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Release Date: 01/24/2014
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Oregon will try to get back on the winning side of the ledger on the rolling hills of the Palouse when the Ducks take on Washington State Sunday at 4 p.m. in Pullman. This will be the 286th meeting between the Ducks and Cougars, a relative youngster among the Northwest rivalries with Oregon and Oregon State have played an NCAA-high 340 times and Oregon and Washington putting game 296 in the books on Thursday. The Cougars are allowing just 64.7 points per game (3rd in the Pac-12). Both teams feature the three-point shot heavily in their respective arsenals, with Oregon second in the league at 7.5 triples per game, and the Cougs at 7.2. WSU attempts nearly 22 three-pointers per game.

1 - Victory within reach. In each of the last five games, the Ducks have been a handful of plays or less from victory. There have been four single-digit losses, including one by two points (Stanford) and another by four (Washington). Even the 13-point loss to Cal was a just six-point ball game at the under 4:00 media timeout.

2 - Sunday, lucky Sunday. Sunday’s game at Washington State will mark the ninth Sunday game for Oregon already in the 2013-14 season. All told, the Ducks will play a league-high 11 Sunday games this year.

3 - Bench points. Oregon’s bench continues to be productive in 2013-14. The reserves chipped in with 37 points Thursday night against Washington, which followed a season-best 47-point bench effort Jan. 19 at Oregon State. On the season, the bench has tallied 558 points for an average of 31.0 per game. Opponents are getting 18.9 per game from reserves (341 total). Other big games from the bench include 44 in the OT win versus Brigham Young, 43 against both San Francisco and North Dakota, 38 versus UC Irvine and 36 in the OT win at Ole Miss.

4 - Oregon leads the Pac-12 and is fourth nationally in points per game (86.8). The Ducks are also among the national leaders in free throw percentage (.776/3rd).

5 - Oregon has forced opponents into double-digit turnovers in 16 of 18 games this season including a season-high 20 Jan. 19 by Oregon State.

And One - Oregon leads the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.776) with three of the top five free throw shooters in the league. Jason Calliste is first at .884, Johnathan Loyd is fifth at .877 and Joseph Young is fifth at .859. Damyean Dotson is also over 80 percent (.818).

Senior Mike Moser needs another 24 points to become the third player on the 2013-14 team to score 1,000 career points. Moser netted 690 points at UNLV and 36 at UCLA before graduating and transferring to Oregon for his final season. Joseph Young recently reached the 1,000 point milestone of his NCAA career. Young scored 916 points in two seasons at Houston, and has added another 324 this year for 1,140 career points. He joins Jason Calliste, who surpassed 1,000 career points in three seasons at Detroit, in the 1,000-point club.

The Ducks also undefeated when shooting better than the opponent (11-0), but only 2-5 when being out-shot. Thursday marked the first time this season that the Ducks lost when out-rebounding the opposition. Oregon had been 9-0 in that category this year.

The Ducks have scored at least 80 points in 13 of 18 games this season. Oregon has also gone over 90 points eight times and 100 four times. Oregon has put up those big scoring totals through a collaborative effort. Oregon has had at least four players score in double figures in 10 of the last 14 games. The Ducks have also had five reach double figure five times, and six twice.

The Ducks have had at least 15 assists 11 times in 18 games this season. In fact, Oregon has been held below 10 assists just twice this year: 7 at Utah (Jan. 2) and 6 at Oregon State (Jan. 19).

Thursday at Washington, Johnathan Loyd became the sixth Duck with 400 career assists (401). He’s now 21 behind Luke Jackson (424/2000-04) for fifth. Earlier this season, Loyd recorded a pair of impressive assists totals. First, he tied the Matthew Knight Arena record with 13 assists Nov. 29 against Pacific. Former Duck Malcolm Armstead also had 13 assists at MKA against Oregon State in 2011. A week later, Loyd set a career high with 15 assists Dec. 8 at Ole Miss. He also just missed a career high with 23 points, but did record the first double-double of his career. The 15 assists were the second-highest single game total in school history. Only the great Ronnie Lee had a bigger assist game at Oregon, doling out 17 in a 116-77 win over Villanova (12-23-74). Already this season, Loyd has passed a trio of Oregon legends on the Ducks’ career assists list; he’s gone by Kamikaze Kids’ point guard Mike Drummond (309/1974-78) for eighth, NBA all-star Terrell Brandon (315/1990-91) and former NBA player Fred Jones (367/1998-02) for sixth. On the steals chart, Loyd moved by current Houston Rocket Aaron Brooks (127/2003-07) for seventh in career steals Jan. 2 against Utah. Loyd now has 135 total swipes.

Oregon opened the regular season on Nov. 8 by defeating Georgetown 82-75 in the Armed Forces Classic on Army Base Camp Humphreys in South Korea. The Ducks travelled more than 12,000 miles round trip to participate in a game that honored the troops serving America. The crowd in attendance consisted entirely of active military members and their families based at Camp Humphreys. At the end of the game, Oregon players removed their jerseys and gave them to the troops, who had stormed the court to celebrate with the Ducks.

The team also got a helicopter hangar tour, where the servicemen and women who fly and maintain four different types of helicopters - Chinook, Blackhawk, Apache and Kiowa - showed off their impressive machines. The Ducks also served lunch to the troops, had a meet and greet at the gym and conducted a kids’ clinic. Said Oregon coach Dana Altman after the game, “the servicemen and women came out and cheered for us and made us feel like we were the best team in America, but it’s those men and women who are the real heroes. Our guys are going to remember this experience for a long time.”

Oregon continues to remember the troops they met in South Korea by breaking their team huddle with the Army cry “HOO-AH” as opposed to the traditional “TEAM.”

Football defensive lineman Aric (pronounced Eric) Armstead rejoined the basketball team following the Ducks’ victory over Texas in the Alamo Bowl. The 6-8, 280-lbs. Armstead redshirted the basketball season a year ago. Oregon also added Providence transfer Brandon Austin to the roster. Austin was a top-50 rated prep player who helped Imhotep Charter High School record a 28-5 mark and capture the PIAA AAA championship in as a senior in 2013. He will be eligible to play for Oregon at the conclusion of the 2014 fall quarter.

The Ducks have five backcourt players who combined to play nearly 5,000 minutes in 2012-13, and own more than 500 career three-pointers at the NCAA Division I level. The breakdown in 3’s: Jason Calliste - 203, Joseph Young - 157, Johnathan Loyd - 68, Damyean Dotson - 63, Dominic Artis - 37.

Now with 86 victories in an Oregon uniform, Johnathan Loyd trails only former teammate E.J. Singler, who won 89 times as a Duck from 2009-13. Loyd became the sixth member of Oregon’s 80-win club. That list now looks like: Singler (89), Loyd (86), Fred Jones (81), Joevan Catron (81), Luke Jackson (80) and Dick Wilkins (80).

Damyean Dotson has a couple of overtime game-winners to his credit this year. He had the steal and dunk with :00.6 left in overtime to lift Oregon to the 70-68 win Jan. 2 at Utah. Earlier in the season, he made the go-ahead lay-in with :35 left in overtime as the Ducks topped BYU 100-96 on Dec. 21.

California was the sixth 2013 NCAA Tournament team the Ducks have played this season. So far Oregon is 4-2 against 2013 NCAA Tournament squads with wins over Georgetown, Pacific, Ole Miss and Illinois, and losses to Colorado and Cal.

Oregon tied a school record by reaching the century mark for the fourth time this season Dec. 21 against Brigham Young. It is just the third time in 109 seasons of basketball that the Ducks have scored 100 points four times in the same season. Oregon has never had more than four 100-point games in the same year. The Ducks last had four 100-point games in the same year in 2001-02. Oregon first accomplished that feat in 1995-96.

All nine newcomers have seen action for the Ducks this season. Senior transfers Mike Moser (UNLV), Jason Calliste (Detroit) and Richard Amardi (Indian Hills CC), junior transfers Joseph Young (Houston) and Brian Crow (Sonoma State), and sophomore transfer Elgin Cook (Northwest Florida State) all played in the season opener versus Georgetown. Those six players combined to score 66 of Oregon’s 82 points versus the Hoyas. Freshman Theo Friedman became the seventh newcomer to play this season when he entered the Western Carolina game. Freshman A.J. Lapray made it eight newcomers with his debut in the Utah Valley game. The last newcomer on the roster, Jalil Abdul-Bassit, made his debut against San Francisco

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