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Offer Down Under too good to pass over

Don't laugh. University of Portland guard Adam Quick has signed to play for an Australian pro team called the Crocodiles. Yeah, and Mick Dundee will be his coach.

'They should get some marketing from him,' jokes Quick, referring to the title character in the 'Crocodile Dundee' movies.

Actually, it's the Townsville Crocodiles, located in northern Australia, up the eastern coast from Quick's hometown of Melbourne. It's part of the National Basketball League, the premier pro league Down Under. Quick will report to training camp in August. The season, which features about 25 games, starts in early October.

'It has been a goal of mine to make this league,' says Quick, a good shooter, passer and ballhandler who twice led the West Coast Conference in assists. 'Coming here to the University of Portland helped me achieve that goal.'

The NBL doesn't attract the best basketball players in the world Ñ Duke's Chris Carrawell, Kentucky's Wayne Turner, Oklahoma's Ebi Ere and longtime pro Andrew Gaze from Seton Hall are among its top talents Ñ but the play will challenge Quick.

He will leave after teammate Casey Frandsen's wedding -May 15. He plans to return in May 2005 for his girlfriend's graduation, and maybe in March 2005 for teammate Dustin Geddis' graduation.

Other than that, it's goodbye, Portland, and g'day, homeland. 'It's tropical and 80 degrees year-round,' he says of Townsville.

He's 'sad and excited' about leaving Portland: 'Four years is a long time to spend somewhere. When you have the chance to achieve your dream, you follow it.'

He'll make about $40,000 Australian when he signs, a little less in U.S. dollars. 'Just out of college, you'd be happy to take that,' he says.

'I grew up there,' Quick adds. 'Having the connection certainly helped me secure the deal.'

Notes

Oregon's Luke Jackson made the Associated Press All-America second team, a pretty nice honor. However, for voters to make Stanford's Josh Childress first team doesn't make sense when you compare stats of the two players and what they meant to their teams. Sounds like people did not do their homework.

The odds of Jackson's winning the Wooden Award or Naismith Award don't look good.

'If Luke Jackson were sitting in the East,' coach Ernie Kent told The (Eugene) Register-Guard, 'it would be hands down (that he would win the awards) because of who he is and how he handles himself and the versatility of the game.'

Jackson has been named a first-team All-American by ESPN.com and the Sporting News.

Kent says the UO should retire Jackson's No. 33, which would join the numbers of the five starters from the 'Tall Firs' 1939 NCAA title team and Ron Lee's No. 30 in the McArthur Court rafters.