Ducks Host UCLA, USC in First Place Battle
Jan. 28, 2002
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . Oregon continues to battle for first place in the conference when the Ducks host No. 13 UCLA on Thursday, Jan. 31 and No. 23 USC on Saturday, Feb. 2. Midway through the conference race, it's Oregon (7-2) and USC (7-2) tied atop the Pac-10 standings with UCLA (6-3), Arizona (6-3), California (5-3) and Stanford (5-3) chasing. Both games will be televised live nationally by Fox Sports Net.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 235 Jr. 7.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg, .532 FG Pct.F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 So. 15.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, .886 FT Pct.F 25 Chris Christoffersen 7-2 300 Sr. 8.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, .528 FG Pct.G 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 So. 14.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.9 apgG 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Sr. 16.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.7 apg
QUICK HITS...A brief look at what to watch for this weekend:
7-2. For just the second time in 48 years, Oregon is 7-2 after its first nine conference games. The Ducks also started the 1999-00 season 7-2 in conference play, but prior to that, you have to go back to Bill Borcher's 1953-54 squad to find another Oregon team that started 7-2 in league play. With a win Thursday, Oregon will move to 8-2 in conference play, which will be Oregon's best start to conference play in 63 years, the 1938-39 NCAA Champion team was 9-1 after its first 10 games in the Pacific Coast Conference.
High Octane. The Ducks lead the Pac-10 in scoring offense (85.8).
Defense. The Ducks continue to be a much-improved defensive team. Through its first 20 games, Oregon is surrendering just 69.2 points per game, compared to the 77.3 points per game the Ducks allowed last season.
At 15-5 overall and 7-2 in the Pac-10, Oregon has already exceeded last season's overall victory total (14) and conference win total (5).
Oregon's Eleven. By defeating Willamette last week, Oregon improved to 11-0 at Mac Court for the first time in 64 years, and for only the second time in school history. The only other time the Ducks started a season 11-0 at home was in 1937-38, that squad went a perfect 16-0 in Eugene as a prelude to the 1938-39 NCAA Championship team. Overall, the 11-game home winning streak is Oregon's longest since a 12-game streak that spanned the 1969-70 and 1970-71 seasons (Jan. 24, 1970 to Jan. 9, 1971).
The Gospel According to Luke. Sophomore guard Luke Ridnour had a remarkable weekend in his home state of Washington. He tied a career high with 23 points at Washington and then established a new personal best with 24 points at Washington State. For the weekend, Rid shot 14-of-22 from the floor (.636), 7-of-13 from three-point land (.538) and 12-of-14 from the free throw line. (.857). He also had 10 assists over the weekend.
Senior guard Frederick Jones is now the only player ranked among the UO career top six in assists, steals, blocks and three-pointers. He's third in steals (117), fourth in blocked shots (64), tied for fourth in assists (309) and sixth in threes (110).
Jones passed Charlie Warren (1,301/1959-62) for ninth in UO career scoring during the Washington game and enters the UCLA game with 1,321 career points. Jones is just four points out of eighth: Jim Barnett (1,325/1963-66).
Also in the Washington game, Jones became just the sixth Duck to reach 300 career assists. He had 10 assists over the weekend to pass Anthony Taylor (300/1984-88) and tie Mike Drummond (309/1974-78) for fourth. He needs six more to catch current Minnesota Timberwolve Terrell Brandon (315/1989-91).
Jones had three steals against Washington to pass Brandon (114/1989-91) in UO career steals and now has 117.
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