Game Notes: Ducks at Utah
THE STARTING 5
The Ducks finish the Mountain trip with a visit to Utah Saturday at 6:30 p.m. PT (Pac-12 Network).
• 1 – Dana Altman hit a couple of coaching milestones last weekend. The Ducks' two wins moved him past Louisville's Denny Crum (675 wins) and into a tie with former Stanford and California coach Mike Montgomery for 23rd on the NCAA Division I career coaching wins list (677). Counting his 123 junior college wins, last Saturday's game was his 800th career win.
• 2 –Chris Duarte was clutch down the stretch against both California and Stanford and was named this week's Pac-12 Player of the Week. He had 14 points in the final 5:18 versus Cal and 11 in the last 5:43 against the Cardinal. He scored a season-high 27 points Thursday at Colorado.
• 3 – Eugene Omoruyi, the second-leading scorer in the Pac-12 (18.6 ppg), has scored in double figures in every game this year.
• 4 –Chris Duarte ranks among the Pac-12's top 10 in eight different statistical categories. He leads the league in both steals per game (2.2) and three-point field goals per game (2.8) and is up to fourth in scoring (17.7 ppg).
• 5 – With Payton Pritchard picked by Boston at No. 26 in the 2020 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.
• BENCH – 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.
ALTMAN TIES MONTGOMERY, NETS 800TH WIN
With Oregon's win against Stanford on Jan. 2, Dana Altman tied former Stanford and California coach Mike Montgomery for 23rd on the NCAA Division I carer coaching wins list with 677. The Stanford win was also Altman's 800th career wins as a head coach at all levels, including 123 junior college wins.
UNSUNG HEROES IN SALT LAKE
Over the years, the Ducks have had a number of role players step into the limelight in Salt Lake City. Casey Benson and Roman Sorkin sparked the Ducks' 2016 win. Carlos Emory had a career high in 2012. And last year, it was Chandler Lawson with eight point and eight rebounds off the bench. Here's a look at some unsung heroes who played important roles in Duck victories in SLC:
* Carlos Emory, career-high 14 points all in the second half (2012 win)
* Richard Amardi, career-high 14 points (2014 win)
* Casey Benson, 15 points, and Roman Sorkin, 8 points (2016 win)
* Ehab Amin,13 points (2019 win)
* Chandler Lawson, 8 points, 8 rebounds (2020 win)
Eugene Omoruyi is the 11th Canadian to play for the Ducks during the Dana Altman era. Some of the more notable Canadian Ducks are Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies), Chris Boucher (Toronto Raptors) and Dylan Ennis, who is playing overseas and led the 2017 Final Four team in minutes played.
STAT FILLER FIGUEROA
Senior transfer LJ Figueroa continues to stuff the stat sheet. After scoring 13 points with a season-high 12 rebounds last Saturday against Stanford, he's the only Duck with two double-doubles this season. It was his rebound dunk to tie the game at 41-41 with 12:43 to go that seemed to spark the Ducks; Oregon outscored Stanford 32-15 the rest of the way. Ranking sixth in the Pac-12 in rebounds (6.9 per game), Figueroa has led Oregon in rebounding five times this season, steals twice and blocks once. Figueroa missed Oregon's season-opening Dec. 2 loss to Missouri before the NCAA approved his transfer waiver on Dec. 3. The St. John's transfer led Oregon with nine rebounds and four steals in his Duck debut Dec. 4 against Seton Hall. As a junior in 2019-20, Figueroa led St. John's in scoring at 14.5 points per game. The Lawrence, Mass., native paced the Big East in steals at 1.9 per game last season.
CLOSING TIME: DUARTE NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Chris Duarte was named Pac-12 Player of the Week, the Conference announced Monday. He continued his hot play with a season-high 27 points Thursday at Colorado The senior from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, averaged 21.0 points per game on 50 percent shooting (15-of-30), including 47 percent from three-point range (9-of-19) in the Ducks' weekend sweep of California and Stanford. He also averaged 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Duarte was at his best in the closing minutes of each game. He scored 14 of his 19 points in the final 5:18 to help the Ducks turn a three-point lead into a 13-point victory over the Golden Bears on Dec. 31. Jan. 2 versus Stanford, Duarte tallied 11 of team-high 23 points in the final 5:43 to turn a four-point cushion into a 17-point win. This was Duarte's third career Pac-12 Player of the Week award and first this season after collecting the honor twice in 2019-20. The three POTW awards trail only Dillon Brooks and Blair Rasmussen (four each) for the most in Oregon program history. Duarte ranks among the Pac-12's top 10 in seven different statistical categories.
UCLA GAME RESCHEDULED FOR JAN. 19
The Oregon-UCLA game originally set for Dec. 23 has been rescheduled for Jan. 19 at Matthew Knight Arena. The game will start at 2 p.m. PT and will be broadcast by ESPN2.
1,000 POINT SCORERS
Dec. 31 against California, Eric Williams Jr. became the third active Duck to reach 1,000 points as a collegian. He joined Amauri Hardy and LJ Figueroa, who himself reached 1,000 career points Dec. 19 versus Portland. Eugene Omoruyi is also on pace to join that club this season.
Senior forward Eugene Omoruyi was nearly unstoppable in the paint Dec. 31 versus California, making nine-of-10 field goal attempts in the lane, finishing with 26 points and a career-high five steals. He had 15 points and a season-high five assists last Saturday against Stanford and 18 points Thursday at Colorado. For the year, he's making 56.4 percent (57-101) on two-point field goals. He is also the only Duck who has scored in double figures in every game this season and had led Oregon in scoring in six-of-10 games.