Ducks Hunting for First Conference Title in 57 Years
Feb. 25, 2002
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . The Ducks can clinch their first conference championship in 57 years and claim the No. 1 seed for next week's Pac-10 tournament with a win Thursday, Feb. 28 against No. 18 USC in Los Angeles. Then, one of the biggest weekends in the last half century continues for Oregon with the regular season finale Saturday, March 2, at UCLA. The Bruin game will be televised live by CBS.
THURSDAY'S RECORDS . . . Last Thursday against Washington State, the Ducks set school and McArthur Court records with 16 three-pointers. The previous mark was 15 against West Florida in 1995 (former Mac record) and at California in 1998. The 115 points represented the most-ever scored by the Ducks in a conference game and tied the school's third-highest effort of all-time.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 235 Jr. 7.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, .547 FG Pct.F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 So. 16.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.1 apgC 25 Chris Christoffersen 7-2 300 Sr. 8.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, .528 FG Pct.G 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 So. 15.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.1 apgG 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Sr. 18.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.1 apg
QUICK HITS...A brief look at what to watch for this weekend:
The Ducks have already guaranteed that they will finish no lower than a tie for third in the Pac-10. With one win, Oregon will get at least a share of their first conference title since 1944-45. That WWII squad tied for the Pacific Coast Conference Northern Division crown with Washington State, and then defeated the Cougars in a playoff to gain entry to the NCAA Tournament.
At 12-4 in the Pac-10, the Ducks are off to their best record in league play since the 1938-39 NCAA Championship team finished 14-2 in the Pacific Coast Conference.
Scoring record. The Ducks need 49 points to break the school record for points in a season. Oregon enters Thursday's game with 2,367 points thus far in 2001-02. The school record for points for points in a season is 2,415 in 1998-99.
5-1 vs. Top 25. The Ducks are now 5-1 against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, including No. 11 Arizona (Eugene), No. 15 Arizona (Tucson), No. 14 Stanford (Eugene), No. 13 UCLA (Eugene) and No. 23 USC (Eugene). It is the first time in school history that UO has beat five ranked opponents in one season. The lone loss came Feb. 7 at No. 20 Stanford.
Oregon is 7-2 against teams ranked in the top 50 of the most recent Ratings Percentage Index (RPI): wins over No. 8 Arizona (twice), No. 22 UCLA, No. 27 California, No. 28 USC, No. 39 Stanford and No. 47 Pepperdine. The losses came at No. 27 California and No. 39 Stanford. Oregon is No. 41 this week.