Pritchard Named to Sporting News Midseason All-America Team
EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon will play in the seventh annual Emerald Coast Classic presented by Global Sports Nov. 27-29, 2020, on the campus of Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla., the tournament announced Thursday.
In other news Thursday, senior guard Payton Pritchard was named to the Sporting News Midseason All-America first team.
This will be Oregon’s first appearance in the Emerald Coast Classic. The eight-team field also includes Florida, Illinois, Iowa State, Alabama A&M, Louisiana-Monroe, McNeese State and North Florida.
First and second-round games will be played at on-campus sites with Oregon, Florida, Illinois and Iowa State serving as hosts. Four third-round games will be played Nov. 27 at The Arena at NFSC. Consolation round games are scheduled Nov. 28 with the third-place and championship games set for Nov. 29.
“We’re proud to assemble another tremendous field for the Emerald Coast Classic, attracting some of the top collegiate basketball programs in the nation,” said tournament director Maury Hanks, chief executive officer of Global Sports. “The word is quickly spreading around the country about the strong reputation of our tournament in drawing teams from the best conferences in college basketball.”
Oregon is ranked No. 8 in both the latest Associated Press and Coaches polls, and plays at Washington State Thursday night (6 p.m., FS1).
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“We are looking forward to a great experience at the Emerald Coast Classic,” said Oregon head coach Dana Altman. “It is a great field and should be a very competitive tournament.”
Meanwhile, Pritchard added to his growing list of accolades with his first midseason all-America honor. He was joined on the Sporting News first team by Markus Howard of Marquette, Luke Garza of Iowa, Myles Powell of Seton Hall and Obi Toppin of Dayton.
The West Linn, Ore., native is one of only two players in the country averaging at least 19 points, five assists and four rebounds per game. With another 12 assists and eight rebounds, he’ll become the first player in Pac-12 history with 1,500 career points, 600 career assists and 500 career rebounds.
There are currently five players in Pac-12 history with 1,500 career points and 600 career assists – Gary Payton (Oregon State), Jordan McLaughlin (USC), Damon Stoudamire (Arizona), Tyus Edney (UCLA) and Jason Gardner (Arizona) – but none of those five reached 500 career rebounds. Utah’s Andre Miller is in the 1,500/600/500 club, but he reached those totals prior to the Utes’ joining the Pac-12.
Last week, Pritchard was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Watch List as one of the nation’s top 25 players. He is also on the watch lists for the Naismith Trophy, the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Bob Cousy point guard of the year award.
Pritchard, who has started an NCAA-best 126 games in a row, has a chance to break a number of school career records, including steals, assists, wins and games played. He currently has 194 steals and 588 assists. Kenya Wilkins (1993-97) currently holds the records in both categories (213 steals, 614 assists) and both are well within Pritchard’s reach.
Pritchard is just the third member of Oregon’s 90-win club (players who have played in at least 90 victories as a Duck) and currently sits alone in second with 95. He could tie for the career lead as soon as this weekend. Johnathan Loyd won 97 games as a Duck between 2010-14. Prichard has also played 130 games at Oregon. Loyd is the Ducks’ all-time leader in games played with 144.