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EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon men’s basketball team (21-8, 12-5) will host Utah (6-23, 3-14) this Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena. Tip-time for the Ducks-Utes contest is set for 3 p.m. (PT). The game is the regular-season finale for both teams and will mark Senior Day for five Oregon players.
Utah is coming off a 77-67 road loss to Oregon State on Thursday. The Utes enter the game having lost nine of their last 10 games. Utah registered a 58-57 home win over Stanford on Feb. 25 for the lone win in that streaks.
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. Devoe Joseph had 20 points to lead the Ducks in that road win. Carlos Emory added 14 points, all in the second half, while E.J. Singler contributed 12 points and a team-high six rebounds. Oregon had a 30-16 edge in points in the paint and 21-12 advantage in points off turnovers.
Tickets (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.).
OREGON - UTAH LIVE COVERAGE
• TV: OSN on Comcast SportsNet NW; Andy McNamara, play-by-play; Jordan Kent, analyst; Jill Savage, reporter
• Radio: Oregon IMG Sports Network; 95.3 FM in the Eugene/Springfield area; 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.
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 (966 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 245 points in 29 games (8.4 ppg). His combined total is 1,251 points in 129 games (9.7 ppg).
Singler reached the 1,000-point mark during his 20-point effort in UO’s recent road win over Stanford. He now has 1,038 points in 100 career games (10.4 ppg) which ranks 28th in school history.
Sim eclipsed the 1,000-point mark during his season-high 25-point effort last Sunday at Oregon State. Sim has 1,020 points in 131 career games (7.7 ppg) which ranks 29th all-time in school history.
Joseph is 34 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point mark. He has 966 points in 99 career games (9.8 ppg) in split time at Minnesota (76 games, 583 points) and Oregon (23 games, 383 points).
DUCKS IN THE PAC-12 CONFERENCE TITLE CHASE
Oregon (12-5) is tied for third place (with Arizona) in the Pac-12 standings. As of Friday, UO would be a No. 3 seed and face the winner of the No. 6/No. 11 game.
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-way tie for second place. That would be contingent on a Stanford victory over California on Sunday.
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.
As of Thursday, March 1, UO was listed at No. 48 in the RealtimeRPI.com ratings. Only one other Pac-12 school ranks higher (No. 36 Cal).
OREGON REGISTERS BACK-TO-BACK 20-WIN SEASON
Dana Altman and the Ducks won their 20th game of the last 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 15) leads the team with 385 total points (13.3 ppg) and has grabbed a team-high 156 total rebounds (5.4 rpg).
Singler has 1,038 points in 100 career games (10.4 ppg) which ranks 28th in school history. He recently became the 13th player in school history to amass over 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds (with 1,038 pts and 513 rebounds).
Singler ranks first in the Pac-12 for free throw percentage (.903, 93-of-103). As of March 2, Singler’s free throw percentage ranked tied for fourth nationally. He also ranks third in school history for a career free throw percentage (.870, 248-of-285). Singler ranks among the Pac-12 active leaders in career statistics: fifth in rebounds (513) and sixth in points (1,038).
He’s reached double-figures in scoring in 24 of the 29 games this season. Singler has scored 10 or more points in 58 of his 100 career games at UO. He’s also led the Ducks in rebounding on nine occasions this season (and 31 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 74 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 18) has averaged a team-high 16.7 points per outing. He’s led the team in field goals made (132), field goals attempted (281) and minutes played (35.3 mpg) in those 23 games. The Ducks are 17-6 with him in the lineup.
Joseph has scored in double-figures in 15 straight games, and 22 of the 23 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 11 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 (2.3) and minutes per game (35.3), third in scoring (16.7 ppg), fourth in free throw percentage (.823) and 3-point percentage (.435) and ninth in steals (1.4 spg).
The 6-4 guard from Toronto, Ontario, has bettered his scoring average to 17.5 points per game in Pac-12 games only, shooting 45.1 percent (41-of-91) on 3-pointers in those league games. He’s also shooting 83.3 percent on free throws (50-of-60) 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. 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 in a close road loss to California. He posted a game-best 24 points on Thursday against Colorado.
ASSIST TOTALS NO COINCIDENCE IN OREGON’S WINS THIS YEAR
Unselfish play has been a key in UO’s 21 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 +3.9 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 46.0 percent in all games. UO is also better from behind the 3-point arc: 39.9 percent versus 37.4 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 21) ranks third in the Pac-12 with 43 blocks (1.5 bpg). Woods has rejected 28 shots (1.6 bpg) in the Ducks’ 17 conference games this year. As a team, UO ranks tied for fifth for blocks (3.4 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 28 of the 29 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 9) is averaging career-highs in points per game (12.3 ppg), field goal percentage (.498, 120-of-241), 3-point percentage (.466, 61-of-131) and free throw percentage (.859, 55-of-64). He ranks second in the conference for 3-point percentage, while ranking seventh for 3-pointers made per game (2.1). His free throw shooting percentage (.859, 55-of-64) would rank second in the Pac-12 (behind Singler), but Sim does not have enough attempts to qualify.
Sim’s also 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 seventh and his free throw percentage would rank tied for 35th nationally.
In 131 career games, Sim has 1,020 points (seventh) and 239 assists (eighth) which both rank in the top 10 of the Pac-12’s active career leaders. In addition, Sim’s 173 career 3-pointers ranks second and his 101 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 (now ranks 29th). He ranks ninth all-time for career 3-pointers made (173). Sim is also just three steals shy of ranking 10th all-time at UO for career steals (101).
DUCKS ARE WINNING CLOSE GAMES THIS SEASON
Oregon is 14-3 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 (9-5).
In those tight games, the Ducks had the advantage in all three shooting percentages (UO / Opponent): overall field goal (.465 / .452), 3-point (.380 / .330) and free throw (.731 / .680).
UO has closed-out several games on the free throw line. The Ducks are shooting 86.9 percent (93-of-107) from the charity stripe in the final five minutes of games decided by less than 10 points. A big difference from the 70.4 percent (438-of-622) 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 (.905, 19-of-21), Devoe Joseph (.833, 20-of-24) and Johnathan Loyd (.833, 10-of-12) are a combined 72-of-81 (.889) in those pressure situations. In addition, forwards Carlos Emory (8-of-8, 1.000) and Tyrone Nared (10-of-11, .909) have also come up clutch in those moments.
UO FEATURES BALANCED SCORING ATTACK
Seven different Ducks have led the team in scoring this season: Devoe Joseph (11 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 (24 times), Joseph (22) and Sim (18). Emory has reached double-figures in scoring seven times this year, including six times in the last nine games.
Five different Ducks have dropped 20+ points in a game this season (Singler and Joseph five 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.
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