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Oregon (4-0, 0-0 Pac-12) carries its perfect record into the Thomas & Mack Center (Las Vegas, Nev.) this weekend for games against Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) and either Cincinnati or Iowa State. Friday night's (Nov. 23) game at UNLV will begin at 8 p.m. and be televised on CBS College Sports Network, while Saturday's start time is still to be determined.
The Rebels (2-0, 0-0 Mountain West) were bounced by Colorado, 68-64, in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. They have won their first two games of the 2012-13 campaign, defeating both Northern Arizona and Jacksonville State to start the year. UNLV returns five letterwinners from last year's NCAA Tournament team, but second-year head coach Dave Rice has loaded his 15-man 2012-13 roster with nine freshman and sophomores.
Oregon head coach Dana Altman's squad has five letterwinners and two starters returning from 2011-12. Last year's squad went 24-10 overall and tied for second in the Pac-12 Conference with a 13-5 record. The Ducks advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament, marking the second straight season that UO advanced to postseason play. Oregon's 24 wins last year were the most since the 2006-07 season. Oregon has a 2-1 advantage over UNLV in the all-time series. The Ducks are 0-1 against Cincinnati and have never played Iowa State. Altman has never faced the Rebels or Bearcats but he is 3-6 against Iowa State in his career.
OREGON ON THE ROAD
Friday's game at UNLV marks the first road game of the 2012-13 season for UO. The Ducks were 7-5 on the road and 0-2 in games played at neutral sites a season ago.
OREGON VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST
The Ducks are 28-32 all-time against teams from the Mountain West Conference. Last year, Oregon fell to Brigham Young, 79-65, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tony Woods had 13 points and E.J. Singler and Carlos Emory each posted 11 in the defeat.
DUCKS START 4-0 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2007-08
The University of Oregon men's basketball team came out on top against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 67-45, Monday night in front of 5,163 fans at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks moved to 4-0 to start a season for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
UO started off on a 7-0 run led by seniors Tony Woods and E.J. Singler and never looked back, leading JSU for the entirety of the game. This is the third game in a row that the Ducks haven't trailed all game.
Woods led Oregon in scoring with a career-high 17 points and was joined by Singler (11 points) and freshman Dominic Artis (10 points) as the three Ducks to score in double figures. Woods also notched career-highs in field goals made and attempted with 8 and 12, respectively. He was also a strong presence on the defensive end as he matched his career-high of five blocks.
Senior Arsalan Kazemi led the team in rebounding for the second consecutive game as he recorded eight, matching Ben Carter's season-high for the Ducks. Kazemi also equaled his career-high in steals as he recorded five.
Oregon shot 47.4% from the floor compared to Jacksonville State's 38.0% and held the advantage over their opponents in points in the paint (34-24), points off of turnovers (27-12), second chance points (18-8) and fast break points (10-2).
WOODS MOVES INTO TOP-10 ON ALL-TIME BLOCKS LIST
Senior center Tony Woods blocked five Jacksonville State shots on Monday night (Nov. 19), tying his career-high. In addition, his five-block effort gave him 60 for his career, moving him into ninth-place in Oregon basketball history. He is just three blocks away from catching Brett Coffey (63) and is quickly approaching Michael Dunigan, whose 65 career blocks places him in seventh all-time.
Woods has totaled nine blocks through the first four games this season (2.25 blocks per game). He had 51 blocks in 33 games played during the 2011-12 season, good enough for 1.55 blocks per game.
Offensively, Woods is one of just two Ducks averaging over 12 points per game. His 12.0 ppg. (48 total) ranks second behind only team-leader E.J. Singler, who enters the weekend with 51 points in four games (12.75 ppg.)
The win over Jacksonville State came just three nights after the Ducks topped defending-SEC champion Vanderbilt, 74-48, in Eugene (Nov. 16). Oregon shot 45.5% from the floor compared to Vanderbilt's 34.0% and also outshot the Commodores from the three-point line 27.3% to 19.0%.
Defensively, UO forced 18 turnovers and made the most out of those plays by scoring 26 points off of turnovers. Freshman Dominic Artis led the team with three steals, while Singler and Kazemi recorded two each.
After heading into halftime with a 41-20 lead, the Ducks went on a four-minute drought before Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings received two technical fouls and was ejected from the game. Singler hit three of the four free throws, followed by a three-point shot to extend Oregon's lead.
A three-point play by Emory on a fast break put the Ducks up by 21 with 9:34 left in the game. The Commodores responded with a three-pointer, but senior guard Johnathan Loyd threw an alley-oop pass to Emory who finished the play with a reverse dunk to put the crowd on its feet. Oregon scored the next eight points, putting the game completely out of reach.
GLOBAL SPORTS CHALLENGE
The Nov. 10 and Nov. 19 wins over Northern Arizona and Jacksonville State, respectively, at Matthew Knight Arena were the first two games of the Global Sports Challenge. The invitational also includes this weekend's games against UNLV and either Cincinnati or Iowa State.
TWO FRESHMEN LEAD THE WAY
Freshmen Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis have logged 102 and 101 minutes, respectively, through the first for games for Oregon. Dotson's 25.5 minutes per game leads the team, while Artis (25.25 minute per game) sits in a second-place tie with senior E.J. Singler. In addition, the two rookies are the only players to have played in at least 30 minutes in a game this season. Dotson paced the Ducks with 30 minutes in the season-opener against Northern Arizona and Artis led the way the following game versus Portland State. Offensively, both Dotson and Artis have scored in double figures in three of the first four games.
WOODS POSTS CAREER NIGHT IN WIN OVER JACKSONVILLE STATE
Senior center Tony Woods recorded career-bests in four categories in Oregon's 67-45 victory over Jacksonville State at Matthew Knight Arena on Monday night (Nov. 19). His eight field goals made and 12 field goal attemps were each career-highs and his eight buckets and one free throw led to a career-high 17 points. Additionally, Woods blocked five Jacksonville State shots, which tied his previous high set on Dec. 12, 2011 against Portland State.
LOYD ECLIPSES 200-ASSIST MARK
Junior guard Johnathan Loyd dished out two assists in UO's victory over Jacksonville State on Monday night to give him 201 for his career. In 77 career games, the Las Vegas, Nev., native is averaging 2.6 assists per game. In four games this year, Loyd is averaging 2.75 assists per game, which ranks second behind only E.J. Singler (3.25 apg).
KAZEMI TOPS THE UO REBOUNDING CATEGORY IN FIRST TWO GAMES
Arsalan Kazemi, who was cleared to play for Oregon in 2012-13 by the NCAA on Nov. 15 after transferring from Rice University, led the Ducks in rebounding in their victories over Vanderbilt and Jacksonville State. Kazemi posted a team-high seven rebounds last Friday against the Commodores and followed that performance with a game-high eight boards against Jacksonville State. His career-high rebounding mark (19) was set with Rice on Feb. 2, 2011 in a game at Tulane.
LIKE OREGON, UNLV (2-0) HANDLES BOTH NORTHERN ARIZONA AND JACKSONVILLE STATE
UNLV's two wins this season have come against teams that UO has also defeated. On Nov. 12, the Rebels topped Northern Arizona, 92-54, before defeating Jacksonville State, 77-58, on Nov. 17. Oregon beat Northern Arizona by just 10 points to open the season. The two teams played even in the second half (38-38).
DUCKS SIGN THREE TO 2013-14 CLASS
On Nov. 20, Oregon men's basketball coach Dana Altman announced the signing of three players for UO's 2013-14 class: A.J. Lapray, Cristiano Felicio and Jordan Bell.
Lapray, a 6-4 shooting guard at Sprague High School in Salem, Ore., who had drawn interest from other Pac-12 programs and prominent schools the West Coast, signed his National Letter of Intent on Monday at the Sprague's gym. A member of the Grassroots Canada AAU team, Lapray was a second-team Class 6A all-state selection as a prep junior and averaged 20.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He was also named Central Valley Conference co-player of the year. Lapray is the nephew of Mike McShane, who played for UO from 1996 to 1999.
Felicio, a 6-9 post from Brazil, is expected to bring a wealth of international experience to Eugene. As a member of Brazil's ninth-place team at the 2011 U-19 World Championships, Felicio averaged 9.5 points on 75.6% shooting, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over eight games. He was also a solid performer at the 2011 Pan American Games and the 2011 Nike Global Challenge.
Bell signed a National Letter of Intent committing to the Ducks Wednesday during an assembly at his school. The 6-8, 225-pound prep senior was the first signee in UO's 2013-14 class. Bell held offers from several major programs, but told his local newspaper that he chose the Ducks, in part, because: "I like the way they use their bigs, that they get up and down the court." Considered one of the top defensive players in the state of California, the four-star prospect has also been termed "one of the nation's top athletes and most tenacious rebounders" by Rivals.com, which ranked him 70th on its list of the nation's top 150 recruits. He is listed 14th nationally for his position. Bell played his AAU ball for the Compton Magic. In his junior season at Long Beach Poly, he averaged 8.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks, while recording three triple-doubles on the season.
The three players are early signees for UO. NCAA Basketball's early signing period was Nov. 14 through Nov. 21. The regular signing period is April 17 to March 15, 2013.
Non-conference games against Nevada-Las Vegas, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Nevada and Texas-El Paso and a Pac-12 slate that features 18 televised contests are among the highlights of men's basketball schedule.
Along with the three 2012 NCAA Tournament teams at the front of the season - Vanderbilt, UNLV and Cincinnati - Oregon will also contend with NCAA participants Colorado and California in the Pac-12, as well as NIT final four teams Stanford and Washington. Other opponents who advanced to the postseason in 2012 included Arizona and Nevada in the NIT and Oregon State and Washington State in the College Basketball Invitational.
In addition to the Pac‐12 Conference schools on the schedule, the Ducks will battle teams from 10 different conferences: Big Ten, SEC, Mountain West (twice), Conference USA, Big Sky (three times), Ohio Valley, Western Athletic Conference, SWAC, Great West and either the Big East or Big XII.
SINGLER AN ALL-AROUND, ALL-TIME DUCK
E.J. Singler has scored 1,165 points in 109 career games (10.7 ppg) which ranks 23rd in school history. He is just the 13th player at UO to amass over 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds (1,165 points and 566 rebounds).
A year ago, Singler ranked second on the team with 461 total points (13.6 ppg) and grabbed a team-high 189 total rebounds (5.6 rpg). Singler also ranked second nationally and led the Pac-12 Conference in free throw percentage (.909, 110-of-121). This year, his 12.75 points per game (51 total) leads all UO scorers.
His career free throw percentage currently ranks third in school history (.864, 280-of-324). Singler entered the 2012-13 season as the conference's active career leader in points (1,126), while ranking third in both rebounds (554) and 3-pointers made (132).
Singler reached double-figures in scoring in 28-of-34 games last season. He has scored 10 or more points in 65 of his 109 career games. He also led the Ducks in rebounding on 12 occasions last year (34 times in his career). Singler was one of two Ducks to start every game in 2011-12 (joined by Garrett Sim). Singler has started the last 80 games dating back to his freshman season. He started all 39 games as a sophomore and 22-of-32 games as a freshman.
SINGLER NAMED TO NABC ALL-DISTRICT 20 SECOND TEAM
E.J. Singler was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 20 Second Team for his play in 2011-12. The teams were selected and voted on by the NABC member coaches. The last Oregon player recognized as part of the NABC All-District 20 teams was Joevan Catron, who earned second team recognition in 2010-11.
WOODS PROVED TO BE A MAJOR FACTOR ON THE DEFENSIVE END
Last season, Tony Woods ranked third in the Pac-12 with 51 blocks (1.6 bpg). Woods rejected 28 shots (1.6 bpg) in the Ducks' 18 regular-season conference games last year (he only played in 17 of those). As a team, UO ranked tied for fifth among Pac-12 teams for blocks (3.6 bpg) a year ago. In his first season with UO, Woods set a new single-season school record for blocks, moving past Blair Rasmussen (42 blocks in the 1983-84 season).
RETURNING DUCKS AS PART OF ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
E.J. Singler and Tony Woods were honored as part of the Pac-12 All-Conference teams a year ago. Singler received second team honors, while Woods earned honorable mention consideration for the Pac-12's All-Defensive Team. Also recognized for last year's all-conference squads were out-going seniors Devoe Joseph and Garrett Sim. Joseph earned first team all-conference recognition and Sim was recognized as honorable mention all-conference.
Dana Altman added nine newcomers to the Oregon men's basketball team during the offseason, a group made up of six prep standouts and three transfers.
Waverly Austin (6-11, 275, C, Jr.): Florida JC Player of they Year, averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks per game in sophomore campaign at Palm Beach State College ... Averaged a field goal percentage of .59 and a free throw percentage of .82 ... Made the first team of the 2012 NJCAA men's All American Team ...Voted Player of the Year in the Southern Conference.
Arik Armstead (6-8, 260, F, Fr.): A three-year starter in basketball at Pleasant Grove High School ... Graduated early from PGHS and enrolled at Oregon for the 2012 Spring quarter ... Entered senior season listed at No. 3 in NorCalPrep.com's Top 40 boys basketball rankings for Class of 2012 ... Averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game as a senior before cutting short his prep career to focus on collegiate football.
Dominic Artis (5-11, 175, G, Fr.): Played senior season at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. ... Helped lead the Pilots to a 32-1 record and an ESPNHS National High School Invitational title in 2011-12 ... Averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game as a senior ... Shot 52.7 percent on field goals and 33.7 percent on 3-pointers ... Played freshman through junior seasons at Salesian High School in Richmond, Calif. ... Averaged 14 points and 4.1 assists per game as a junior at SHS ... As a freshman in 2009, helped lead SHS to California's Division IV state title ... Played AAU basketball for the Oakland Soldiers.
Coleton Baker (6-3, 180, G, Jr.): Played 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons at Umpqua CC in Roseburg, Ore. ... Was a first team all-conference selection in 2011-12 ... Ranked as the top scorer in the Northwest Atheletic Association of Community Colleges South Region as a sophomore averaging more than 24 points per game ... Played prep basketball at Oakland High School in both his junior and senior seasons ... Earned first team all-state recognition as a senior ... A two-time all-conference selection while at OHS ... Played freshman and sophomore seasons at Sutherlin High School.
Ben Carter (6-8, 215, F): Played prep basketball at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev. ... Sat most of senior season with an injury ... Averaged 10.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as a senior ... Was a third team all-state selection and an all-conference honoree in 2011-12 ... Averaged 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per outing as a junior ... Also earned all-state and all-conference recognition in junior season ... Helped lead BGHS to a 25-6 overall record in 2010-11 ... A member of the BGHS squad that won a state title in his sophomore season ... Played AAU basketball for the Las Vegas Lakers.
Damyean Dotson (6-6, 190, G): Played prep basketball at Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas ... Averaged 21 points and five rebounds per game as a senior ... Named 2012 Greater Houston Player of the Year by the Houston Chronicle ... Selected as 4A All-State, All-Region 3 and All-District 21 in his senior season ... Led JYHS to the 4A state title game scoring 23 points in a losing effort ... Registered 26 points in the semifinal round of the state tourney to send JYHS to the title game ... Averaged 18 points and six rebounds as a junior ... Recognized as the District 21 Newcomer of the Year ... Also an all-district performer as a junior ... Member of JYHS team that was a consensus No. 1 ranked prep team in the nation in 2009-10 ... Helped lead JYHS to a state title as a sophomore ... Played AAU basketball for Houston Hoops.
Arsalan Kazemi (6-7, 222, F, Jr.): In three seasons at Rice, he averaged a double-double for his career (12.6 ppg and 10.1 rpg) ... Scored 1,195 career points which currently ranks 21st all-time at Rice ... Also has 963 career rebounds which ranks third all-time at Rice ... Is a career 54.9 percent shooter ... Ranks second in all-time free throws (421), second in career free throw attempts (620), fourth in career steals (154) and third in career blocks (84) ... Posted 45 career double-doubles which ranked third all-time at Rice ... Led Rice in scoring 34 times during his career and was the team's leading rebounder in 80 of 95 games he played in an Owl uniform ... Played his senior year of high school at The Patterson School located near Lenoir, North Carolina ... Scout.com ranked him 82nd overall in the 2009 prep signing class.
Willie Moore (6-4, 195, G, Fr.): Played prep basketball at Aiken High School in Cincinnati, Ohio ... A Division II-IV first team selection by the Cincinnati Enquirer as a senior ... Averaged 16.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in 2011-12 ... Named team MVP as a junior ... Averaged 14 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.9 steals in the 2010-11 season ... Also considered South Carolina, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech ... Played AAU ball for the Cincinnati Knights and All-Ohio Purple.
Fred Richardson III (6-6, 190, G): Played prep basketball at Clear Brook High School in Clear Brook, Tex. ... Is the all-time leading scorer at CBHS with 1,820 career points in four seasons as a varsity player ... Helped high school team to a 29-4 overall record in 2011-12 ... Averaged 20.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game as a senior ... Was a 5A All-Region 3 honoree ... Named to the All-District 24 team where he was recognized as both the Overall MVP and Offensive MVP ... Earned all-tournament honors for District 24 ... Shot 50 percent on field goals and 36 percent from behind the 3-point arc in 2011-12 ... Scored 20 or more points on 20 occasions in his senior campaign ... Reached double-figures in scoring in all but one of his 33 outings in 2011-12 ... Averaged 19.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a junior ... Named first team All-District 24 and Offensive MVP in junior season ... Played AAU basketball for the Houston Defenders.
ALTMAN TO FACE UNLV FOR THE FIRST TIME
Oregon head coach Dana Altman will square off against UNLV for the first time in his career on Friday night in Las Vegas. The game featuring the Ducks and Rebels also marks just the fourth meeting all-time between the two schools. Oregon leads the series, 2-1, over UNLV. Altman has also never coached against one of Saturday's potential opponents, Cincinnati, but is 3-6 in his career against the Cyclones of Iowa State. Altman went 0-1 versus Iowa State during his tenure at Creighton and finished 3-5 against the Cyclones while he coached at Kansas State.