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Ducks Looks to Bounce Back at ASU

Feb 7, 2014

Oregon looks to rebound from its third two-point loss of the Pac-12 season with a game at Arizona State on Saturday. The Ducks and Sun Devils will tip at 2 p.m. Pacific on FoxSports1. ASU is coming off an 86-82 overtime victory against Oregon State Thursday night.

1 - By a bucket. Oregon’s two-point loss at Arizona (67-65) on Thursday was its third two-point set back in Pac-12 play (UCLA 70-68, Stanford 82-80). In fact, of Oregon’s seven losses, six have been by single digits as the Ducks have been a handful of plays or less from owning several more victories.

2 - Oregon has forced opponents into double-digit turnovers in 20 of 22 games this year, including a season-high 22 by USC last Saturday. The Ducks had a Matthew Knight Arena record 16 steals against the Trojans, which was one off the school’s all-time mark.

3 - 3-D. Oregon’s perimeter defense has shown marked improvement the last four games. In that span, Oregon has held all four opponents below 31 percent from beyond the arc. Arizona shot 25 percent, USC 20 percent, UCLA 25 percent and Washington State 30.8 percent.

4 - Oregon’s bench continues to be exceptionally productive in 2013-14.  The Ducks are averaging 30.8 points per game from the reserves (677 total). By comparison, opponents are getting 17.9 per game off the bench (394 total). Jan. 30 against UCLA, the bench  had 36 points. The week before that, the reserves chipped in 37 points against Washington and 31 at WSU. That followed a season-best 47-point bench effort Jan. 19 at Oregon State. Other big games from the bench include 44 in the OT win versus Brigham Young, 43 against both San Francisco and North Dakota, 38 versus UC Irvine and 36 in the OT win at Ole Miss.

5 - Oregon leads the Pac-12 and is second nationally in free throw percentage at 77.8 percent. The Ducks have the top three free throw shooters in the league. Johnathan Loyd is now first at .894, Josephe Youndg is second at .860 and Jason Calliste is third at .882. Damyean Dotson is also over 80 percent (.824).

Senior Mike Moser joined the 1,000 career point club Thursday night at Arizona (1,002). Moser netted 690 points at UNLV and 36 at UCLA before graduating and transferring to Oregon for his final season (276 points). Joseph Young recently reached the 1,000 point milestone of his NCAA career. Young scored 916 points in two seasons at Houston, and has added another 394 this year for 1,310 career points. He joins Jason Calliste, who surpassed 1,000 career points in three seasons at Detroit, in the current 1,000-point club. Calliste is the current leader with 1,344 career points.

Thanks to a season-high 16 steal effort (a Matthew Knight Arena record) last Saturday versus USC, Oregon is up to 26th in the nation at 8.2 steals per game. That mark is second in the Pac-12. Individually, Joseph Young set career highs in steals in back-to-back games. He had five Jan. 30 against UCLA and followed that with six versus USC.

Oregon has played three overtime games as well as 10 contests that have been decided by single digits so far in 2013-14.

The Ducks are 12-1 when shooting better than the opponent, but only 3-6 when being out-shot. The Arizona game on Thursday was Oregon’s first loss when shooting better than the opposition. The Jan. 23 game at Washington marked the first time this season that the Ducks lost when out-rebounding the opposition. Oregon is now 10-2 in that category this year.

Johnathan Loyd is one victory away from tying former teammate E.J. Singler for the most wins in an Oregon uniform. Singler won 89 times as a Duck from 2009-13; the USC victory last Saturday was the 88th for Loyd. He is one of just six players in school history to reach 80 wins in an Oregon uniform: Singler (89), Loyd (88), Fred Jones (81), Joevan Catron (81), Luke Jackson (80) and Dick Wilkins (80). Loyd has also now played in more games as a Duck than all but three players in program history. Loyd has played in 131 games, trailing only Singler (142), Garrett Sim (136) and Joevan Catron (133).

The Ducks have scored at least 80 points in 13 games this season. Oregon has also gone over 90 points eight times and 100 four times.

The Ducks have had at least 15 assists 13 times  this season. In fact, Oregon has been held below 10 assists just twice this year: 7 at Utah (Jan. 2) and 6 at Oregon State (Jan. 19).

Arizona was the eighth 2013 NCAA Tournament team the Ducks will play this season. So far Oregon is 4-4 against 2013 NCAA Tournament squads with wins over Georgetown, Pacific, Ole Miss and Illinois, and losses to Colorado, Cal, UCLA and Arizona.

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.”

With the Seattle Seahawks becoming the first team from the Pacific Northwest to win the Super Bowl, it’s a good time to put out the reminder that Oregon is the only team from the Northwest that has won an NCAA men’s basketball title (1939). The Ducks are also the only school from the Northwest to have advanced to the NCAA Elite 8 this century (2002 and 2007). Other Northwest schools most recent Elite 8 trips: Gonzaga (1999), Oregon State (1982), Idaho State (1977), Seattle U. (1958), Washington (1953) and Washington State (1941). No Elite 8 appearances for Boise State, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Portland or Portland State.

Oregon has a pair of alums on the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks’ roster in starting center Max Unger (2005-08) and cornerback Walter Thurmond III (2006-09). Oregon’s basketball alums who played professionally with the Seattle Supersonics (years at Oregon) include Luke Ridnour (2001-03), Greg Ballard (1974-77) and John Greig (1980-82).

Jan. 23 at Washington, Johnathan Loyd became the sixth Duck with 400 career assists (now with 413). He’s now 11 behind Luke Jackson (424/2000-04) for fifth. Earlier this season, Loyd recorded a pair of impressive assists totals. First, he 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. A week later, 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). Already this season, Loyd has passed a trio of Oregon legends on the Ducks’ career assists list; he’s gone 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. On the steals chart, Loyd moved by current Houston Rocket Aaron Brooks (127/2003-07) for seventh in career steals Jan. 2 against Utah. Loyd now has 139 total swipes.

Oregon has added Providence transfer Brandon Austin to the roster. Austin was a top-50 rated prep player who helped Imhotep Charter High School record a 28-5 mark and capture the PIAA AAA championship in as a senior in 2013. He will be eligible to play for Oregon at the conclusion of the 2014 fall quarter.

Ten 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. Then after missing a few weeks due to injury, Jalil Abdul-Bassit, made his debut against San Francisco. The Ducks hit 10 newcomers Jan. 26 at Washington State when football defensive tackle Aric Armstead made his debut on the court for the Ducks. Armstead, a potential starter this fall, has since decided to concentrate on his football career and give up basketball.

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 - 216, Joseph Young - 166, Johnathan Loyd - 68, Damyean Dotson - 66, Dominic Artis - 39.

Damyean Dotson has a couple of overtime game-winners to his credit this year. He had the steal and dunk with :00.6 left in overtime to lift Oregon to the 70-68 win Jan. 2 at Utah. Earlier in the season, he made the go-ahead lay-in with :35 left in overtime as the Ducks topped BYU 100-96 on Dec. 21.

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.

Joseph Young set a Matthew Knight Arena record with his 36 points in the Nov. 13 home opener versus Western Carolina. That was the highest total by a Duck since Tajuan Porter netted 38 against Portland State in the 2006-07 season. In addition to Young’s scoring record, the Ducks set a number of Matthew Knight Arena team records in the Western Carolina game. Perhaps the most impressive mark established was the field goal percentage record, .653 (32-of-49). Other MKA marks included points in a half (66), points by both teams in a half (110), free throws made (35), free throw attempts (47), fouls (34, by Western Carolina) and fouls by both teams (53). Oregon’s 107 points was one shy of the MKA record of 108 scored versus Iowa in the 2012 postseason NIT.

The Ducks return two starters, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, and Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player Johnathan Loyd for the 2013-14 season. Four seniors departed from the Ducks’ 2012-13 Sweet 16 team — E.J. Singler, Tony Woods, Carlos Emory and Arsalan Kazemi. Singler finished his career with the Ducks as the program’s winningest player (89) and ranked 11th all-time in scoring (1,546). Kazemi totaled 56 double-doubles in his four-year career at Rice and Oregon, including 11 during the 2012-13 season, before becoming a 2013 NBA Second Round draft choice by the Philadephia 76ers (following a trade from Washington). Woods finished his time in Eugene as the program’s third-best shot-blocker, racking up 91 blocks in two seasons. Emory, who appeared in all 37 games in 2012-13, finished third on the team in scoring (11.1 ppg).