate, senior forward Bryan Bracey continues to be one of the most improved players in 2000-01. He has scored in double figures in 25 of 27 games this season. After spending last season as Oregon's sixth man averaging 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, Bracey leads Oregon in scoring and rebounding at 18.6 points and 7.0 boards a game. He is shooting 50.0 percent (173-of-346) from the field and his career field goal percentage of .524 (264-of-504) ranks seventh all-time at Oregon. The Chicago, Ill., native recorded his first career double-double in the season opener against Mississippi Valley State with 22 points and 12 rebounds. The 12 boards was a career high. He followed that with a 20-point game in Oregon's road opener at Denver. Bracey was named co-MVP of the Pape Jam after scoring a then-career-high 24 points in Oregon's 91-76 defeat of Massachusetts. Next, he netted 20 in the win over Illinois-Chicago. He followed that with a career-high 31 points and 11 rebounds in the overtime loss to Auburn. Then came 22 points against South Carolina State and 28 points in the Pac-10 opener against Oregon State (24 in the second half). He got his third double-double (23 pts., 10 reb.) in the overtime loss to Washington (plus a career-high five steals) and followed that with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Washington State. He then scored 20 at both USC and UCLA and led the team with 23 points in the upset of No. 7 Arizona. Bracey scored 25 at Washington State and followed that with his fifth double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Washington. His sixth double-double came with 21 points and 10 rebounds against UCLA and he had 22 points versus USC. He scored 21 points at Arizona State. That's 15 20-point efforts in 27 games.
PAC-10 EM-BRACEYS BRYAN . . . Senior forward Bryan Bracey was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Dec. 11-17. The Chicago, Ill., native averaged 25.5 points and 9.0 rebounds a game. Bracey scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting (.778) with seven rebounds and a pair of assists in Oregon's 110-87 victory over Illinois-Chicago Dec. 12. He followed that with a career-high 31 points and 11 rebounds (second double-double of the season) in the 101-97 overtime loss to Auburn Dec. 16. For the week, Bracey shot 57.1 percent from the field (16-of-28) and 85 percent at the free throw line (17-of-20).
RIGHT SAID FRED . . . It was expected that Frederick Jones would see an increase in his scoring average, and he has: 14.8 points per game through 27 games in 2000-01, compared to 9.7 ppg a season ago, but did you know that the junior from Gresham, Ore., has seen significant improvement in rebounding as well? He's second on the team at 5.7 per game (up from 3.9 rpg a year ago). Jones, who now ranks in Oregon's career top eight in three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals, was named co-MVP of the Pape Jam after scoring 23 points (matching the second-highest effort of his career) and grabbing nine rebounds in Oregon's 91-76 defeat of Massachusetts. He got his third career double-double in the Jan. 6 win over Oregon State with 18 points and a career-high-tying 11 rebounds. He had 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists against WSU. His strong play continued with 21 points at USC and 22 points at UCLA. It was the second time this season Jones has posted consecutive 20-point games. Then he had a team-high 22 points in the win at Washington. He scored 20 points in the home finale against USC and came through with a career game (see p. 1 for more details) with 36 points at Arizona State.
IN THE NEIGHBOR-WOOD . . . One of Oregon's best players down the stretch last season, junior guard Anthony Norwood set career highs in points and assists during the 99-90 win at Denver. He scored 25 points, which easily surpassed his previous high of 19 (set last year against Denver) and dished out seven assists. Norwood snapped out a scoring funk in the final home weekend against UCLA and USC. He had 12 points against the Bruins, which marked his first double-figure scoring game since Feb. 1 (Arizona). Norwood followed that with 16 against USC, marking his first back-to-back double-figure scoring games since Louisville (Dec. 30) and Oregon State (Jan. 6). Norwood is third on the team in scoring (10.2 ppg) and leads the team with 51 threes (five shy of the UO single season top 10).
COOL HAND, LUKE . . . Luke Ridnour, the first true freshman to start at the point for Oregon since Kenya Wilkins in 1993-94, has been solid as Oregon's floor general. The only Duck to start every game this season, Ridnour has nearly a two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio (104-to-65), is fourth in scoring at 7.6 points per game and leads the team at 3.9 assists per game (sixth in the Pac-10). 'Rid' had a season-high nine assists in the Nov. 25 Portland State game. He scored 15 points in the Louisville win. He had eight assists and no turnovers Feb. 25 at USC. Ridnour followed that with a then-career-high 16 points at UCLA. Then in his next game, Rid scored a career-high 17 points in the upset of No. 7 Arizona. In his homecoming at Washington, Ridnour scored 14 points. He matched his career high with nine assists in the home finale against USC. Back in 1993-94, Wilkins set the UO frosh assists record with 142.
THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE . . . Freshman Luke Jackson, whose hometown of Creswell is just down the road from Eugene, has lived up to his Oregon State Player of the Year reputation. Jackson scored a career-high 16 points in the 110-87 defeat of UIC on Dec. 12. He led the team in scoring Jan. 11 at Cal with 12 points and led the team in rebounding two days later at Stanford with seven. Then he scored 15 points with six boards Jan. 18 against Washington. He got his first collegiate start Jan. 20 against Washington State and scored nine points with seven rebounds. Then the freshman accomplished something really extraordinary -- a triple-double at Washington with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists (check out the next note for more on the triple-double. He had a team-high 15 points at Arizona.
IN TRIPLICATE . . . Luke Jackson's rare triple-double (14 pts., 11 reb., 10 asst.) in the Feb. 17 win at Washington sent everyone to the record books for some perspective. Some of the more interesting facts about Jackson's accomplishment: * is the first by an Oregon player since Ron Lee, Dec. 7, 1972, versus Montana State (24 pts., 12 reb., 11 asst.)
* is the second by a freshman since the Pac-10 started keeping track in 1985, joining Jelani McCoy of UCLA (15 pts., 10 reb., 11 blocks vs. Stephen F. Austin, Feb. 23, 1995)
* is the first freshman to record a triple-double in a Pac-10 league game
* is just the 14th triple-double since the Pac-10 started keeping track in 1985
* is the second triple-double this season (joining Arizona's Loren Woods)
* the 11 rebounds and 10 assists were both career highs, in fact, Jackson had just 31 assists for the entire season prior to the Washington game
NEW JUICE ON THE BLOCK . . . It looks like senior center Julius 'Juice' Hicks is feeling healthy again. Hicks was a machine with 18 blocks in 15 games before suffering a sprained right ankle prior to the Jan. 25 game at USC. He missed two games and his production suffered for a couple of weeks, but recently, there have been signs of the old Juice. He's blocked 13 shots in the last seven games (including a career-high five at Washington State) and scored 12 points in the win at Washington. He's shooting 62.3 percent from the field for the year (76-of-122) to rank third in the Pac-10! The long arms of Hicks have also been on display this year. On the season, Hicks has 32 blocks and ranks sixth in the Pac-10 (1.3 bpg). His 32 blocks also rank sixth among Oregon's top 10 single seasons. He also ranks ninth in career blocks with 43. The San Francisco native is averaging 7.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
FLO MOJO . . . Senior center Flo Hartenstein continues to contribute after preseason knee surgery that caused him to miss nearly all of fall camp. The Civil War will be his 112th career game in an Oregon uniform. Flo came off the bench in the opener against Mississippi Valley State for his first appearance of 2000-01. And in typical workman-like form, Hartenstein contributed five points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action. Against Denver, Flo was again effective off the bench, grabbing nine rebounds with six points and three steals in 23 minutes. Hartenstein had a pair of blocked shots in the upset of No. 7 Arizona and another against Stanford to give him 39 career, which is tied for 10th all time at UO. The German is also just five shy of UO's career top 10 in steals with 72. Flo was also key off the bench in the Louisville win with a season-high 11 rebounds (one shy of a career high) and eight points. He made his first start of the season Jan. 20 against WSU. He tied his career high with 30 minutes of action in the near-upset of Stanford.
THE GREAT DANE . . . With Julius Hicks out with a sprained ankle, junior center Chris Christoffersen scored eight points at USC and followed that with a career-high 15 points at UCLA. The Roenne, Denmark, native went toe-to-toe with the Bruins' Dan Gadzuric and matched the UCLA seven-footer's numbers all the way. Points: 15 each. Rebounds: 7-6 in favor of Big Chris. Field Goal Percentage: .800 for Chris, .500 for Gadzuric. Christoffersen's career effort against the Bruins came one week to the day after setting a then-career-high with 11 points against Washington State (Jan. 20). He also registered an impressive defensive performance against Arizona that included three blocks and several altered shots. UCLA brought out the best in Chris the second time around too -- he had a career-high 12 rebounds to go with seven points in a career-high 22 minutes.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS . . . Ben Lindquist certainly settled into the role of super sub during the month of December. He had seven points against Massachusetts, four against Illinois-Chicago, a career-high tying 13 against Auburn, eight at Northern Arizona and 10 at Louisville. His shooting percentage during the month was remarkable for a guard: .560 (14-of-25). The junior from St. George, Utah, also seems to like playing Denver. He set his career high last season versus the Pioneers (13) and nearly matched that effort this year (12), with a pair of key threes off the bench.
ABOUT OREGON STATE . . . Despite a 10-19 overall record (4-13 in the Pac-10), Oregon State has been playing good basketball of late. Since a 69-41 loss to Arizona on Feb. 3, the Beavers have wins over Washington (83-69) and USC (67-52) and close losses to California (72-69/OT), Washington State (57-53), UCLA (68-65/OT), Arizona (65-54) and Arizona State (61-59). Stanford is the only team to defeat OSU by more than 11 points (82-63) since the first week of February. Jason Heide leads the Beavers at 13.8 points per game, while Deaundra Tanner is at 11.1. Brian Jackson and Adam Masten have started every game for the Beavers this season. OSU is tied for the Pac-10 lead in scoring defense, allowing 63.6 points per game. This will be the final game for seniors Heide, Tanner and Josh Steinthal.
TENTATIVE OREGON STATE STARTERS
F 3 Brian Jackson 6-9 239 So. 9.7 ppg, 4.1 rpgF 32 Adam Masten 6-5 200 Jr. 8.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.0 apgC 40 Jason Heide 6-9 256 Sr. 13.8 ppg, 5.3 rpgG 13 Deaundra Tanner 6-1 205 Sr. 11.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.5 apgG 25 Josh Steinthal 6-4 200 Sr. 6.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg
CLIMBING THE CHARTS . . . Flo Hartenstein, Frederick Jones and Julius Hicks will leave a legacy in the record books by the time their careers are over. Jones is now ranked in the career top eight in four categories: three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. He had four assists last weekend to raise his career total to 254 (eighth). He has 98 career threes (7th). Next up is former teammate Alex Scales (104/1998-2000). Jones had two steals against Arizona to bring his career total to 84 and pass Mike Clark (82/1979-81) and Frank Johnson (82/1987-89) for seventh. Jones has 56 career blocks (sixth), one behind Jerry Adams (57/1981-86). Hartenstein is tied for 10th in career blocks with Kyle Milling (1995-97) at 39. Hicks had a block at Arizona to give him 32 for the season (sixth), just one back of No. 5 Blair Rasmussen (33/1985) and two back of No. 4 Brett Coffey (34/1989). He also has 43 career blocks (ninth). Chris Christoffersen needs two blocks to crack the career top 10. On the other side of the coin, Hartenstein has 72 career steals, which is just five shy from entering that career top 10.
FRESH FACES . . . Oregon got a look at its future in the Nov. 25 84-66 defeat of Portland State. All four freshmen set then-career highs in scoring, led by forward Luke Jackson's 13 (all in the second half). Guard Luke Ridnour scored 12 with a career-high nine assists, while guard James Davis added 10 points (three three-pointers) and center Jay Anderson had four.
TOP OF THE CLASS . . . Oregon's 1999-2000 recruiting class was rated best in the West by most services, including Bob Gibbons and Hoop Scoop's Clark Francis. The four freshmen who make up this stellar class are Parade and McDonald's All-American Luke Ridnour (6-2, 165, PG, Blaine, Wash./Blaine HS), Oregon 3A player of the year Luke Jackson (6-7, 210, F, Creswell, Ore./Creswell HS), sharpshooter James Davis (5-10, 170, G, Vancouver, Wash./Evergreen HS) and Jay Anderson (6-9, 220, C, Faribault, Minn./Faribault HS). UO's list of newcomers also includes junior forward Mark Michaelis (6-10, 230, F, South Jordan, Utah), a transfer from Brigham Young.
DICKIE V SAYS . . . That Oregon freshman point guard Luke Ridnour is good. How good? Vitale, the ESPN harbinger of over-the-top college basketball analysis, tabbed Ridnour as the Pac-10's 'Diaper Dandy,' aka, his freshman of the year.
ARIZONA RECAP . . . Loren Woods, in his last McKale Center appearance, broke out of his season-long funk as the ninth-ranked Arizona Wildcats avenged their worst loss of the season with a 104-65 rout of Oregon March 3 in Tucson. Woods scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting and had seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. He even made a 3-pointer on his final shot. All five starters were in double figures for the Wildcats, who had lost two in a row to Oregon, the latest a 79-67 defeat in Eugene on Feb. 1. It was Oregon's worst loss since the Wildcats beat the Ducks 104-56 on Feb. 27, 1992, and Arizona's highest-scoring game in three years. Michael Wright scored 18 points for Arizona, while Gilbert Arenas had 14, Richard Jefferson 13 and Jason Gardner 11. Luke Jackson scored 15 points to lead the Ducks. Bryan Bracey, the No. 2 scorer in the Pac-10, had seven to snap his string of 21 consecutive double-digit games.
ARIZONA STATE RECAP . . . Alton Mason hit 17 of 19 free throws attempts and scored 25 points in leading Arizona State to an 86-74 victory over Oregon March 1 in Tempe. The Sun Devils took control with a 24-4 run early in the second half as Tommy Smith scored 11 points. Oregon was on top 38-32 when the Sun Devils' big run started one minute into the second half. Seven minutes later, Arizona State was up 56-44. Oregon, which got a career-high 36 points from Frederick Jones, drew no closer than five points the rest of the way as Arizona State, shooting 59 percent from the field, claimed its second victory over the Ducks this season. Jones' effort was the most by an Oregon player since Orlando Williams scored 40 points at Washington State Feb. 19, 1994. Arizona State took a 15-5 early lead, but Oregon got back in the game with an 11-0 run and led 37-31 at the half. Jones scored 17 of his points in the first half while Arizona State committed 16 turnovers. Smith finished with 17 points for Arizona State on 8 of 10 shooting from the field. Bryan Bracey produced 21 points for Oregon.
USC RECAP . . . Benched because of his horrendous performance two nights earlier, David Bluthenthal scored seven of his 29 points in overtime as Southern California rallied to beat Oregon 87-80 Feb. 24 at Mac Court. Brian Scalabrine added 21 points and Sam Clancy had 13 rebounds for the Trojans. Bryan Bracey scored 22 points and Frederick Jones had 20 for the Ducks. Bluthenthal, who went scoreless on 0-for-9 shooting in a humiliating 67-52 loss at Oregon State, hit a 3-pointer to start a 13-0 run with just over five minutes left in regulation that helped the Trojans get back in the game. Bluthenthal made the first basket of the overtime - a 3-pointer - and hit two free throws to push USC's lead to five with 2:18 to go. But the Ducks came back, and a 3-pointer by Anthony Norwood cut it to 81-80 with 1:05 left. Scalabrine then buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and that finished Oregon. A 3-pointer by Bracey put the Ducks ahead 72-60 with 5:21 left. After Bluthenthal's 3, Jeff Trepagnier made two putbacks, with two free throws from Granville in between. Scalabrine made a hook shot, again after an offensive rebound, and Granville ended up with a layup after Trepagnier's steal. That gave USC a 73-72 lead with 2:43 left. Trailing 76-73 with 30 seconds left, Oregon tied it when Jones hit a running hook that banked in. He was fouled, and the free throw sent the game to overtime tied at 76. Oregon led by 10 early on, but the Trojans used a 12-2 run to tie it. Bluthenthal played only 12 minutes but scored 15 points in the first half, including three straight 3-pointers, to pull his team within 37-35. Anthony Norwood scored 16 points for Oregon, while Luke Ridnour tied a career high with nine assists.
UCLA RECAP . . . Matt Barnes scored 21 points and Jason Kapono had 20 points and 13 rebounds as No. 15 UCLA held off a second-half comeback by Oregon to beat the Ducks 88-73 Feb. 22 at Mac Court. Dan Gadzuric added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Bruins. Bryan Bracey led Oregon with 21 points and 10 rebounds -- his sixth double-double of the season -- and helped the Ducks rally from 21 points down to get within eight. UCLA, which took a 45-33 lead into halftime, scored the first six points of the second half and then outscored the Ducks 11-3 to make it 62-41 with 14:56 left to play. But the Ducks then started a run of their own. Bracey had an acrobatic behind-the-head dunk and James Davis hit a 3-pointer as Oregon closed to 64-56 on a 15-2 run with 11:14 left in the game. A basket by Ryan Bailey ended a six-minute scoring drought for the Bruins, and Oregon could get no closer than eight the rest of the way. The Ducks shot 32 percent from the field and were 9-of-34 from the 3-point line, compared to 49 percent shooting for the Bruins. Oregon stayed within five points of UCLA in the first 12 minutes until the Bruins went on a 10-2 run to make it 36-23 with 3:55 left in the half. Kapono scored seven of the Bruins' final nine points in the half as UCLA took a 45-33 lead. Oregon had trouble handling UCLA's muscular play inside, and the Bruins went to the free throw line 41 times - shooting 59 percent for the game. Anthony Norwood added 12 points for Oregon, while Chris Christoffersen grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.