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Pac-10 2002-03 Recap

April 19, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Pac-10 Conference Recap

by Scott Allen

As predicted, Arizona and its five returning starters won the regular season title outright. The Wildcats rolled over competition throughout much of the season and suffered only one loss in conference play to Stanford at home. The Cardinal, led by lone-senior Julius Barnes, finished a surprising second followed by a revitalized California program. Meanwhile, Arizona State continued its climb to Pac-10 prominence with a fourth-place finish in large part due to the immediate impact of freshman sensation Ike Diogu. Oregon, which entered the season with high expectations after returning the core of its players, including the two Lukes, struggled early in the conference season and finished a disappointing fifth.

While Arizona dominated and two Bay area schools surprised atop the standings, one of the biggest stories of the year was UCLA’s fall from grace. The Bruins’ sub-par 6-12 conference record included an 11-game conference losing streak and a loss at home to Oregon State. The Beavers actually finished ahead of both UCLA and USC in the conference, while Washington and Washington State suffered through difficult seasons and round out the standings.

Pac-10 Tournament Recap:

The upset-filled Pac-10 tournament was headlined by UCLA knocking off top-seeded Arizona in double-overtime. In another first-round overtime thriller, Oregon defeated Arizona State 83-82 while USC upset Stanford in the first round for the second consecutive year and Cal downed Oregon State.

Oregon advanced to the final by squeaking by UCLA in the second round on a layup by Luke Ridnour in the waning seconds. The Trojans rode the hot hand of all-tournament team selection Desmon Farmer into the championship game. In the championship, Ridnour, the tournament MVP, scored 18 points and added nine assists in a 74-66 Oregon victory. The win secured the Ducks’ first Pac-10 tournament title.

NCAA Tournament Results:

Arizona, No. 1 in West:
1st Round: (1) Arizona 81, (16) Vermont 50
2nd Round: (1) Arizona 96, (9) Gonzaga 95 (2 OT)
Regional Semifinals: (1) Arizona 88, (5) Notre Dame 71
Regional Final: (2) Kansas 78, (1) Arizona 75

Stanford, No. 4 in South:
1st Round: (4) Stanford 77, (13) San Diego 69
2nd Round: (5) Connecticut 85, (4) Stanford 74

California, No. 8 in East:
1st Round: (8) Cal 76, (9) N.C. State 74 (OT)
2nd Round: (1) Oklahoma 74, (8) Cal 65

Oregon, No. 8 in Midwest
1st Round: (9) Utah 60, (8) Oregon 58

Arizona State, No. 10
1st Round: (10) Arizona State 84, (7) Memphis 71
2nd Round: (2) Kansas 108, (10) Arizona State 76

First Team All-Conference:
Jason Gardner, Guard, Arizona
Joe Shipp, Guard, Cal
Luke Ridnour, Guard, Oregon
Ike Diogu, Forward, Arizona State
Luke Walton, Forward, Arizona

Honorable mentions:
Phillip Ricci, Forward, Oregon State
Jason Kapono, Guard, UCLA
Julius Barnes, Guard, Stanford
Luke Jackson, Guard, Oregon

Conference Player of the Year:

Luke Ridnour, junior guard, Oregon

Ridnour finished second in the conference in scoring (20.7 points per game) while leading the Pac-10 with 6.67 assists per game. He also led the conference in free throw shooting (93 percent) and finished third in steals (1.83 per game).

Conference Freshman of the Year:

Ike Diogu, freshman center, Arizona State

Conference “Newcomer” of the year:

Andre Joseph, junior guard, Oregon

Defensive Player of the Year:

Derrick Craven, sophomore guard, USC

Pac-10 Coach of the Year:

Mike Montgomery, Stanford (24-9, 14-4)

Stanford was picked to finish seventh in the pre-season Pac-10 poll and it would have been hard to argue with that ranking given that the Cardinal lost its stars and seemingly its identity when Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt bolted for the NBA during the summer. To make matters worse, starting point guard Chris Hernandez went down with a season-ending injury in a December non-conference game against Montana. Short on superstar talent for the first time in several years, Montgomery got the most out of his players as the team won more games this year than last year.

Arizona (28-4, 17-1)

Starters leaving: 3
Luke Walton, graduated
Jason Gardner, graduated
Rick Anderson, graduated

Other key losses:
Dennis Lattimore, transferred
Will Bynum, transferred to Georgia Tech

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Sophomore center Channing Frye
Sophomore guard Salim Stoudamire
Freshman forward Andre Igoudala
Freshman guard Hassan Adams

Stat Sheet:
Jason Gardner, 14.4 points per game
Channing Frye, 7.7 rebounds per game
Jason Gardner 4.9 assists per game

Stanford (24-9, 14-4)

Starters leaving: 1
Julius Barnes, graduated

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Sophomore forward Josh Childress
Sophomore center Rob Little
Junior forward Justin Davis
Junior guard Matt Lottich

Sophomore guard Chris Hernandez, who sat out the entire season with a foot injury, will return and likely assume starting point guard duties.

Stat Sheet:
Julius Barnes, 15.7 points per game
Josh Childress, 8.2 rebounds per game
Julius Barnes, 3.8 assists per game

California (22-9, 13-5)

Starters leaving: 2
Brian Wethers, graduated
Joe Shipp, graduated

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Junior forward Gabriel Hughes
Junior guard A.J. Diggs
Sophomore forward Amit Tamir
Freshman guard Richard Midgley

Stat Sheet:
Joe Shipp, 20.3 points per game
Amit Tamir, 6.5 rebounds per game
Amit Tamir, 3.1 assists per game

Arizona State (20-12, 11-7)

Starters leaving: 4
Tommy Smith, graduated
Shawn Redhage, graduated
Kyle Dodd, graduated
Curtis Millage, graduated

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Freshman center Ike Diogu
Sophomore guard Jason Braxton
Junior guard Kenny Crandall

Stat Sheet:
Ike Diogu, 19.9 points per game
Ike Diogu, 7.9 rebounds per game
Kyle Dodd, 3.3 assists per game

Oregon (23-10, 10-8)

Starters leaving: 2
Robert Johnson, graduated
Luke Ridnour, leaving for NBA Draft

Other key losses:
Brian Helquist, graduated

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Junior forward Luke Jackson
Junior guard James Davis
Freshman forward Ian Crosswhite

Stat Sheet:
Luke Ridnour, 19.9 points per game
Luke Jackson, 6.9 rebounds per game
Luke Ridnour, 3.3 assists per game

Oregon State (13-15, 6-12)

Starters leaving: 3
Phillip Ricci, graduated
Brian Jackson, graduated
Jimmie Haywood, graduated

Other key losses:
Floyd North III, transferred after season

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Freshman guard Lamar Hurd
Sophomore forward David Lucas

Stat Sheet:
Phillip Ricci, 16.5 points per game
Phillip Ricci, 8.2 rebounds per game
Lamar Hurd, 3.8 assists per game

UCLA (10-19, 6-12)

Starters leaving: 2
Ray Young, graduated
Jason Kapono, graduated

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Junior forward T.J. Cummings
Sophomore guard Cedric Bozeman
Freshman center Ryan Hollins
Sophomore forward Dijon Thompson

Coaching change: Ben Howland, who spent the last four years building Pitt into a national contender, replaces Steve Lavin.

Stat Sheet:
Jason Kapono, 16.8 points per game
Andre Patterson, 5.5 rebounds per game
Ryan Walcott, 3.3 assists per game

USC (13-17, 6-12)

Starters leaving: 0

Key losses:
Robert Hutchinson, graduated

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Sophomore guard Errick Craven
Sophomore guard Derrick Craven
Junior guard Desmon Farmer
Sophomore center Rory O’Neil

Stat Sheet:
Desmon Farmer, 18.7 points per game
Errick Craven, 5.3 rebounds per game
Brandon Brooks, 3.5 assists per game

Washington (10-17, 5-13)

Starters leaving: 1
Doug Wrenn, will forego senior season and enter NBA draft

Jeffrey Day, academically ineligible

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Freshman guard Nate Robinson
Junior guard Will Conroy
Sophomore forward Bobby Jones

Stat Sheet:
Nate Robinson, 15.7 points per game
Doug Wrenn, 5.8 rebounds per game
Will Conroy, 4.0 assists per game

Washington State (7-20, 2-16)

Starters leaving: 0

Key losses:
Jerry McNair, graduated

Key players staying/underclassmen starters returning:
Junior guard Thomas Kelati
Junior guard Marcus Moore
Sophomore forward Shami Gill

Injuries: Moore had surgery to remove bone chips and bone spurs in late January, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. He should be ready to go next season.

Coaching change: Former Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett replaces Paul Graham.

Stat Sheet:
Marcus Moore, 18.2 points per game
Marcus Moore, 5.4 rebounds per game
Marcus Moore, 4.7 assists per game


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