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No. 10 Ducks Open Pac-12 Play at Utah

Dec 31, 2013

Oregon begins the Pac-12 season with a mountainous challenge at Utah (Thurs., Jan. 2) and Colorado (Sun., Jan. 5) as the Ducks will play five of their first seven league tilts on the road. For the second time this season, Oregon will be involved in a match-up between two of the nation’s top five scoring teams. The Ducks lead the country at 90.8 points per game, with Utah fifth at 87.4. The Utes lead the nation in field goal percentage (.542) with Oregon fourth at .513. Utah also is the No. 2 assists team in the country at 19.0 per game. The Utes are 11-1 on the season with a lone two-point loss at Boise State (69-67). Oregon and Utah have one common opponent in BYU. The Utes topped the Cougars 81-64 in the Holy War, while the Ducks needed overtime to prevail 100-96 on Dec. 21.

1 - Oregon is 12-0 for just the fifth time in school history. The current start is the school’s best since 2006-07. That Aaron Brooks-led Duck squad, which won the Pac-10 tournament and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, went 13-0 to open the year.

2 - Oregon leads the nation in scoring and continues to be one of the best shooting teams as well. The Ducks average 90.8 points per game to pace the country. Oregon is also among the national leaders in field goal percentage (.513/4th), 3-point field goal percentage (.427/7th), free throw percentage (.763/12th) and assists (16.6 per game/21st).

3 - The Ducks have scored at least 80 points in 10 of 12 games this season. Oregon has also gone over 90 points seven times and 100 four times. Oregon has put up those big scoring totals through a collaborative effort. Oregon has had at least four players score in double figures in each of the last nine games. The Ducks have also had five reach double figure five times, and six twice.

4- Stealing away. The Ducks have recorded double-digit steals in three of the last five games. That’s after recording 10-plus steals only once in the first seven games.

5 - Johnathan Loyd continues to climb Oregon’s career assists and steals charts. Against BYU, he passed Fred Jones (367/1998-02) for sixth in assists. Loyd, who ranks 10th nationally at 6.7 assists per game, comes into the Utah contest with 377 career dimes. Loyd tied Aaron Brooks for seventh in career steals against Morgan State. Both players have 127 career swipes.

Joseph Young has scored in double figures in all 12 games this season. Dating back to last season while at Houston, Young has scored in double figures in 14 straight games, and 37 of his last 38 outings. The junior recently reached the 1,000 point milestone of his NCAA career. Young scored 916 points in two seasons at Houston, and has added another 242 this year for 1,158 career points. He joins Jason Calliste, who surpassed 1,000 career points in three seasons at Detroit, in the 1,000-point club.

Now with 85 victories in an Oregon uniform, Johnathan Loyd trails only former teammate E.J. Singler, who won 89 times as a Duck from 2009-13. Loyd became the sixth member of Oregon’s 80-win club. That list now looks like: Singler (89), Loyd (85), Fred Jones (81), Joevan Catron (81), Luke Jackson (80) and Dick Wilkins (80).

Johnathan Loyd set a career high with 15 assists Dec. 8 at Ole Miss. He also just missed a career high with 23 points, but did record the first double-double of his career. The 15 assists were the second-highest single game total in school history. Only the great Ronnie Lee had a bigger assist game at Oregon, doling out 17 in a 116-77 win over Villanova (12-23-74).

Johnathan Loyd tied the Matthew Knight Arena record with 13 assists Nov. 29 against Pacific. Former Duck Malcolm Armstead also had 13 assists at MKA against Oregon State in 2011. Earlier this season, Loyd passed a trio of Oregon legends on the Ducks’ career assists list, going by Kamikaze Kids’ point guard Mike Drummond (309/1974-78) for eighth, NBA all-star Terrell Brandon (315/1990-91) and former NBA player Fred Jones (367/1998-02) for sixth. Loyd now needs 23 more assists to become the sixth Duck with 400 career assists.

When Johnathan Loyd (23 pts., 15 asst.) and Mike Moser (24 pts., 10 reb.) recorded double-doubles versus at Ole Miss, it was the second time this season two Ducks had a double-double in the same game. Moser (10 pts., 15 reb.) and Elgin Cook (10 pts., 10 reb.) each pulled down double-doubles Nov. 30 against North Dakota. That was the first time Oregon had two players with double-doubles in a single game since meeting Alabama on Nov. 24, 2008 (Joevan Catron, Michael Dunigan). The double-doubles were the first two for Moser as a Duck and the 19th and 20th of his NCAA career.

Oregon opened the regular season on Nov. 8 by defeating Georgetown 82-75 in the Armed Forces Classic on Army Base Camp Humphreys in South Korea. The Ducks travelled more than 12,000 miles round trip to participate in a game that honored the troops serving America. The crowd in attendance consisted entirely of active military members and their families based at Camp Humphreys. At the end of the game, Oregon players removed their jerseys and gave them to the troops, who had stormed the court to celebrate with the Ducks.

The team also got a helicopter hangar tour, where the servicemen and women who fly and maintain four different types of helicopters - Chinook, Blackhawk, Apache and Kiowa - showed off their impressive machines. The Ducks also served lunch to the troops, had a meet and greet at the gym and conducted a kids’ clinic. Said Oregon coach Dana Altman after the game, “the servicemen and women came out and cheered for us and made us feel like we were the best team in America, but it’s those men and women who are the real heroes. Our guys are going to remember this experience for a long time.”

Oregon continues to remember the troops they met in South Korea by breaking their team huddle with the Army cry “HOO-AH” as opposed to the traditional “TEAM.”

Oregon tied a school record by reaching the century mark for the fourth time this season Dec. 21 against Brigham Young. It is just the third time in 109 seasons of basketball that the Ducks have scored 100 points four times in the same season. Oregon has never had more than four 100-point games in the same year. The Ducks last had four 100-point games in the same year in 2001-02. Oregon first accomplished that feat in 1995-96.

Illinois was fourth 2013 NCAA Tournament team the Ducks have defeated this season, joining Georgetown, Pacific and Ole Miss.

The Ducks have five backcourt players who combined to play nearly 5,000 minutes in 2012-13, and own more than 500 career three-pointers at the NCAA Division I level. The breakdown in 3’s: Jason Calliste - 196, Joseph Young - 149, Johnathan Loyd - 65, Damyean Dotson - 59, Dominic Artis - 34. And that doesn’t include guard Jalil Abdul-Bassit, a transfer from North Idaho College.

All nine newcomers have seen action for the Ducks this season. Senior transfers Mike Moser (UNLV), Jason Calliste (Detroit) and Richard Amardi (Indian Hills CC), junior transfers Joseph Young (Houston) and Brian Crow (Sonoma State), and sophomore transfer Elgin Cook (Northwest Florida State) all played in the season opener versus Georgetown. Those six players combined to score 66 of Oregon’s 82 points versus the Hoyas. Freshman Theo Friedman became the seventh newcomer to play this season when he entered the Western Carolina game. Freshman A.J. Lapray made it eight newcomers with his debut in the Utah Valley game. The last newcomer on the roster, Jalil Abdul-Bassit, made his debut against San Francisco