Oregon (9-1, 0-0 Pac-12) travels to El Paso, Texas, to play just its second true road game of the season against the UTEP Miners (3-4, 0-0 CUSA). The Ducks are 1-0 all-time against the Miners. The only previous meeting came a season ago when Oregon knocked off UTEP in Eugene, 64-59, on Nov. 29, 2011.
The red-hot Ducks are off to their best start at home (8-0) since the 2007-08 season, when they also started 8-0. Oregon dealt Nebraska a 60-38 loss on Saturday, Dec. 15, in front of 6,102 fans at Matthew Knight Arena. Senior Arsalan Kazemi recorded his second double-double of the season in the win, posting 10 points and 17 rebounds. Kazemi enters Wednesday’s game against UTEP averaging 9.4 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game, good for third in the Pac-12.
OREGON ON THE ROAD
Wednesday’s game at UTEP marks the Ducks’ second true road game of the season. In its only other road game of the season, Oregon beat 18th-ranked UNLV, 83-79, on Nov. 23 in Las Vegas, Nev. The Ducks’ lone loss of the season also came in Las Vegas but it was considered a neutral-site contest. Cincinnati, ranked 22nd at the time, beat UO 77-66 on Nov. 24.
UTEP AT HOME
UTEP is 3-0 entering the week in games played at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso. The Miners play UNLV at home on Monday (Dec. 17). They have already beaten Oral Roberts, New Mexico State and Idaho at home this year.
OREGON VERSUS CONFERENCE USA OPPONENTS
The Ducks are 8-4 all-time against Conference USA opponents. Oregon’s last matchup against a Conference USA team was the 64-59 triumph over UTEP last season.
DUCK DEFENSE TURNS BACK THE CLOCK
Oregon held the visiting Nebraska Cornhuskers to just 38 points on Saturday and allowed just 35 points to Idaho State the game before. The two games marked the first time that Oregon has held opponents to under 40 points in back-to-back games since the 1946-47 season. That year, the Ducks held Bruno Studios and Fees Rollerdome to 17 and 33 points, respectively.
Nebraska was also already the fourth opponent that UO has held under 50 points, the most since the 1983-84 campaign, when the Ducks also held their opponents under 50 points four times. Oregon has allowed under 50 points to an opposing team just twice in the 2011-12, 2010-11 and 2009-10 seasons.
WOODS POSTS TWO BLOCKS TO MOVE INTO SEVENTH ALL-TIME
Duck senior center Tony Woods recorded two blocks in the win over Nebraska to give him 66 in his career at Oregon and move him past Michael Dunigan (65 blocks) for seventh on UO’s all-time block list. Including games played at Wake Forest, Woods has 103 career blocks.
DOTSON CONTINUES TO LEAD THE WAY
Freshman Damyean Dotson remains Oregon’s team-leader in scoring through the first 10 games of the year. Dotson posted another eight points on Saturday to give him 110 for the season, good enough for 11.0 points per game. E.J. Singler follows Dotson with 10.7 ppg., Tony Woods is averaging 10.6 ppg. and Dominic Artis checks in with 10.2 ppg.
KAZEMI RECORDS SEASON-HIGH IN REBOUNDS
Senior Arsalan Kazemi posted his second double-double of the season on Saturday. The Esfahan, Iran, native scored 10 points and pulled down a season-high 17 rebounds. Kazemi’s rebounding total on Saturday fell just two boards shy of his career high of 19, which he set while playing at Rice on Feb. 2, 2011 at Tulane. Kazemi is the only player on the Oregon roster to record a double-double this season.
Kazemi enters the UTEP game averaging a team-high 10.3 rebounds per game. In addition to his rebounding output, Kazemi is sixth on UO in scoring. He is averaging 9.4 points per game (75 total in eight games played).
OREGON CLIMBS UP THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL CHARTS
Rebounding Margin (+11.1): 10th
Scoring Margin (+17.4) 16th
Steals Per Game (9.8): 20th
Free Throw Percentage (76.3): 26th
Field Goal Percentage (.479): 30th
Points Per Game (77.5): 39th
Steals Per Game: Arsalan Kazemi (3.5), 3rd
Dominic Artis (2.2), 62nd
Rebounds Per Game: Arsalan Kazemi (10.3), 20th
OREGON TRUE FRESHMEN AMONG NATION’S BEST
National Freshmen Combinations (through Dec. 16) *:
Team (# of FR) Points Rebounds Assists
Kentucky (4) 491 258 80
Tulsa (6) 408 189 62
UCLA (5) 401 164 57
UNLV (6) 328 135 44
Oregon(5) 302 110 60
Texas (7) 301 217 88
Central Michigan (6) 247 127 57
North Carolina (4) 239 141 50
N.C. State (3) 241 68 37
Utah (4) 181 100 31
Arizona (5) 170 131 23
Colorado (3) 164 74 10
Pittsburgh (3) 161 91 53
Indiana (4) 124 62 50
*Includes all true freshmen on team’s roster
SINGLER ECLIPSES 1,200-POINT MARK
E.J. Singler has scored 1,221 points in 115 career games (10.6 ppg) which puts him all alone in 20th place all-time. He is just the 13th player at UO to amass over 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds (1,208 points and 589 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 10.7 points per game (94 total) is second on the team behind Damyean Dotson (11.0 ppg).
His career free throw percentage currently ranks third in school history (.864, 293-of-339). He is just four one-hundreths of a percentage point away from tying Rob Closs (.868) for second all-time in the category. 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 68 of his 115 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 88 games dating back to his freshman season. He started all 39 games as a sophomore and 22 of 32 games as a freshman.
SINGLERS PASS O’BANNON’S TO MOVE TO 20TH ALL-TIME IN BROTHER SCORING COMBINATIONS
Oregon senior E.J. Singler has scored 1,221 career points in his career and, along with his brother (Kyle), is helping the Singler name climb the charts in the NCAA All-Time Scoring For Brother Combinations category. Kyle Singler, who played for Duke University from 2007-11 and was an integral part of the Blue Devils’ 2010 National Championship team, scored 2,392 points in his career.
Along with E.J.’s 1,221 points, the two have combined for 3,613 points, which ranks 20th all-time in brother scoring combinations. The Tripucka family (Tracy, Todd, T.K., Kelly) leads the way with 5,632 combined points. E.J. Singler is just 133 points away from moving the Singlers past the Herron family (Larry, Keith, Reggie) for 19th all-time.
OREGON TOPS PAC-12 IN STEALS CATEGORY
The Ducks are averaging 9.8 steals per game this season (98 total), which leads the Pac-12 by nearly one steal per game.
School G No. Avg/Gm
Oregon 10 98 9.8
Oregon State 9 80 8.9
Arizona 8 70 8.8
Arizona State 11 88 8.0
UCLA 10 75 7.5
Stanford 10 70 7.0
Colorado 10 63 6.3
KAZEMI, ARTIS PACE CONFERENCE IN STEALS; KAZEMI IN REBOUNDING TOP-FIVE
Senior Arsalan Kazemi enters Saturday averaging 3.5 steals per game, which leads the Pac-12 and ranks third nationally. Freshman Dominic Artis comes into the game with 2.2 steals per contest, good enough for a third place tie in the conference. Additionally, Kazemi is averaging 10.3 rebounds per game, which ranks third in the Pac-12.
Pac-12 Steals Leaders
Player G No. Avg/Gm
Arsalan Kazemi (ORE) 8 28 3.5
Nick Johnson (ARIZ) 8 23 2.9
Andre Roberson (COL) 10 22 2.2
Dominic Artis (ORE) 10 22 2.2
Carrick Felix (ASU) 11 22 2.0
Chasson Randle (STAN) 10 19 1.9
Evan Gordon (ASU) 11 20 1.8
OREGON STARTS 8-0 AT MATTHEW KNIGHT ARENA
The Ducks’ convincing win over Nebraska game them their eighth home win in as many tries to begin the 2012-13 season. The 8-0 start is the best since the 2007-08 season, when UO started 8-0 as well. The Ducks started 9-0 in 2006-07, a mark that the 2012-13 Oregon squad can match on Dec. 22 against Houston Baptist. Oregon’s best home season in school history came during the 2001-02 season, when the Ducks completed a perfect 16-0 season. That year, Oregon advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Maryland, the eventual national champion.
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 UNLV, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Nevada and UTEP 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 the Big East.