Oregon's Johnathan Loyd, reigning Pac-12 Tournament MOP, back for more

SAN FRANCISCO – It was easy to see why Johnathan Loyd was so excited on the MGM Grand floor on the night of March 16, 2013. After all, the Ducks had just knocked off UCLA 78-69 in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game to secure an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, and the diminutive guard was right in the thick of it, dropping a season-high 19 points in the contest. As a result, he had just been named Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

Being a Las Vegas native made it all the more special.

“To get that honor at home was special. I couldn’t even talk after the game because of how special the feeling was,” Loyd said. “I wanted to scream and yell; it was just wild.”

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But that was last year, and as the only senior who has played significant minutes in his first three years in Eugene, Loyd is now the leader of this team. E.J. Singler is gone; so are Arsalan Kazemi, Carlos Emory and Tony Woods. There might be more talented players on Altman’s roster, but Loyd is the guy who will look to bring it together.

“I try to be a leader,” Loyd said when talking about showing his new transfers and freshmen the ropes. “I know exactly what coach Altman wants. I know what he needs and what he expects, so I just try to pass that along and let everybody know how it goes around here.”

Fiercely loyal to his head coach, Loyd doesn’t take notice of stats and records all that much… except for when it comes to winning.

“I didn’t know about most games played, but I did know about the most wins,” he said. (Loyd needs to play in 33 games this year to become the Ducks’ career leader and register 17 more wins to be the winningest player in school history.) “I always thought of myself as a winner so if I could just be a winner and just keep winning and winning, then I’m excited.”

Get your Charlie Sheen on, young man.