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Ducks Go for the Sweep in the Southland
Release Date: 02/28/2014
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Oregon goes for a weekend sweep in Los Angeles for the second straight season when the Ducks play USC Saturday at 1 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks. Oregon comes into the contest at the Galen Center with a seven game winning streak against USC. That’s the school’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 rebounding teams in the Pac-12 at 37.6 per game. Individually, Omar Oraby is second in the league at 2.3 blocks per game. In the first meeting this season between the two schools, Joseph Young led the Ducks with 21 points and a career-high six steals, and Jason Calliste added 18 in a 78-66 Oregon win in Eugene. Byron Wesley led Troy with 19 points. Oregon set a Matthew Knight Arena record with 16 steals on 22 USC turnovers.

1 - Ducks by the numbers. Oregon got a huge boost to its postseason profile Thursday night in double overtime at UCLA. The Ducks’ solid body of work in the 2013-14 season includes an RPI of 32 and strength of schedule of 33. The Ducks are 8-7 versus the top 100 RPI teams in the nation. Some other interesting numbers:
*The Ducks have played 18 games vs. top 105 RPI (10-8), and only 9 games versus teams lower than 105 (not to mention only 4 versus those in the 200-plus range). Therefore, two-thirds of Oregon’s schedule has been against the top third of teams nationally.
*  No losses to teams outside the top 105 RPI, and Oregon’s last six losses came by a combined 20 points.
*  A 6-5 road/neutral record with wins at UCLA, Utah and Mississippi, plus neutral site victories over Georgetown and Illinois.

2 - Mike Moser’s 20 rebounds Thursday against UCLA were the most by a Duck in 37 years. The last Duck with 20 rebounds was Greg Ballard, who coralled 20 caroms in an epic five-overtime game at California on Feb. 10, 1977.

3 - Oregon’s next win will give the University 20 wins for the fourth straight season. That has been done just once previously in school history, 1936-39 under Basketball Hall of Famer Howard Hobson.

4 - Triple play. Oregon has made 37 three-pointers in its last four games, including 10 at UCLA on Thursday. During that span, the Ducks have shot 45.7 percent from downtown (37-81).

5 - Oregon leads the Pac-12 and is fourth nationally in free throw shooting at 77.4 percent. Oregon also leads the league in scoring (83.0 ppg, eighth nationally).

Oregon’s bench continues to be exceptionally productive in 2013-14.  The Ducks are averaging 29.0 points per game from the reserves (784 total). By comparison, opponents are getting 16.7 per game off the bench (450 total). Thursday night at UCLA, the bench came up with 39 points. The bench scored a season-best 47 points 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, 37 against Washington, 36 in the OT win at Ole Miss, 36 at home against UCLA and 31 at Washington State.

Oregon’s perimeter defense has shown marked improvement the last nine games. During that span, no opponent has shot better than 32 percent from beyond the arc and five of nine teams hit just 25 percent or less.

Oregon has played four overtime games as well as 13 contests that have been decided by single digits so far in 2013-14.

Oregon leads the Pac-12 and is fourth nationally in free throw shooting at 77.4 percent. The Ducks have the top two free throw shooters in the league in Joseph Young (.892) and Johnathan Loyd (.885). What’s more, Young has only four misses in Pac-12 play (78-of-82).

Oregon has now won 92 games over the course of four seasons for the first time in 74 years. The Ducks last accomplished that from 1936-40, when they won 93 times. Overall, it is just the fifth time in school history that the Ducks have reached at least 90 wins in a four-year span. Oregon won 91 games between 1937-41 and 1938-42, 93 games from 1936-40 and a school-record 94 times from 1935-39, culminating in the 1939 NCAA Championship.

Johnathan Loyd is now the all-time winningest player in school history. He passed former teammate E.J. Singler (2009-13) for the most wins in an Oregon uniform Feb. 19 versus Washington. Loyd now has 92 wins as a Duck. Loyd is one of just six players in school history to reach 80 wins in an Oregon uniform joining Singler (89), Fred Jones (81), Joevan Catron (81), Luke Jackson (80) and Dick Wilkins (80). With 137 appearances, Loyd has also now played in more games as a Duck than anyone but Singler (142).

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.”

Johnathan Loyd moved into the top five in Oregon career assists with four last Sunday against Washington State. Loyd now has 434 career assists, and this season has moved past a handful of Duck legends. He’s gone by Kamikaze Kids’ point guard Mike Drummond (309/1974-78), NBA all-star Terrell Brandon (315/1990-91), former NBA player Fred Jones (367/1998-02) and most recently all-American Luke Jackson (424/2000-04). 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). On the steals chart, Loyd tied Anthony Taylor (147/1984-88) for sixth Thursday at UCLA. Loyd now has 147 total swipes and would vault all the way to third place with just seven more steals. He currently trails Jones (148) by one steal and Luke Ridnour (150/2000-03) by three.

Thanks in part to a season-high 16 steal effort (a Matthew Knight Arena record) Feb. 1 versus USC, Oregon ranks 24th in the nation at 8.1 steals per game. That mark is second in the Pac-12. Individually, Joseph Young set career highs in steals in back-to-back games. He had five Jan. 30 against UCLA and followed that with six versus USC.

Oregon’s victory over Washington on Feb. 19 was Dana Altman’s 500th coaching win at the Division I level. He has 15 wins at Marshall, 68 wins at Kansas State, 327 wins at Creighton and now 92 at Oregon. Altman also won 123 games at the junior college level.

Oregon’s Feb. 19 win against Washington guaranteed the Ducks’ fourth straight winning season. That’s just the fifth time in school history that Oregon has strung together four or more consecutive winning seasons. The Ducks last did that from 2002-05 under Ernie Kent (4 straight). The other streaks are six seasons from 1973-78 under Dick Harter, seven seasons from 1934-40 for coaches William Reinhart and Howard Hobson, and 10 consecutive seasons from 1923-32 under George Bohler and Reinhardt.

Oregon has forced opponents into double-digit turnovers in 24 of 27 games this year, including a season-high 22 by USC on Feb. 1. The Ducks had a Matthew Knight Arena record 16 steals against the Trojans, which was one off the school’s all-time mark. Oregon is second in the league in turnover margin at plus-2.1.

Oregon’s two-point losses last month at Arizona (67-65) and Arizona State (74-72) were the Ducks’ third and fourth two-point set backs in Pac-12 play this year (UCLA 70-68, Stanford 82-80). In fact, of Oregon’s eight losses, seven have been by single digits as the Ducks have been a handful of plays or less from owning several more victories. The last time Oregon dropped four conference games by two points or less: 2006.

The Ducks are 15-1 when shooting better than the opponent, but only 4-7 when being out-shot. The Arizona game on Feb. 6 was Oregon’s only loss when shooting better than the opposition.

Feb. 16 against Oregon State, senior Mike Moser joined 1,000 career point club, becoming the third player on the current roster to reach that milestone. Moser netted 690 points at UNLV and 9 at UCLA before graduating and transferring to Oregon for his final season (358 points). Joseph Young reached the 1,000 point milestone of his NCAA career early this season. Young scored 916 points in two seasons at Houston, and has added another 510 this year for 1,426 career points. He joins Jason Calliste, who surpassed 1,000 career points in three seasons at Detroit, in the 1,000-point club and now shows 1,396 career points.

The Ducks have five backcourt players who combined to play nearly 5,000 minutes in 2012-13, and own nearly 600 career three-pointers at the NCAA Division I level. The breakdown in 3’s: Jason Calliste - 228, Joseph Young - 181, Johnathan Loyd - 71, Damyean Dotson - 67, Dominic Artis - 39.

The Ducks have scored at least 80 points in 15 games this season. Oregon has also gone over 90 points nine times and 100 four times.

The Ducks have had at least 15 assists 16 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).

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.

With the Seattle Seahawks becoming the first team from the Pacific Northwest to win the Super Bowl, it’s a good time to put out the reminder that 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 Northwest 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 appearances for Boise State, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Portland or Portland State.

Oregon has a pair of alums on the Super Bowl champion Seattle 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).

Oregon tied a school record by reaching the century mark for the fourth time this season Dec. 21 against Brigham Young. It is just the third time in 109 seasons of basketball that the Ducks have scored 100 points four times in the same season. Oregon has never had more than four 100-point games in the same year. The Ducks last had four 100-point games in the same year in 2001-02. Oregon first accomplished that feat in 1995-96.

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.

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.

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.

The Ducks return two starters, Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, and Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player Johnathan Loyd for the 2013-14 season. Four seniors departed from the Ducks’ 2012-13 Sweet 16 team — E.J. Singler, Tony Woods, Carlos Emory and Arsalan Kazemi. Singler finished his career with the Ducks as the program’s winningest player (89) and ranked 11th all-time in scoring (1,546). Kazemi totaled 56 double-doubles in his four-year career at Rice and Oregon, including 11 during the 2012-13 season, before becoming a 2013 NBA Second Round draft choice by the Philadephia 76ers (following a trade from Washington). Woods finished his time in Eugene as the program’s third-best shot-blocker, racking up 91 blocks in two seasons. Emory, who appeared in all 37 games in 2012-13, finished third on the team in scoring (11.1 ppg).


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