SAN FRANCISCO — Oregon will face a team from the Big 12 Conference in Las Vegas in December 2020 as part of the inaugural Pac-12 Coast-To-Coast Challenge announced at the conference’s men’s basketball media day Tuesday.
The event will run for five seasons with a rotation of Pac-12 teams facing schools from other conferences. The Ducks will play a team from the Big 12 next season at T-Mobile Arena before facing that same school again at American Airlines Center in Dallas in 2021.
“I think it’s great,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “Going to Vegas and playing where we play our conference tournament is always a positive. We will play a good opponent. They have not quite signed on yet, but we’ve got a pretty good idea who it is going to be so we are excited about it. Then going down to Dallas and playing the following year is something we are excited about.”
Colorado will face TCU and Washington will play Oklahoma in other games next season in Las Vegas. Arizona State, Arizona and USC are set to play in Las Vegas during the event in 2021 when the Ducks, Buffaloes and Huskies play in Dallas.
“I think it is great for our league,” Altman said. “I’m glad the Pac-12 took the initiative and really jumped on this. I know we are all excited for the first year to get things kicked off.”
Preseason Pac-12 picks
In addition to a preseason poll, the Pac-12 also asked media members to vote on an all-conference team for the first time.
Oregon senior Payton Pritchard was one of 10 players selected to the first team. Pritchard is the conference’s active leader with 487 assists, 164 steals and 200 3-pointers.
“To watch Payton grow over the four years, he was the point guard on our Final Four team and last year he really exploded to take us to the Sweet 16,” Altman said. “He’s a talented young man that’s driven.
"He works very hard at his game and you love players like that. He wants to play well and he wants to do well of himself, but the most important thing is winning ballgames and leading his team. He probably tried to do too much for a period last year and he struggled a little bit, but he really bounced back and played his tail off down the stretch.”
Pritchard was a second-team all-conference selection as a sophomore, but did not get any all-conference honors last year. He was named most outstanding player of the Pac-12 Tournament after leading the Ducks to the title.
“It has been a roller coaster filled with different emotions, a lot of ups and downs,” Pritchard said of his UO career. “I think that made me a better basketball player. Definitely a lot of great memories and good wins.”
Oregon freshman N’Faly Dante was a second-team pick while freshman forward C.J. Walker received honorable mention.
Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle was a first-team pick while junior Ethan Thompson was a second-team selection. Senior Kylor Kelley was an honorable mention pick.
Tinkle gets extension
Oregon State men's coach Wayne Tinkle received a one-year contract extension Tuesday from the school that keeps him under contract through the 2022-23 season.
The Beavers were 10-8 and tied for fourth in Pac-12 play last year, their best conference finish since the 1989-90 season. In 2016, the Beavers made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1989-90 season. Tinkle has led the Beavers to winning records in three of his first five year at Oregon State.
“Coach Tinkle is an excellent ambassador for Oregon State University and is a strong leader of our student-athletes,” OSU athletic director Scott Barnes said in a school news release. “Our program has made tangible strides under Coach Tinkle and we look forward to more on and off the court successes under his leadership.”