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EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon men’s basketball team (14-14, 7-9) will close out the regular-season schedule on the road this week against Arizona State (10-18, 2-14) and Arizona (23-6, 12-4). Thursday’s UO-ASU contest is set for 5:30 p.m. (PT) at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, while the Ducks-Wildcats contest on Saturday is scheduled for 11 a.m. (PT) at McKale Center in Tucson.

Oregon is coming off a pair of home losses, falling 81-71 to California last Thursday and an 88-71 loss to Stanford on Saturday. Arizona lost both games last week, a 65-57 defeat at USC and a 71-49 loss to UCLA. Arizona State also dropped a pair of games, a 71-53 result at UCLA and 62-46 at USC.

The Sun Devils lead the all-time series over UO, 40-31. Oregon lost 60-55 in the earlier match-up with ASU this season, which was the McArthur Court finale played on Jan. 1, 2011. The Ducks’ last win over ASU was back on March 6, 2008, a 67-61 triumph in Eugene. Oregon’s last win in Tempe was during the 2006-07 season, a 60-55 decision on Jan. 11, 2007.

The Wildcats hold a 44-23 edge in the series history with Oregon. The Ducks fell 76-57 in this year’s first meeting with UA on Dec. 30, 2010. The last time UO defeated Arizona was on March 8, 2008, by a score of 78-69. The Ducks also won in Tucson that season, an 84-74 result on Jan. 5, 2008.

ARIZONA STATE LIVE COVERAGE

• TV: None
• Radio: Oregon Sports Network affiliates; Jerry Allen, play-by-play
• Satellite radio: Sirius TBA, XM TBA
• GoDucks.com: Live audio, stats

ARIZONA LIVE COVERAGE
• TV: CBS; Spero Dedes, play-by-play; Bob Wenzel, analyst
• Radio: Oregon Sports Network affiliates; Jerry Allen, play-by-play
• Satellite radio: Sirius 216, XM 193 (Arizona broadcast)
• GoDucks.com: Live audio, stats

Follow Oregon men’s basketball on Twitter @OregonMBB for in-game updates.

DUCKS SHOOT IT WELL FROM CHARITY STRIPE

Oregon ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference in free throw shooting percentage (.739, 366-of-495). This is in large part because all eight of UO’s major contributors shoot it 70 percent or better from the charity stripe.

Junior guard Garrett Sim is shooting a career-high 86.5 percent (32-of-37) to lead the Ducks. He is a perfect 12-of-12 on free throws in the last five minutes of a game during the 2010-11 season.

Sophomore forward E.J. Singler has made 83.5 percent of his free throws (71-of-85) which is tops in the Pac-10 (Sim does not have enough attempts to qualify).

Also 70 percent or better: junior guard Teondre Williams (78.6 percent), senior guard Jay-R Strowbridge and freshman guard Johnathan Loyd (77.1 percent), senior forward Joevan Catron (71.3 percent), junior guard Malcolm Armstead (71.1 percent) and junior forward Tyrone Nared (70.0 percent).

CATRON HAVING HUGE SENIOR SEASON

Senior forward Joevan Catron (bio on page 31) has played in 122 career games averaging career-bests for points (15.2 ppg) and minutes played (27.5 mpg). He leads the team in scoring, rebounding average (6.4 rpg), field goal shooting percentage (.500, 133-of-266), field goals attempted and field goals made, while ranking second in minutes played.

Catron has scored in double figures in 20-of-26 games. Of his eight career 20-point games, seven have come this season (Catron is one of three Ducks who have tallied 20 or more points in a game in 2010-11). On the career, he has led UO in scoring 18 times (15 coming during his senior campaign).

The 6-6 senior from Phoenix, Ill., has made 117 free throws this season (117-of-164), shooting 71.3 percent from the charity stripe. He’s been clutch late in games, upping his average to 76.0 percent in the last five minutes (19-of-25). Almost 30 percent of Catron’s points this season (117 of the 395) have come from the line. He has averaged 4.5 made free throws per game, nearly two times more than the next best UO player (Singler, 2.5).

Catron has scored 56.7 percent of his points after halftime, with 224 of his 395 total points coming during the final 20 minutes (and OT). He had a 20-point performance in the home win over No. 20 Washington, tallying 16 second-half points to secure the upset. In the game at UW, Catron scored 17 of his team-high 20 points in the second half (including 11 straight points to open the stanza). In an overtime win over North Dakota State, he tallied 16 of his career-best 27 points in the second half.

Catron was recently recognized as Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week (Jan. 31-Feb. 6), averaging 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game in leading UO to a home sweep of the Washington schools.

OREGON BENCH COMING UP BIG SINCE MOVING TO NEW BUILDING

The reserves have been vital in UO’s last 12 games, out-scoring the opposition’s bench 10 times during that stretch (the Ducks are 6-4 in those contests).

The Ducks had lopsided bench point differentials in games with Stanford (home: 27-13; road: 28-16) Cal (home: 18-6; road: 31-13), USC (road: 24-13; home: 31-16), UCLA (road: 27-15) and Washington State (home: 23-10). UO also managed a 42-39 advantage in the home win over Oregon State and a 22-18 edge in the upset of No. 20 Washington.

Senior guard Jay-R Strowbridge (12.3 ppg, 48.2 percent on field goals, 43.3 percent on 3-pointers) and junior guard Malcolm Armstead (10.1 ppg, 4.8 apg, 2.2 spg, 2.5 assist/turnover ratio, 47.2 percent on field goals) have shouldered most of the load for the surging Ducks.

Strowbridge (bio on page 32) has scored in double figures in seven of the 12, and has ranked second on the team in scoring during this stretch. He is coming off a 16-point effort last Saturday against Stanford. Strowbridge ignited for a career-high 26 points in UO’s recent home win over OSU. He also posted 14 points on the road against UCLA, and 15 points in both the home win over Washington State and triumph over OSU in Corvallis.

Armstead (bio on page 24) is coming off a game last Saturday against Stanford where he registered a season-high 22 points, matched a career-high five steals and added a team-high six assists. In UO’s home win over OSU, Armstead dished out 13 assists (2 turnovers), which tied him for the top single-game effort of any Pac-10 player this season (Isaiah Thomas, vs. Cal).

The last time the Ducks played on the road, Armstead scored a team-high 14 points (first time leading the team in scoring all season) to go with five assists in a win at USC, securing back-to-back season-sweeps of the Trojans.

OFFSEASON ADDITIONS PROVIDING A SPARK FOR UO
Senior guard Jay-R Strowbridge, junior forward Tyrone Nared (bio on page 30) and freshman guard Johnathan Loyd (bio on page 23) have made an impact in the lineup.

Strowbridge has played in all 28 games, a starter in seven contests. He is UO’s third leading scorer (9.8 ppg), having scored in double figures in seven of the last 10 games: 16 vs. Stanford, 26 vs. Oregon State, 14 at UCLA, 12 vs. Washington, 15 vs. Washington State, 13 at Stanford and 15 at Oregon State.

Nared has also played in all 28 contests, including starts in the last 10 games (UO is 6-4 when Nared starts). He registered a career-high 16 points against Cal last Thursday night. In the first meeting against the Golden Bears, the high-flying forward from Woonsocket, R.I., Nared had a double-double effort with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He ranks second on the team in field goal percentage this season (.465, 60-of-129).

Loyd has played in all 28 games, starting in 15 contests. He has 59 assists (to just 38 turnovers), ranking second on the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6). He’s shooting 77.1 percent on free throws (27-of-35).

ARMSTEAD NO. 7 ON LIST FOR CAREER STEALS
Junior guard Malcolm Armstead has 123 steals in 59 games which ranks him No. 7 all-time in career steals at UO (complete list on page 6). Armstead, who has 58 steals this season, could potentially break his own single-season record. With an average of 2.1 steals per game (and a minimum of three games remaining), he is projected to finish with 64 steals. Last season, Armstead set a new school record with 65 steals in 32 games, previously held by Terrell Brandon (63 in 28 games, 1990-91), Fred Jones (63 in 35 games, 2001-02) and Luke Ridnour (63 in 33 games, 2002-03).

DUCKS IMPROVE AFTER MATT ARENA MOVE
When the Ducks moved from McArthur Court to Matthew Knight Arena in the second week of January, they were riding a six-game losing streak and had opened Pac-10 play with a 0-4 record. Oregon went 7-9 overall (.438 winning percentage) in games at Mac Court this season.
But that all changed on Jan. 13 when Oregon debuted the new building. Since the move, the Ducks are 7-5 (.583) seventh in the league standings. Below are some notable comparisons for the move.

Category … Mac (Matt)
Overall winning percentage… .438 (.583)
Home record… 7-5 (4-3)
Scoring margin… +0.3 (+2.1)
Field Goal percentage… .407 (.434)
3-Point percentage… .302 (.374)
Free Throw percentage… .728 (.758)
3-Pointers made per game… 5.8 (8.3)
Double-figure scorers… 2 (4)
Attendance average… 6,559 (11,516)


SINGLER STEPS INTO KEY ROLE

Sophomore forward E.J. Singler (bio on page 29) leads the Pac-10 Conference in free throw shooting percentage (.835, 71-of-85), while ranking second on the team in scoring (11.0 ppg, 309), rebounding average (5.5 rpg, 154), blocks (0.7 bpg, 20) and 3-point field goal percentage (.375, 36-of-96). He is also third in field goal percentage (.451, 101-of-224).

Singler has reached double figures in scoring 19 times in 28 games (including five of the last seven outings). In this year’s earlier contest with ASU, Singler fell just short of a double-double when he matched a career-high with 19 points and added nine rebounds. In the near upset of then No. 9 Missouri, Singler tallied a career-best 19 points to go with nine rebounds. On Dec. 11, Singler posted an 18-point, 17-rebound (career high) effort in the win over Willamette.

The 6-6 forward from Medford, Ore., has led the Ducks in rebounding on 12 occasions this season (18 times in his career). He’s grabbed 10 or more rebounds twice this season, both games he recorded double-doubles (16 pts and 11 rebs - Nov. 12 vs. North Dakota State; 18 pts and 17 rebs Dec. 11 vs. Willamette).

UO LEADS CONFERENCE IN TURNOVER MARGIN
The Ducks have the best turnover margin in the Pac-10 (+3.43). In fact, in conference games only Oregon is a league-best +3.06, with USC ranking a distant second at +1.50.

UO has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent 22 times this season (12 out of 16 Pac-10 outings). Oregon posted a season-low eight turnovers in its home win over then 20th-ranked Washington (UW had 15 turnovers).

Oregon also ranks second in free throw shooting (.739, 366-of-495) and steals (8.0, 225), while ranking fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.1, 388-348).

Senior forward Joevan Catron is seventh in scoring (15.2 ppg) and 10th in rebounding (6.4 rpg). Junior guard Malcolm Armstead ranks third in assists (4.15 apg) and steals (2.15 spg). Sophomore forward E.J. Singler is the conference’s top free throw shooter (.835).

PAC-10 TV WILDCARD SELECTIONS MADE
The Ducks will face No. 10 Arizona in a game televised by CBS the Pac-10 Conference announced last Monday as part of the men’s basketball wildcard television selections. The Ducks-Wildcats match-up on Saturday, March 5 is set to tip-off at 11 a.m. (PT). The Oregon-Arizona State game scheduled for Thursday, March 3 will not be televised. That game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. (PT).

SIM FINDING 3-POINT TOUCH IN PAC-10 CONFERENCE PLAY
Junior guard Garrett Sim (bio on page 21) has found his shooting touch from behind the 3-point arc in during Pac-10 Conference play. Sim’s 24 made 3-pointers in league play ranks second on the team, while he is third on the squad in 3-point shooting percentage at .369 (24-of-65). He ranks fifth on the team in scoring average in those games (8.5 ppg).

In non-conference games only, Sim shot just 26.8 percent on 3-pointers (11-of-41). He was tied for sixth on the team in scoring during those 12 games.

Three games standout for Sim, road wins over Oregon State and Stanford and a home win over Washington State. In the victory over OSU, Sim hit 3-of-7 from behind the arc (6-of-10 on field goals) en route to a 15-point effort.

In the historic win over the Cardinal (breaking a 24-game losing streak at Stanford), Sim hit a pair of timely 3-pointers and finished with 10 points, one of four UO players to score in double figures. Sim added 13 points, going 3-of-5 on 3-pointers, in the blowout victory over the Cougars last weekend.

UO’S WIN/LOSS RECORD BASED ON STATISTICS
A better field goal percentage than the opponent, grabbing more rebounds and holding a first-half lead have been essential for the Ducks in their 14 wins in 2010-11.

The Ducks have a 12-1 record when they have a better field goal percentage (just 2-13 on the year with a worse field goal percentage). UO is 4-1 when they shoot 50 percent or better (just 10-13 when under 50 percent).

Oregon is 9-3 overall when they grab more rebounds (4-11 when out-rebounded). In four of the seven league wins, UO has led in rebounds: 34-32 at USC, 39-30 vs. Washington State, 33-29 at Stanford, 34-31 at Oregon State.

UO is 10-4 when they hold a first-half lead (3-10 when the fall behind at halftime, 1-0 when tied). On four occasions UO has lost despite leading at halftime: the Nov. 20 home game with San Jose State, both contests with UCLA and the home loss to Cal. UO was tied at the half in the win at Stanford.

ALTMAN’S FIRST YEAR COACHING NOTES
Head coach Dana Altman has taken this 2010-11 Oregon squad, which was projected to finish last in the preseason poll, and has the Ducks in contention for their highest finish in the conference standings since 2008.

Below are a couple of notes about Altman’s coaching career and how he stands with some first-year coaches at Oregon.

• Altman has won four conference coach of the year awards from three different conferences (Missouri Valley Conference at Creighton in both 2001 and 2002; Big Eight Conference at Kansas State in 1993; Southern Conference at Marshall in 1990).

• Altman’s teams have finished with a winning record for 13 consecutive seasons (looking to make it 14 this year). Additionally, he is looking to make his 14th-straight postseason appearance.

• A winning overall record would make Altman just the second first-year UO head coach to accomplish the feat since the Pac-8 (now Pac-10) was formed before the 1964-65 season.

• A winning overall record would be the 19th time in 22 seasons that he has finished with a .500 record or better.

Victories by a First Year Oregon Head Coach
1. John Warren, 1944-45 (30-15, 11-5 PCC)
2. Howard Hobson, 1935-36 (20-11, 7-9 PCC)
3. Dan Monson, 1983-84 (16-13, 11-7 Pac-10)
4. William Reinhart, 1923-24 (15-5, 4-4 PCC)
5. Dana Altman, 2010-11 (14-14, 7-9 Pac-10)
6. Bill Borcher, 1951-52 (14-16, 8-8 PCC)
7. Ernie Kent, 1997-98 (13-14, 8-10 Pac-10)
8. Jim Haney, 1978-79 (12-15, 7-11 Pac-10)
9. Jerry Green, 1992-93 (10-20, 3-15 Pac-10)
10. Shy Huntington, 1919-20 (8-9, 5-8 PCC)


UO ADDS FOUR PLAYERS IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
Dana Altman announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent. Joining the Ducks’ 2011-12 squad are guards Bruce Barron (Carbondale, Ill./Brehm Preparatory School), Jabari Brown (Oakland, Calif./Oakland HS) and Brett Kingma (Mill Creek, Wash./Jackson HS) along with center Austin Kuemper (Portland, Ore./Westview HS).

Bruce Barron: Plays prep basketball at Brehm Preparatory School in Carbondale, Ill. … led AAU basketball team (Illinois Titans) to a national title in 2009, averaging 18 points per game in the senior national tournament … chose Oregon over Oklahoma State, Marquette and Indiana … also played AAU basketball for Mac Irvin Fire.

Jabari Brown: Started junior season at Findlay Prep (Nev.) where he averaged 16 points per game before transferring mid-year to Oakland High School … averaged 23.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game at Oakland High the rest of his junior campaign ... led Oakland High to second round of the state playoffs … chose Oregon over Arizona State, Connecticut, Georgia Tech and Washington … played AAU ball for Drew Gooden Soldiers.

Brett Kingma: Averaged 25 points, four steals and four assists per game as a junior … Led Jackson High School to the 2010 Washington Class 4A title game … chose Oregon over Arizona State, Brigham Young and Washington … played AAU ball for Friends of Hoop.

Austin Kuemper: Averaged 12.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game as a junior for Westview High School … Lead WHS to the 2010 OSAA 6A Boys state title game … also led WHS to a second-round appearance at the 2009 OSAA 6A Boys State Tournament … chose Oregon over Iowa State, San Diego State, USC and Washington State … played AAU ball for ICP.