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EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon men’s basketball team (20-8, 11-5) will host Colorado (19-9, 11-5) and Utah (6-22, 3-13) this week at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks-Buffaloes contest is scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (PT), while the UO-Utah game is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Colorado has a 4-2 edge in the all-time series with Oregon. The Buffaloes enter the game having won three of their last four games. CU defeated Oregon earlier this year, 72-71. The last time the Ducks defeated the Buffaloes was back on March 17, 2004, a first round NIT game played at McArthur Court. Oregon’s Luke Jackson scored 40 points - including 29 straight in the second half and overtime - to help UO overcome an 18-point deficit en route to a 77-72 win.
Oregon is tied with Utah in the series history, 8-8. UO won 79-68 in this year’s first meeting with the Utes on Feb. 2. Utah is coming off a 58-57 home win over Stanford.
Tickets for both games (starting as low as $16) are available for purchase online at goducks.com or in-person at the Moshofsky Center Ticket Office (M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and the Matthew Knight Arena Box Office (M-F, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.).
Fans can also choose the Men's Basketball Finale Package, which includes a ticket to both the Colorado and Utah games for a total of $25.
OREGON - COLORADO LIVE COVERAGE
• TV: Fox Sports Net (ROOT Sports NW); Barry Tompkins, pxp; Marques Johnson, analyst; Rebecca Haarlow, reporter
• Radio: Oregon IMG Sports Network; Jerry Allen, play-by-play
• GoDucks.com: Live audio and stats
• Satellite radio: SIRIUS 139
• Twitter: @Geraghty_UO for in-game updates, stats, etc.
OREGON - UTAH LIVE COVERAGE
• TV: OSN on Comcast SportsNet NW; Andy McNamara, pxp; Jordan Kent, analyst
• Radio: Oregon IMG Sports Network; Jerry Allen, play-by-play
• GoDucks.com: Live audio, video and stats
• Satellite radio: SIRIUS 85, XM 85
• Twitter: @Geraghty_UO for in-game updates, stats, etc.
Complete media information (radio affiliates, TV schedule and information) is located on page 3 of this release.
DUCKS IN THE PAC-12 CONFERENCE TITLE CHASE
Oregon (11-5) is tied for fourth place (with CU) in the Pac-12 standings. If the league tourney began this week, UO would be a No. 5 seed and face No. 12 USC.
The Ducks are one of five teams vying for a first round bye at next week’s conference tournament (top four teams receive the opening-round bye). The best UO can finish is 13-5 in league play, which could potentially place them in a three- or four-way tie for first place. That would be contingent on a pair of Washington losses, and a Stanford victory over California.
Over half of UO’s league wins have come on the road (6-3) proving the Ducks to be one of the top road teams in the conference. The other 11 league schools are a combined 32-of-74 (.302) in road games this year. Oregon’s 6-3 road mark this year is its best since the 1999-00 season when the Ducks also went 6-3 in conference play.
The Ducks are No. 53 in this week’s NCAA RPI Rankings. Only two other Pac-12 schools rank higher (No. 36 Cal and No. 52 Washington).
OREGON LINEUP FEATURES EXPERIENCED SCORERS
Olu Ashaolu, E.J. Singler and Garrett Sim have all scored over 1,000 career points. A fourth Duck, Devoe Joseph (942 points), has a shot at joining that group.
Ashaolu entered the year with 1,006 career points in 100 games (all at LA Tech). In one year at UO, he’s totaled 243 points in 28 games (8.7 ppg). His combined total is 1,249 points in 128 games (9.8 ppg).
Singler reached the 1,000-point mark during his 20-point effort in UO’s recent road win over Stanford. He now has 1,028 points in 99 career games (10.4 ppg) which ranks 29th in school history.
Sim eclipsed the 1,000-point mark during his season-high 25-point effort last Sunday at Oregon State. Sim has 1,001 points in 130 career games (7.7 ppg) which ranks 32nd all-time in school history.
Joseph is 58 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point mark. He has 942 points in 98 career games (9.6 ppg) in split time at Minnesota (76 games, 583 points) and Oregon (22 games, 359 points).
OREGON REGISTERS BACK-TO-BACK 20-WIN SEASON
Dana Altman and the Ducks won their 20th game of the season this past Sunday at OSU, the second straight year for UO to tally 20+ wins. It marks just the third time in school history UO has produced consecutive seasons of 20+ wins.
It’s just the 13th time in school history that UO has won 20 games in a year.
Howard Hobson led Oregon to four straight 20-win seasons from the 1935-36 season through the 1938-39 campaign, the year UO won the NCAA title. The Ducks posted back-to-back 20-win seasons in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons under the direction of Ernie Kent.
Altman now has 14 seasons of 20+ wins to his credit (11 at Creighton, two at Oregon, one at Kansas State). Last year he became just the third UO head coach to tally 20+ wins in his first season.
SINGLER IS OREGON’S MR. CONSISTENCY
Junior forward E.J. Singler (bio on page 17) leads the team with 375 total points (13.4 ppg) and has grabbed a team-high 152 total rebounds (5.4 rpg). Singler has taken -- and made -- the most shots of any Duck this season (125-of-266, .470).
Singler has 1,028 points in 99 career games (10.4 ppg) which ranks 29th in school history. He recently became the 13th player in school history to amass over 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
Singler ranks first in the Pac-12 for free throw percentage (.897, 87-of-97). As of Feb. 27, Singler’s free throw percentage ranked ninth nationally. He also ranks third in school history for a career free throw percentage (.867, 242-of-279). Singler ranks among the Pac-12 active leaders in career statistics: fifth in rebounds (509) and sixth in points (1,028).
He’s reached double-figures in scoring in 23 of the 28 games this season. Singler has scored 10 or more points in 57 of his 99 career games at UO. He’s also led the Ducks in rebounding on eight occasions this season (and 30 times in his career).
Singler is one of two Ducks to have started every game this season (joined by Garrett Sim). In fact, Singler has started the last 73 games for UO dating back to his freshman season. He started all 39 games a year ago and 22-of-32 games as a freshman.
Season highlights include: Singler had 11 of his 13 points in the second half at Oregon State. He scored 20 points, including 10 straight in the second half, in a road win over Stanford. Singler was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week for Feb. 6-12 after leading Oregon to a home sweep of the Washington schools. Singler scored 23 points in a home win over WSU. He posted a 13-point and 13-rebound effort at Colorado for his first double-double of the season (fourth career). He scored a career-high 26 points in UO’s home win over UCLA (16-of-17 from the free throw line). He recorded 20 of UO’s 60 total points at Washington.
JOSEPH EMBRACES ROLE AS OREGON’S TOP SCORER
Since becoming eligible to compete on Dec. 10, senior guard Devoe Joseph (bio on page 20) has averaged a team-high 16.3 points per outing. He’s led the team in field goals made (121), field goals attempted (265) and minutes played (35.2 mpg) in those 22 games. The Ducks are 16-6 with him in the lineup.
Joseph has scored in double-figures in 14 straight games, and 21 of the 22 games he’s played this season. He also has a pair of 30-point efforts in the books (30 vs. Stanford, 33 at California). Joseph has led the team in scoring 10 times this season (the most of any Duck).
Now that he’s played in over 75 percent of UO’s games on the year, Joseph is eligible for top 10 rankings among Pac-12 players (all games). He currently ranks second in 3-pointers made per game (2.4) and minutes per game (35.2), fourth in scoring (16.3 ppg) and free throw percentage (.833), fifth in 3-point percentage (.433) and ninth in steals (1.4 spg).
The 6-4 guard from Toronto, Ontario, has bettered his scoring average to 17.1 points per game in Pac-12 games only, shooting 44.8 percent (39-of-87) on 3-pointers in those league games. He’s also shooting 84.7 percent on free throws (50-of-59) against Pac-12 teams.
Season highlights include: Joseph came off the bench to score a team-high 18 points in his Oregon debut against Fresno State. He tallied 19 points and a career-high five steals against Prairie View A&M. Joseph nearly registered a double-double with 10 points and a career-best eight rebounds against Stephen F. Austin. He had 17 points and matched a career-high with seven assists at Washington State. Joseph established a career-high with 30 points at home against Stanford to become the first UO player to score 30 points in a game since Tajuan Porter tallied 32 against Washington State on March 10, 2010. Joseph then set a new career-high with his 33-point effort at California last Thursday.
ASSIST TOTALS NO COINCIDENCE IN OREGON’S WINS THIS YEAR
Unselfish play has been a key in UO’s 20 victories this season, as the Ducks have recorded more assists than the opponent in 14 of those wins. Oregon is 14-2 this season when dishing out more assists than the opposition.
In the games where UO has more assists, the Ducks margin of victory is almost six points better than their season average for all games: +8.9 as compared to +3.8 in all games. Oregon’s two largest victories in 2011-12 are 25-point triumphs over Southeast Missouri State and Washington, both of which came in games when the Ducks had more assists than the opponent.
UO’s shooting percentages are also up with more assists: 49.1 percent versus 45.7 percent in all games. UO is also better from behind the 3-point arc: 39.9 percent versus 36.8 percent in all games.
The Ducks’ primary ball-handlers are largely responsible for UO’s assist totals in those games. Devoe Joseph (42), E.J. Singler (43), Garrett Sim (44) and Johnathan Loyd (58) have accounted for 187 of the 245 assists and collectively maintain a 1.6 assist to turnover ratio (187 a, 117 to) in those games.
WOODS MAKING AN IMPACT ON THE DEFENSIVE END
Junior center Tony Woods (bio on page 23) ranks third in the Pac-12 with 43 blocks (1.5 bpg). Woods has rejected 28 shots (1.8 bpg) in the Ducks’ 16 conference games this year. As a team, UO ranks fifth for blocks (3.5 bpg).
Woods had one block at OSU last Sunday and in the process set a new single-season school record for blocks. Woods moved past Blair Rasmussen who had 42 blocks in the 1983-84 season.
Woods had a career-high five blocks in the win over Portland State, the most blocks for a UO player since Dec. 31, 2009 (Dunigan at Washington State). That five-block game ranks tied for second in school history for most blocks in a single game.
As a team, the Ducks have a 10-2 record in games where they tally four or more blocks. UO’s only losses came in the season-opener at No. 7 Vanderbilt and in the home loss to Oregon State. In 27 of the 28 outings this season, Oregon has recorded at least one block. The Ducks are 9-1 this season when they record more blocks than their opponent (L, vs. Oregon State).
SIM AVERAGING CAREER-HIGHS THIS SEASON
Senior guard Garrett Sim (bio on page 11) is averaging career-highs in points per game (12.0 ppg), field goal percentage (.494, 114-of-231), 3-point percentage (.452, 56-of-124) and free throw percentage (.855, 53-of-62). He ranks third in the conference free throw percentage and 3-point percentage, while ranking eighth for 3-pointers made per game (2.0).
Sim’s does not have enough made field goals to qualify for the national rankings (minimum 5 FGs made/game; 2.5 3-PT FGs made/game). However, Sim’s 3-point field goal percentage would rank tied for 10th and his free throw percentage would rank 42nd nationally.
In 130 career games, Sim has 1,001 points (seventh) and 237 assists (eighth) which both rank in the top 10 of the Pac-12’s active career leaders. In addition, Sim’s 168 career 3-pointers ranks second and his 99 career steals ranks seventh.
Sim is on pace to match Joevan Catron’s modern school record for games played (133). Sim became the 32nd player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark in UO’s recent win at OSU. He moved into a tie for ninth all-time for career 3-pointers made (168). Sim is also just five steals shy of ranking 10th all-time at UO for career steals (99).
DUCKS ARE WINNING CLOSE GAMES THIS SEASON
Oregon is 13-3 this season in games decided by fewer than 10 points (6-2 in games decided by less than five points). UO’s only losses in those games came at California (86-83), at Colorado (72-71) and at home to Oregon State (76-71). The Pac-12 team with the next best mark in games decided by less than 10 points is Colorado (9-4).
In those tight games, the Ducks had the advantage in all three shooting percentages (UO / Opponent): overall field goal percentage (.460 / .446), 3-point percentage (.372 / .332) and free throw percentage (.730 / .670).
UO has closed-out several games on the free throw line. The Ducks are shooting 86.5 percent (83-of-96) from the charity stripe in the final five minutes of games decided by less than 10 points. A big difference from the 70.3 percent (418-of-595) they are making on the season.
UO’s primary ball handlers have been terrific at the line in crunch time of close games. E.J. Singler (.958, 23-of-24), Garrett Sim (.895, 17-of-19), Devoe Joseph (.870, 20-of-23) and Johnathan Loyd (.833, 10-of-12) are a combined 70-of-78 (.908) in those pressure situations.
UO FEATURES BALANCED SCORING ATTACK
Seven different Ducks have led the team in scoring this season: Devoe Joseph (10 times), E.J. Singler (eight times), Garrett Sim (seven times), Olu Ashaolu (twice) and Carlos Emory, Johnathan Loyd and Tony Woods (one time each).
Ten of UO’s 11 scholarship players have reached double-figures in scoring. The leaders in that category are Singler (23 times), Joseph (21) and Sim (17). Emory has reached double-figures in scoring six times this year, including five times in the last eight games. Ashaolu has scored 10 or more points in the last three games (and four of his last six outings).
Five different Ducks have dropped 20+ points in a game this season (Singler five times, Joseph four times; Sim four times; Ashaolu and Loyd once). Joseph has scored 30+ points on two occasions.
UO INKS THREE PLAYERS DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
Dana Altman announced the signing of three prep standouts to National Letters of Intent. Joining the Ducks beginning in 2012-13 are Dominic Artis (Richmond, Calif. / Findlay Prep), Ben Carter (Las Vegas, Nev. / Bishop Gorman HS) and Damyean Dotson (Houston, Texas / Jack Yates High School).
UO brought in a consensus top 25 recruiting class last season according to Scout.com (No. 20), Rivals.com (No. 21) and ESPN.com (No. 23).
Dominic Artis (5-11, 175, G): Is playing his senior season at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. ... 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 ... Also considered UCLA, California, St. Johns, Florida State, Memphis and Georgia Tech.
Ben Carter (6-8, 215, F): Is playing his senior season at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev. ... Helped lead BGHS to a 25-6 overall record as a junior ... A member of the BGHS squads that won a state title in his sophomore season (playing alongside current UO player Johnathan Loyd) ... Played AAU basketball for the Las Vegas Lakers ... Also considered USC, UNLV, San Diego State, Utah and New Mexico.
Damyean Dotson (6-6, 190, G): Is playing his senior season at Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas ... Member of JYHS team that was a consensus No. 1 ranked prep team in the nation in 2010 ... Helped lead JYHS to back-to-back state titles as a freshman and sophomore ... Played AAU basketball for Houston Hoops ... Also considered Arkansas, Georgetown, Colorado, Texas Tech and Baylor.
OREGON BASKETBALL ON THE INTERNET THIS SEASON
Live audio, video (for a fee on the O-Zone) and stats will be available for select home games on goducks.com. O-Zone features include: Live video streaming, on-demand video replays, live audio coverage and more.
UO basketball representatives will make periodic appearances throughout the season on Ducks Insider, a daily sports webcast (hosted by Jerry Allen and Jill Savage, 1-3 pm) that features interviews with coaches and student-athletes.
Check out Oregon men's basketball on Facebook. Follow Oregon on Twitter @OregonMBB for behind the scenes perspective by the staff and players. Follow @Geraghty_UO for the latest team news, in-game updates and facts/figures on the squad.
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