EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon (No. 15 A.P., No. 11 USA Today) ventures north to the Rose City to host Illinois of the Big Ten Conference Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Moda Center in Portland. The ESPN2 match-up features a pair of 2013 NCAA Tournament teams in the Ducks and the Illini. Oregon comes into the game at 8-0 after a thrilling 115-105 overtime victory at Ole Miss on Sunday. Illinois is 9-1 on the season with wins over UNLV and Auburn.
The game is a homecoming for Rose City native Mike Moser, who averages 15.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Moser attended Grant High School before going to UCLA and then UNLV. Walk-on freshman Theo Friedman is also a graduate of Grant High.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are on sale through the Rose Quarter Box Office. Call 1-877-789-ROSE (7673) to purchase or buy online through the Rose Quarter Box Office (http://www.rosequarter.com/EventDetail/tabid/146/rqeventid/901/Default.aspx).
THE STARTING FIVE
1 - Illinois will be the fourth 2013 NCAA Tournament team the Ducks have faced this season (Georgetown, Pacific, Ole Miss). The Fighting Illini advanced the to the round of 32 last March, beating Colorado before falling to Miami (Fla.).
2 - Oregon is 8-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 season. That Aaron Brooks-led Duck squad, which won the Pac-10 tournament and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, went 13-0 to open the year.
3 - Oregon has had at least five players score in double figures in four of the last five games. The Ducks had six players hit double figures against San Francisco (11-24) and then had five double figure scorers versus North Dakota (11-30) and Cal Poly (12-1), before another six hit double digits at Mississippi (12-8).
4 - Ranked fourth nationally in scoring (91.4 ppg), the Ducks have reached 80 points in seven of eight games this season. Oregon has also gone over 90 points four times and 100 three times. The Ducks are also fifth nationally in field goal percentage (.529) and 10th in 3-point field goal percentage (.438).
5 - Sunday against Ole Miss, Johnathan Loyd dished out a career high 15 assists, which was the second-highest single game total in school history. Loyd is tied for third nationally at 7.4 assists per game. 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). Further, only one player in school history has played in more wins than Loyd. Now with 81 victories in an Oregon uniform, he trails only former teammate E.J. Singler, who won 89 times as a Duck from 2009-13.
CENTURY MARK NOTES
Oregon reached the century mark for the third time this season Dec. 8 at Ole Miss. That’s the first time the Ducks have had three 100-point games in a season since 2002-03. Oregon last had four 100-point games in the same year in 2001-02.
YOUNG OFF TO HOT START
Joseph Young has scored in double figures in all eight games this season. The junior recently reached the 1,000 point milestone of his NCAA career. Young scored 916 points in two seasons at Houston, and has added another 161 this year for 1,077 career points. He joins Jason Calliste, who surpassed 1,000 career points in three seasons at Detroit, in the 1,000-point club.
LOYD NEARS ASSISTS RECORD, GETS FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Johnathan Loyd set a career high with 15 assists Dec. 8 at Ole Miss. That was just two shy of Ron Lee’s school record. He also just missed a career high with 23 points, but did record the first double-double of his career. Mike Moser also had a double-double versus the Rebels with 24 points and 10 rebounds (20th career). It was the second time this season two Ducks had a double-double in the same game. Moser and Elgin Cook each pulled down double-doubles Nov. 30 against North Dakota. That was the first time Oregon had two players with double-doubles in a single game since meeting Alabama on Nov. 24, 2008 (Joevan Catron, Michael Dunigan). Moser secured his 19th career double-double (first at Oregon) with a season-high 15 boards to go along with 10 points. Cook added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
LOYD ASSIST NOTES
Johnathan Loyd 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. Earlier this season, Loyd passed a pair of Oregon legends on the Ducks’ career assists list, going by Kamikaze Kids’ point guard Mike Drummond (309/1974-78) for eighth and then NBA all-star Terrell Brandon (315/1990-91) for seventh. Loyd now has 356 career assists, 11 back of Fred Jones (367/1998-02) for sixth.
80 WIN CLUB
Senior Johnathan Loyd recently became the sixth member of Oregon’s 80-win club. That list now looks like: E.J. Singler (89), Fred Jones (81), Joevan Catron (81), Loyd (81), Luke Jackson (80) and Dick Wilkins (80).
“HOO-AH” DUCKS HONOR TROOPS WITH A WIN IN SOUTH KOREA
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.”
NEWCOMER COUNT HITS NINE
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
SCORING MARK, SEVEN MKA TEAM RECORDS FALL VERSUS WESTERN CAROLINA
Joseph Young set a Matthew Knight Arena record with his 36 points in the Nov. 13 home opener versus Western Carolina. That was the highest total by a Duck since Tajuan Porter netted 38 against Portland State in the 2006-07 season. In addition to Young’s scoring record, the Ducks set a number of Matthew Knight Arena team records in the Western Carolina game. Perhaps the most impressive mark established was the field goal percentage record, .653 (32-of-49). Other MKA marks included points in a half (66), points by both teams in a half (110), free throws made (35), free throw attempts (47), fouls (34, by Western Carolina) and fouls by both teams (53). Oregon’s 107 points was one shy of the MKA record of 108 scored versus Iowa in the 2012 postseason NIT.
MOSER HITS IMPRESSIVE STEALS MARK
Mike Moser had 15 points - 11 in the second half - to help Oregon defeat Georgetown 82-75 Nov. 8 at Camp Humphreys, South Korea. He also added seven rebounds, three assists and six steals. The career-high six steals were the most by an Oregon player in 15 seasons. The last Duck to record at least six steals was Darius Wright, who had that number against USC on Jan. 7, 1999.
The Ducks have five backcourt players who combined to play nearly 5,000 minutes in 2013-14, and own nearly 500 career three-pointers at the NCAA Division I level. The breakdown in 3’s: Jason Calliste - 189, Joseph Young - 139, Johnathan Loyd - 64, Damyean Dotson - 54, Dominic Artis - 34. And that doesn’t include guard Jalil Abdul-Bassit, a transfer from North Idaho College.
ARTIS, CARTER TO SERVE NCAA SUSPENSION
Ben Carter and Dominic Artis will each serve an NCAA-mandated nine-game suspension for violating NCAA rules by selling team-issued apparel over the past year. In addition, both players will be required to donate the value of the apparel to charity. The selling of team-issued apparel is a violation of NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199, which prohibits student-athletes from receiving an extra benefit. Artis and Carter will be eligible to play in Oregon’s Dec. 17 game versus UC Irvine.