2003 Pac-10 Preview: Award Winners

This was supposed to be part IX in the Pac-10 preview but I decided that Washington State had about as much chance of being competitive in the league as I did getting Halle Berry to spend the next 40 years of her life with me. So...I have put up the honor roll and award winners (preseason edition) up instead of Marcus Moore and the Cougars. On a positive note, however, I expect Wazzu to be highly competitive...on the football field.

I thought about doing an extensive profile of Washington State but it hit me that the Cougars are Marcus Moore and four guys filling space. Sorry to Wazzu but it wasn't worth the research, interviews or time.

Instead, I have broken down the pre-season favorites for All-Conference, All-Freshman, All-Newcomer and several other categories of awards associated with the Pac-10. The envelopes please…

TheTop 25 players in the Pac-10 (Players in BOLD=1st team All-Conference)
1. Luke Ridnour, Jr. PG-Oregon
2. Luke Walton, Sr. F-Arizona
3. Jason Gardner, Sr. PG-Arizona
4. Luke Jackson, Jr. SF-Oregon
5. Jason Kapono, Sr. SF-UCLA
6. Doug Wrenn, Jr. SF-Washington
7. Channing Frye, So. C-Arizona
8. Errick Craven, So. G-USC
9. Philip Ricci, Sr. PF/C-Oregon State
10. Joe Shipp, Sr. SG-Cal

11. Marcus Moore, Jr. PG-Washington State
12. Salim Stoudamire, So. SG-Arizona
13. Curtis Millage, Sr. SG-ASU
14. Amit Tamir, So. F-Cal
15. Rick Anderson, PF-Arizona
16. Julius Barnes, Sr. SG-Stanford
17. T.J. Cummings, Jr. PF-UCLA
18. Desmon Farmer, Jr. SG-USC
19. Tommy Smith, Sr. F-ASU
20. Brian Wethers, Sr. SF-Cal
21. Brian Jackson, Sr. PF-Oregon State
22. Curtis Allen, Jr. PG-Washington
23. Robert Johnson, Sr. PF-Oregon
24. Josh Childress, So. G/F-Stanford
25. Dijon Thompson, So. G/F-UCLA

Top 15 Incoming Freshmen (*=has used redshirt year)
1. Andre Iguodala, SF-Arizona
2. Hassan Adams, G/F-Arizona
3. Evan Burns, SF-UCLA
4. Brandon Roy, SG-Washington
5. Ian Crosswhite, WF-Oregon*
6. Ike Diogu, PF-ASU
7. Mike Jensen, PF-Washington*
8. Lamar Hurd, PG-Oregon State
9. Bobby Jones, SF-Washington
10. Richard Midgley, PG-Cal
11. Chris Rodgers, PG-Arizona
12. Michael Fey, C-UCLA
13. Erik Bond, SF-Cal*
14. Brandon Lincoln, SG-Oregon
15. David Paris, PF/C-Cal

Top Five Newcomers to the Pac-10
1. Brandon Brooks, So. PG-USC
2. Andre Joseph, So. SG-Oregon
3. Jamal Hill, Jr. SF-ASU
4. Jon Crispin, Jr. SG-UCLA
5. Roy Smiley, Jr. G/F-USC

Top Five Pac-10 Coaches in 2003
1. Lute Olson-Arizona
2. Ben Braun-Cal
3. Ernie Kent-Oregon
4. Mike Montgomery-Stanford
5. Rob Evans-ASU

Player of the Year: Luke Ridnour, PG-Oregon
Freshman of the Year:
Andre Iguodala, SF-Arizona
Newcomer of the Year:
Brandon Brooks, PG-USC
Coach of the Year:
Lute Olson-Arizona

League Leaders:
Leading scorer:
Doug Wrenn, SF-Washington
Leading rebounder:
Philip Ricci, PF/C-Oregon State
Top Assist Man:
Luke Walton, F-Arizona
Defensive Player of the Year:
Errick Craven, SG-USC
Steals leader:
Errick Craven, SG-USC
Blocks leader:
Philip Ricci, PF/C-Oregon State
Best FG%:
Channing Frye, C-Arizona
Best 3pt%:
Jason Kapono, SF-UCLA
Best FT%:
Curtis Allen, PG-Washington

Individual Awards:
Best NBA Prospect:
Luke Ridnour, PG-Oregon
Most Exciting:
Doug Wrenn, SF-Washington
Best Athlete:
Jordan Kent, Fr. G-Oregon
Best Leapers:
Wrenn and Hassan Adams, G/F-Arizona
Curtis Allen, PG-Washington
Biggest Upside:
Channing Frye, C-Arizona
Most Underrated:
Marcus Moore, PG-Washington State
Most Overrated:
Tommy Smith, F-ASU (by me, last year)
Hurry up and graduate already:
Shantay Legans, PG-Cal
Most likely to break through in '03:
Amit Tamir, F-Cal & Desmon Farmer, G-USC
Best PG:
Luke Ridnour, Oregon
Best SG:
Errick Craven, USC
Best SF:
Luke Jackson, Oregon
Best PF:
Philip Ricci, Oregon State
Best C:
Channing Frye, Arizona
Most Versatile:
Luke Walton, F-Arizona
Best Senior:
Luke Walton, F-Arizona
Best Junior:
Luke Ridnour, PG-Oregon
Best Sophomore:
Channing Frye, C-Arizona

Team Awards:
Best Backcourt/Perimeter:
Arizona (Jason Gardner, Salim Stoudamire, Hassan Adams, Chris Rodgers and Will Bynum)
Best Frontcourt:
Arizona (Luke Walton, Rick Anderson, Channing Frye, Andre Iguodala, Isaiah Fox, Dennis Latimore and Chris Dunn)
Best Coaching Staff:
Arizona (Lute Olson, Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner)
Biggest Homecourt Advantage:
Oregon (Mac Court)
Best Fans:
Arizona (Old but loud when they want to be)
Worst Fans:
Stanford (Non-student section)
Best Tradition:
UCLA (This isn't even close; 11 National Titles)
Best Cheerleaders:
Oregon (Wow.)
Team on the Rise:
Washington (Romar will bring the talent into Seattle)
Team on the Decline:
Stanford (For now…)
Most Talented Team:
Arizona (Eight legitimate NBA prospects)

*Apparently the "Conference of Champions" has decided that last year's ridiculous parity and competitiveness wasn't enough so it added an eleventh member: Kansas.
The Jayhawks, expected to be ranked No. 2 in the nation when the polls come out, will play against four Pac-10 teams: Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and Cal. Not since Arizona went 5-0 against the Big Ten in 1988 can I remember a time when an elite-level team played so many good schools from the same (power) conference. My guess is that Kansas splits that four-game gauntlet against the four best teams in the league—losing at Oregon (in Portland) and at home to Arizona while beating the Bruins in Lawrence and Cal in Oakland.
*Two players from the Pac-10 should break the 2,000-point mark for their careers in 2003. UCLA's Jason Kapono (1,608) and Arizona's Jason Gardner (1,512) will become just the 14th and 15th players in league history to go over 2,000 points.
*Over the past six seasons (since 1996-97), the Pac-10 has had 16 teams make it to the Sweet 16 or beyond. In that same period, the conference is 51-37 (.580) in NCAA play with three Final Four berths and an NCAA Championship (Arizona, 1997). The Pac-10 is the ONLY conference in the nation to have had four teams make the Sweet 16 in the same year three different times during that span.
*Five Pac-10 players are expected to be a part of next June's NBA draft. The five likely candidates to play in the League next season are seniors Luke Walton and Jason Gardner from Arizona, Jason Kapono from UCLA and juniors Luke Ridnour from Oregon and Doug Wrenn from Washington. The list could grow if more underclassmen play well (or even if they don't: "Jamal Sampson Syndrome").

*Top 10 Games of the Year:
1. Arizona at Kansas
2. Kansas at Oregon
3. Stanford vs. Xavier
4. USC vs. Missouri
5. Cal vs. Georgia
6. UCLA at Kansas
7. Stanford vs. Gonzaga
8. Arizona at Oregon
9. Oregon at Washington
10. Arizona at UCLA Ben Hansen can be reached at AZPointGuardU@yahoo.com

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