Ducks Picked Third; Duarte, Richardson Nab Pac-12 Preseason Honors
SAN FRANCISCO – Defending champion Oregon was slotted for a third-place finish in the Pac-12 preseason media poll released by the conference on Thursday.
Senior Chris Duarte and junior Will Richardson were named to the preseason Pac-12 all-conference first team.
The 20th-ranked Ducks were 24-7 and won the Pac-12 with a 13-5 conference record a year ago. It was Oregon's third regular season Pac-12 title in the last five seasons.
In the closest vote among the top three teams in league history, UCLA was picked to win with 251 points, followed by Arizona State with 246 and the Ducks at 241. Stanford was fifth (209) followed by Arizona (173) and USC (154).
Duarte was named both all-Pac-12 honorable mention and Pac-12 all-defensive honorable mention as a junior in 2019-20. The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, native was second on the team in both scoring (12.9 points per game) and rebounding (5.6 per game). He led the Ducks in steals and ranked fourth in the Pac-12 at 1.7 per game.
Richardson was one off the most improved players in the Pac-12 last season. He led the league in three-point field goal percentage, shooting 46.9 percent on the year (38-of-81). That was the fifth-best single-season effort in program history. The Hinesville, Ga., native was third on the team at 11.0 points per game and also averaged 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest.
The poll and all-conference teams were selected in a vote of media members who cover the league.
2020-21 PAC-12 MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
TEAM (first-place votes) POINTS
1. UCLA (9) 251
2. Arizona State (5) 246
3. Oregon (7) 241
4. Stanford (1) 209
5. Arizona 173
6. USC (1) 154
7. Colorado 149
8. Utah 131
9. Washington 85
10. California 65
11. Washington State 54
12. Oregon State 36
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