NO. 21 DUCKS KNOCK OFF USC, HEAD TO #24 UCLA SATURDAY AFTERNOON
The 21st-ranked Oregon men’s basketball team hit the road for just the fourth and fifth time this season to take on conference rivals USC and 24th-ranked UCLA. On Thursday, Oregon snuck by USC at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, 76-74, on ESPNU. On Saturday, the Ducks play UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on CBS at 1 p.m.
Oregon is 15-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the Pac-12 conference. The Ducks have won six straight games and 10 of 11 overall. Meanwhile, UCLA leads the Pac-12 with a 5-0 record. The Bruins are 15-3 overall and have won 10 consecutive games, including eight in a row at Pauley Pavilion.
OREGON RANKED NATIONALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2007
The Ducks’ wins over then-No. 4 Arizona and Arizona State last week propelled them to their first national ranking since being ranked 23rd in the Associated Press poll on Dec. 17, 2007. That same week, the Ducks lost to Oakland (Dec. 23, 2007) to knock them out of the Dec. 24 rankings. Oregon is currently ranked 21st in the AP Poll; the Pac-12 has three teams ranked in this week’s Associated Press Top-25 Poll (No. 7 Arizona, No. 21 Oregon, No. 24 UCLA).
DUCKS EARN PAC-12 ROAD WIN AT USC
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) - Damyean Dotson scored 16 points and No. 21 Oregon overcame poor shooting night and the hot hand of USC’s J.T. Terrell to win its sixth straight game, 76-74 on Thursday night.
The Ducks (15-2, 4-0 Pac-12) opened with four straight conference wins for the first time in 39 years when they started 4-0 in the Pac-8.
USC (7-11, 2-3) was coming off a victory over Utah last week, but it marked the final game for coach Kevin O’Neill, who was fired on Monday. Bob Cantu, in his 12th season as an assistant with the program, is the interim coach.
The Trojans were down 75-67 with 2:11 remaining. Terrell, who had 22 points, made two free throws to cut Oregon’s lead to 75-74 with 33.1 seconds left. USC was able to get the ball back but missed a 3-pointer and a couple of putbacks with Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi finally grabbing the rebound.
DUCKS SEEK FIRST 5-0 START IN 39 YEARS
Oregon is 4-0 in the Pac-12 for the first time since the 1973-74 season, when the conference was known as the Pac-8. The Ducks began the 1973-74 season 5-0 in the Pac-8 before losing to No. 1 UCLA, 84-66, on Feb. 8, 1974 in Los Angeles.
DUCKS EXTEND HOME-COURT WINNING STREAK TO 18 GAMES
With wins over Arizona and Arizona State, Oregon has now won 18 straight games at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks won six straight at home to wrap up the 2011-12 season; their last loss at home came on Jan. 29, 2012 against Oregon State (76-71). Oregon’s winning streak at home currently ranks seventh in the nation.
ALTMAN PICKED SEVENTH IN RECENT X’s AND O’s POLL
Oregon head coach Dana Altman was picked seventh in a recent poll conducted by ESPN that ranked the best “X’s and O’s” coaches in college basketball. The top-ten list (number of votes and first-place votes are in parentheses) is below:
1. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke (49, 4)
2. Bill Self, Kansas (43, 1)
3. Tom Izzo, Michigan State (41)
4. Rick Pitino, Louisville (33)
5. Brad Stevens, Butler (30)
6. Billy Donovan, Florida (13)
7. Dana Altman, Oregon (12)
8. Bob Huggins, West Virginia (10)
9. Bo Ryan, Wisconsin (7)
10. John Beilein, Michigan (6)
UO DOWNS ARIZONA SCHOOLS FOR FIFTH TIME IN EIGHT YEARS
Oregon’s 70-66 win over Arizona and 68-65 triumph over Arizona State last week marks the second straight season that the Ducks have beaten both schools in the same season and fifth time they have accomplished the feat in the last eight years. Oregon also did so during the 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns.
CLUTCH FREE THROWS TAKE DOWN SUN DEVILS
Oregon extended its winning streak to three games over Arizona State on Sunday night thanks in large part to its performance at the charity stripe. The Ducks made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch and shot 14-of-15 (93.3 percent) from the line for the night. UO’s free throw shooting performance was its best since converting all 11 free throw attempts in an 86-83 loss at California on Feb. 16, 2012.
DUCKS OVERCOME POOR SHOOTING NIGHT AT HOME
UO overcame its second-worst shooting percentage at home this season to beat Arizona State on Sunday night. The Ducks shot just 24-of-59 (40.7 percent) from the field; they only put up a lower number at home on Dec. 31 against Nevada when they shot at a 39.5 percent clip. Oregon’s victory over the Sun Devils marked the first time it beat an opponent when shooting a lower percentage than the opposition (ASU shot 47.3 percent from the field). The Ducks are a perfect 13-0 when shooting better than their opponent.
HEATING UP FROM BEHIND THE ARC
After shooting a combined 9-of-34 (26.5 percent) from 3-point range against Nevada (Dec. 31) and Oregon State (Jan. 6), the Ducks have found their groove from behind the arc. Oregon shot 13-of-22 (59.1 percent) from 3-point land in its wins over Arizona and Arizona State, its best two-game stretch of the season. In fact, the Ducks have shot over 50 percent from deep just one other time this season, hitting nine of their 16 attempts (56.3 percent) in a Dec. 22 win over Houston Baptist. Oregon was 7-of-11 against Arizona and 6-of-11 versus Arizona State.
SINGLER APPROACHING ALL-TIME TOP-10 IN STEALS CATEGORY
Senior forward E.J. Singler picked up two steals in Oregon’s win over Arizona State on Sunday evening to give him 95 for his career. He is just eight steals away from tying Tajuan Porter and Garrett Sim for 10th on Oregon’s all-time steals list. Porter and Sim each tallied 103 steals in their four-year careers with the Ducks.
SINGLER CONTINUES TO CLIMB UO’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
E.J. Singler scored 14 points on Thursday night to bring his career total to 1,292. He currently ranks 17th all-time and is just nine points away from catching Charlie Warren (1,301) for 16th all-time. Last week, Singler passed Maarty Leunen and Terrell Brandon, who are 19th and 18th, respectively, on Oregon’s all-time scoring list.
SINGLER BROTHERS STILL SIT IN 20TH ALL-TIME IN BROTHER SCORING COMBINATIONS
E.J. Singler and brother Kyle Singler, who played four years (2007-11) and won a national championship at Duke University (2010) have combined for 3,699 in their careers. They currently rank 20th all-time in brother scoring combinations. Other active scoring combinations include the Curry family; Steph and Seth Curry are now in fifth place with 4,417 points after Seth netted 24 points in Duke’s win over Georgia Tech on Thursday to pass Larry and Eddie Bird.
WOODS FOUR BLOCKS SHY OF THIRD ALL-TIME
Tony Woods played his first two years of collegiate basketball at Wake Forest but he has made a lasting impact during his last two years of eligibility in Eugene, Ore. Woods, a senior center, has blocked 72 shots in his 49 games as an Oregon Duck (nearly 1.5 bpg). His 72 career blocks rank sixth in Oregon history and he is just two blocks away from tying Henry Madden and Fred Jones, who each recorded 74 career blocks, for fourth all-time. Three more blocks would tie him with Chris Christoffersen (75 career blocks) for third place in Oregon history and four additional blocks would give Woods third place all to himself. Woods’ career-high for blocks in a single game is five, which he has done twice, most recently on Nov. 19, 2012 in Oregon’s win over Jacksonville State.
DUCKS DEFENSE HAS HELD FIVE OPPONENTS UNDER 50 POINTS
Oregon’s 56-43 win over Nevada on Dec. 31 at Matthew Knight Arena marked the fifth time this season that the Ducks have held an opponent under 50 points during a game. The five games is the most by a Duck team in 30 years and the most since the 1982-83 team held seven opponents to less than 50 points. Overall, dating back to the 1938-39 National Championship team, the five sub-50 point efforts by Ducks’ opponents ranks 15th all-time, with 13 of the 15 coming before the 1960-61 season.
OREGON TOPS PAC-12 IN STEALS CATEGORY
The Ducks are averaging 9.1 steals per game this season (154 total), which leads the Pac-12 by 1.1 steals per game. UCLA is in second, averaging 8.0 steals per game.
KAZEMI, ARTIS PACE CONFERENCE IN STEALS; KAZEMI THIRD IN REBOUNDING
Senior Arsalan Kazemi enters the weekend averaging 2.3 steals per game, which leads the Pac-12 and ranks in the top-35 nationally. Freshman Dominic Artis comes into the game with 1.9 steals per contest, good enough for fourth place in the conference. Additionally, Kazemi is averaging 9.5 rebounds per game, which ranks third in the Pac-12.