WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Greg Ricker, a 6-foot-2 sophomore point guard on the Whitman College men's basketball team, has been named to the All-Northwest Conference Second Team.
Ricker, who led Whitman in scoring (12.2 points per game) and topped the NWC in assists (5.32 per game), was one of only two sophomores named to either the first or second teams. The six-man first team was comprised entirely of juniors and seniors.
Ricker, a graduate of Seattle Prepatory School, shot 57.6 percent from the floor in 25 games this season, the third-best mark in the conference. Ricker and Sudon DeSuze, a 6-foot-3 junior wing who shot 50.5 percent for Pacific Lutheran, were the only the backcourt players in the conference to finish in the top 10 in field goal percentage.
In 16 NWC games, Ricker shot a slightly higher percentage (58 percent) than he did for the entire season.
"It is remarkable for a guard to shoot 58 percent in this conference with the caliber of defense that is played," Whitman coach Skip Molitor said.
Ricker has also been Whitman's best defender this season, Molitor added. "For the guys who watch Greg play day in, day out, what he does at the offensive takes a back seat to how hard he works on defense. His competitiveness is great source of inspiration for all of us."
Ricker's defense nearly sparked the Missionaries to an upset of Whitworth in the season's final week. Ricker defended Whitworth's Bryan Depew, a high-scoring 6-foot-5 senior post, holding him to 16 points, nearly eight points below his league-leading average. "Depew had to work very hard for every point he did score," Molitor said. "Depew got one easy basket the whole night. Ricker has the ability to guard the other team's best player, whether that player is a guard, forward or post."
Ricker led Whitman in scoring eight times this season, scoring 21 or more points five times. He tallied a career-high 27 points early in the season against Western Baptist, hitting 10 of 15 shots from the floor. In two games against NWC champion Puget Sound, Ricker just missed notching a pair of double-doubles, combining nine points with 10 assists in one meeting and 11 points and nine assists in the other.
Ricker led Whitman to a season-ending victory over George Fox, shaking off foul trouble to score 21 points in 25 minutes of playing time. He made nine of 10 shots from the floor, including one of two from the 3-point arc.
While he didn't make enough 3-pointers during the season to be listed among the conference leaders, Ricker made 16 of his 33 attempts (48.5 percent) from the 3-point line. The highest percentage among the NWC leaders for 3-point shooting was 47.5 percent.
Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, (509) 527-5902