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Ducks Open 2020-21 Season with Two Games in Omaha

Nov 30, 2020

Game Notes: Missouri / Seton Hall

No. 21 Oregon opens the 116th season of basketball with a pair of games in Omaha, Neb. The Ducks will face Missouri on Wednesday (6 p.m. PT, FS1) followed by Seton Hall on Friday (6 p.m. PT, FS1).
• 1 – The Dec. 2 start date is the latest Oregon has opened a season in 51 years. The Ducks began the 1969-70 campaign with a 97-84 loss to Wichita State on Dec. 2, 1969.
• 2 – Oregon will go 271 days in between games. The Ducks' final game of the 2019-20 season was an 80-67 win against Stanford on March 7. That's the longest time in between games since a 274-day break between the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons.
• 3 – Dana Altman is one of five active head coaches in NCAA Division I who have posted a winning record for the last 23 consecutive seasons. The other four, Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo, Bill Self and Jim Boeheim, are in the Hall of Fame.
• 4 – With Payton Pritchard picked by Boston at No. 26 in last month's NBA Draft, Oregon became the only school nationally with first round picks in the 2020 NBA, NFL and WNBA drafts. The other UO 2020 first rounders are Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers) in the NFL Draft and Sabrina Ionescu (New York Liberty), Satou Sabally (Dallas Wings) and Ruthy Hebard (Chicago Sky) in the WNBA Draft.
• 5 – Winning the Pac-12 2019 football title, the 2020 men's basketball crown and the 2020 women's basketball title, Oregon became the first school in conference history to win championships in football, men's basketball and women's basketball in the same academic year. Oregon joined Ohio State (2005-06, 2006-07, 2009-10) as just the second Power Five school to ever achieve that accomplishment.

Dating back to last season, Oregon has been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for 22 consecutive weeks. That's the second-longest streak in program history, and five weeks shy of the high water mark of 27 weeks set over the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

Oregon Consecutive Weeks Ranked in the AP Top 25
1.    27    2016-2017
2.    22    2020-2021
3.    21    2007-2008
4.    18    2002-2003
5.    11    2013-2014

Oregon last played in the CHI Health Center Omaha (known formerly as CenturyLink Center Omaha) in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The Ducks defeated Oklahoma State 79-73 in a first round game, before falling to Wisconsin 72-65. The Badgers went on to the NCAA championship game, where they fell to Duke 68-63. In fact, all six of Oregon's NCAA Tournament losses have come to teams that have advanced to the Final Four, and three were national champions: Louisville (2013), North Carolina (2017) and Virginia (2019). 

Dana Altman arrived at UO prior to the 2010-11 season after spending 16 seasons at Creighton (1995-2010) where he became the school's all-time winningest coach with a record of 327-176 (.650). The two-time Missouri Valley Coach of the Year led the Blue Jays to 13 consecutive postseason appearances and a stretch of 11 straight seasons with 20-plus wins. Altman is the winningest coach in MVC history. Additionally, Nick Bahe, who will be on the FS1 broadcast for both games, played his junior and seasons for head coach Dana Altman at Creighton (2007-08).

The University of Oregon is currently the defending Pac-12 champion in men's basketball (2019-20), women's basketball (2019-20), football (2019) and men's track and field (2019). The Ducks are also the current Pac-12 Tournament champions in both men's basketball (2019) and women's basketball (2020).

Oregon became the first school in conference history to win championships in football, men's basketball and women's basketball in the same academic year when the Ducks claimed the 2019 football title and the 2019-20 men's and women's basketball crowns. Oregon joined Ohio State (2005-06, 2006-07, 2009-10) as just the second Power Five school to ever achieve that accomplishment.

Will Richardson, who led the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage a year ago (.469), and Chris Duarte were named to the preseason all-Pac-12 first team. Duarte was an honorable mention selection for both the all-conference team and the all-defensive team a year ago. 

After reaching double figures just once in his first five games as a Duck, Chris Duarte scored in double figures in 18 of his last 23 contests of 2019-20. He missed the last three games with a broken finger. Duarte had two 30-point games last year (31 points Dec. 29 against Alabama State, 30 points Jan. 23 versus USC) and was twice named Pac-12 Player of the Week. He set the Matthew Knight Arena record eight steals in the win against USC.

Will Richardson scored in double figures in nine of the last 11 games of 2019-20. He averaged 14.2 points per game in that span and hit 54.5 percent from three-point range (18-of-33).

In the 2020 NBA Draft, Payton Pritchard became the sixth Duck drafted in the last four years. Pritchard, the 2020 Bob Cousy National Point Guard of the Year, was chosen by the Boston Celtics with the 26th overall pick. It is the fourth consecutive year that Oregon has had at least one player drafted and is the second time in the last three drafts that the Ducks have produced a first rounder. Pritchard is the first UO player drafted by the Celtics since Jim Barnett was selected by Boston as the No. 8 overall pick in the 1966 NBA Draft. Pritchard will become just the third Duck to play for the Celtics, joining Barnett and Jim Loscutoff, who was a member of six World Championship teams with Boston from 1956-64. Both men are in the UO Athletic Hall of Fame. Celtic general manager Danny Ainge was born and raised in Eugene and was a multi-sport star at North Eugene High School. The Ducks are now one of just eight programs nationally that has produced six or more NBA Draft picks over the last four seasons. Oregon is joined in that elite echelon of college programs by Duke (14), Kentucky (13), Florida State (7), Villanova (7), Arizona (6), North Carolina (6) and UCLA (6).

Oregon has six alums on NBA rosters for the 2020-21 season. Chris Boucher won a World Championship with Toronto in 2018-19 and is in his third year with the Raptors (fourth in the NBA overall). Now a starter, Dillon Brooks is in his fourth season with Memphis. Troy Brown Jr. is entering his third year in Washington. Two 2019-20 rookies return for their second seasons, Louis King (Detroit) and Bol Bol (Denver). Bol actually made his NBA debut in the "bubble" this summer. Payton Pritchard joined the NBA ranks after being drafted by Boston in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft. Pritchard will become the fifth member of the Ducks' 2017 Final Four Team to play in the NBA, joining Boucher, Brooks, Jordan Bell and Tyler Dorsey.

Dana Altman now ranks 25th all-time in NCAA Division I coaching wins with 669. Among active coaches, Altman ranks ninth. Ahead of him on that list are Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Roy Williams (North Carolina), Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Cliff Ellis (Coastal Carolina), John Calipari (Kentucky), Rick Barnes (Tennessee) and Bill Self (Kansas). Krzyzewski, Boeheim, Williams, Calipari and Self are all members of the Basketball Hall of Fame.