Luke Ridnour Named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year

March 12, 2001

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Luke Ridnour, the Parade and McDonald's All-American who was arguably the highest-rated recruit ever signed by Oregon, lived up to his preseason billing by being named Pac-10 freshman of the year Monday, marking the first time an Oregon player has been tabbed with the league's highest rookie honor.

The Ducks' Bryan Bracey was named to the All-Pac-10 team, while teammate Frederick Jones earned honorable mention status. Oregon's Luke Jackson joined Ridnour on the All-Freshman team. The teams were selected in a vote of Pac-10 coaches.

Ridnour, a 6-2 guard from Blaine, Wash., averaged 7.4 points per game for the Ducks, which finished their season with a 69-60 win over Oregon State Saturday night, and ranked sixth in the conference with 3.8 assists per game to lead all freshmen. He was the only Oregon player to start all 28 games, averaging 30.3 minutes per contest this season and became the first true freshman to start at point guard for the Ducks since Kenya Wilkins in 1993-94.

His assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58) ranked eighth in the Pac-10, which is a good number for any player, let alone a newcomer to the conference that saw five teams win 20 games during the regular season for the first time in 62 years.

Ridnour was instrumental in Oregon's 79-67 upset of No. 7 Arizona on Feb. 1 with a career-high 17 points and seven assists. He had a career-best nine assists twice - against Portland State and in the home finale versus USC.

Bracey, a 6-7 forward from Chicago, Ill., was one of the league's most improved players in his senior season at Oregon and challenged for the Pac-10 scoring title for most of the year. He finished second in the league in scoring at 18.6 points per game and eighth in rebounding at 7.1 per game. He reached double figures in 26-of-28 games this season and recorded 15 20-point games. He had seven double-doubles, including 19 points and 11 rebounds in the season finale against Oregon State. He also ranked fifth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage at .427 (38-of-89).

Bracey became just the 11th different Oregon player to score 500 points in a season, finishing with 522. He was named Pac-10 player of the week for Dec. 11-17 after scoring 20 points in a 110-87 win over Illinois-Chicago and a career-high 31 points in a 101-97 overtime loss to Auburn. His career field goal percentage of .518 (268-of-517) ranks seventh all-time at Oregon.

He is the 36th Duck all-time to receive all-conference recognition, but is first Oregon forward on the All-Pac-10 team since Greg Ballard in 1977. This marks the second straight year a Duck has made the team, following Alex Scales last season.

Jackson, a 6-7 forward from Creswell, Ore., averaged 7.8 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game, but will be remembered this season for his rare triple-double in the Feb. 17 85-73 win at Washington. He tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to become the first freshman to record a triple-double in a Pac-10 league game.

It was also the first triple-double by a Duck since Ron Lee during the 1972-73 season, and just the 14th triple-double in Pac-10 history. Jackson reached double figures 10 times this season, including a high of 16 against Illinois-Chicago. He played in all 28 games, drawing six starts.

Jackson and Ridnour are the fifth and sixth All-Freshman honorees for Oregon and the first since Wilkins in 1994. It is also the first time ever that two Oregon players made the All-Freshman team.

Jones, a 6-4 guard from Gresham, Ore., was among those who also received votes from the league's coaches to reach honorable mention status. He was Oregon's second-leading scorer at 14.8 points per game (ninth in the Pac-10) and rebounder at 5.6 per game (16th in the Pac-10. He ranked 10th in the league in assists (3.4 per game) and fifth in free throw percentage (80.6).

Jones finished the season with 996 career points, needing just four more next season to become the 22nd member of Oregon's 1,000-point club. He also ranks in Oregon's career top eight in assists, blocks, steals and three-point field goals.