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Ducks Phil it UP for USC, "Coach" Knight
Release Date: 01/31/2014
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Oregon will host USC on “Phil It UP” Appreciation Knight in honor of UO alum and NIKE Chairman Phil Knight. Saturday’s game will tip at 5 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks and every fan in attendance will receive a free one-of-a-kind Phil Knight souvenir bobblehead to commemorate the occasion, as the Nike co-founder and UO track and field letterman celebrates his 76th birthday. Oregon comes into Saturday with a six-game winning streaks against USC. That’s Oregon’s second-longest winning streak against the Trojans; the only longer one for Oregon was nine games from 1987-91. USC is one of the better shot-blocking teams in the Pac-12 at 4.7 per game. Individually, Omar Oraby is second in the league at 2.5 blocks per game.

A tribute to the Seattle Seahawks who will face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII
1 - Northwest Teams. Seattle is the only NFL franchise in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is the only team from the Northwest that has won an NCAA men’s basketball title (1939). The Ducks are also the only school from the Northwest to have advanced to the NCAA Elite 8 this century (2002 and 2007). Other NW schools most recent Elite 8 trips: Gonzaga (1999), Oregon State (1982), Idaho State (1977), Seattle U. (1958), Washington (1953) and Washington State (1941). No Elite 8 for Boise State, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Portland or Portland State.

2 - Close Games. Oregon has played three overtime games as well as nine contests that have been decided by single digits. The Seahawks have played 10 games decided by single digits and went to overtime twice.

3 - The Seahawks led the NFL with 39 turnovers. Oregon has forced opponents into double-digit turnovers in 18 of 20 games this season including a season-high 20 by Oregon State on Jan, 19.

4 - Super Bowl Ducks. Oregon has a pair of alums on the Seahawks’ roster in starting center Max Unger (2005-08) and cornerback Walter Thurmond III (2006-09). Oregon’s basketball alums who played professionally with the Seattle Supersonics (years at Oregon) include Luke Ridnour (2001-03), Greg Ballard (1974-77) and John Greig (1980-82).

5 - Mascots. Both the Oregon Duck and the Seahawks’ Blitz are members of the bird family and are legendary mascots of lore. It’s science; you can look it up. Actually, both have starred in ESPN commercials. Additionally, Denver’s mascot is a “Bronco,” which is a horse. USC’s mascot often rides Traveler, also a horse.

Oregon’s bench continues to be exceptionally productive in 2013-14.  The Ducks are averaging 31.3 points per game from the reserves (625 total). By comparison, opponents are getting 18.8 per game off the bench (375 total). Thursday against UCLA, the bench  had 36 points. Last weekend, the reserves chipped in 37 points against Washington and 31 at WSU. That followed a season-best 47-point bench effort Jan. 19 at Oregon State. 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.

Following an 18-19 effort at the stripe on Thursday, Oregon leads both the nation and the Pac-12 in free throw percentage at 78.5 percent. The Ducks have the top three free throw shooters in the league. Jason Calliste is first at .888, Johnathan Loyd is second at .883 and Joseph Young is third at .881. Damyean Dotson is also over 80 percent (.822), as is Dominic Artis (.818).

Oregon leads the Pac-12 and is fourth nationally in points per game (85.1).

The Ducks are undefeated when shooting better than the opponent (12-0), but only 2-6 when being out-shot. Last Thursday versus Washington marked the first time this season that the Ducks lost when out-rebounding the opposition. Oregon is now 10-1 in that category this year.

Senior Mike Moser needs another 15 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 (259 points). 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 359 this year for 1,275 career points. He joins Jason Calliste, who surpassed 1,000 career points in three seasons at Detroit, in the current 1,000-point club.

The Ducks have scored at least 80 points in 13 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.

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.”

The Ducks have had at least 15 assists 12 times  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).

Last Thursday at Washington, Johnathan Loyd became the sixth Duck with 400 career assists (407). He’s now 17 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 137 total swipes.

Oregon has 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.

Ten 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. Then after missing a few weeks due to injury, Jalil Abdul-Bassit, made his debut against San Francisco. The Ducks hit 10 newcomers Jan. 26 at Washington State when football defensive tackle Aric Armstead made his debut on the court for the Ducks. Armstead, a potential starter this fall, has since decided to concentrate on his football career and give up basketball.

Now with 87 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 (87), Fred Jones (81), Joevan Catron (81), Luke Jackson (80) and Dick Wilkins (80).

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 - 211, Joseph Young - 162, Johnathan Loyd - 68, Damyean Dotson - 65, Dominic Artis - 38.

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.

UCLA was the seventh 2013 NCAA Tournament team the Ducks will play this season. So far Oregon is 4-3 against 2013 NCAA Tournament squads with wins over Georgetown, Pacific, Ole Miss and Illinois, and losses to Colorado, Cal and UCLA.

Ducks On Pac-12 Networks