Kansas wins, but U.S. discovers Ridnour

Published on Thu, Mar 28, 2002 by Neil Macdonald

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Kansas wins, but U.S. discovers Ridnour

By Neil Macdonald

Just about everyone in Blaine and a copious quantity of people in Washington, Oregon, Texas and the United States were watching as ex-Borderite Luke Ridnour scored 20 points in Oregon�s 72-70 win over Texas in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal on March 22 in Madison, Wisconsin.

As many or more were probably watching as Kansas eliminated Oregon 104-86 in the Elite Eight phase of college basketball�s March Madness on March 24 as the Jayhawks� big men out-played the Ducks� big men, out-rebounding UO 63-24 and scoring 31 second-chance points.

Television color and play-by-play announcers signaled Ridnour�s elevation to national prominence in the Texas tilt as they began equating Ridnour�s skill-saturated performance to the razzle-dazzle of NBA greats Pistol Pete Maravich and Bob Cousy.

Ridnour, described by TV�s finest in the Kansas game as the engine that runs the UO offense, has also been featured in Sports Illustrated. In SI�s Feb. 11 issue, a Seth Davis article labeled �Ducks Unlimited� noted that Oregon had risen to the top of the Pacific- 10 with �a flashy guard leading a frenetic attack.� Ridnour was the guard.

Davis noted that Ridnour was Pacific-10 freshman of the year last season and was �having an even greater impact� this season. That impact included Ridnour�s lifting his ppg average from 7.4 to 15.1. Luke started bouncing a basketball when he was a three-year-old � the same age Mozart started fiddling around on the piano. Expect to read, hear and see a great deal more of Ridnour in the media. He�s that good. Reminds an old hockey fan of a skinny kid named Gretsky who could put the puck on a teammate�s stick right in the sweet spot for an instant shot on goal, could weave through traffic like a wisp of smoke and do all sorts of athletic antics..

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