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November 24, 2008LAHAINA, Hawaii - The University of Oregon men's basketball team (2-1) will continue its non-conference schedule at the 2008 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, scheduled for Nov. 24-26 at the Lahaina Civic Center (2,400) in Lahaina, Hawaii. The Ducks will open the tourney Monday night against Alabama (1-1), with tip-time for the ESPN2 telecast scheduled for 9 p.m. (PST). The game against the 'Tide is the second of a five-game stretch away from McArthur Court in Eugene.
UO is coming off an 84-77 road win over UC Irvine on Friday night. The Crimson Tide defeated Florida A&M, 89-48, on Wednesday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
OREGON - ALABAMA LIVE BROADCAST COVERAGE
Sean McDonough - play-by-play
Jay Bilas, Bill Raftery - analysts
Jimmy Dykes - reporter
• Radio: Oregon Sports Network
KUGN (590-AM) in Eugene/Springfield
Jerry Allen - play-by-play
Pregame coverage starts at 8:30 p.m.
The Ducks will face North Carolina or Chaminade on Tuesday, in a game televised on either ESPN or ESPN2. If Oregon wins its opening round game, it will play at 6 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday. A Monday night loss to Alabama would result in a 1 p.m. matchup the next day. UO closes the tourney with a third and final game on Wednesday (ESPN or ESPN2).
Oregon wraps-up its five-game road stretch against Utah on Dec. 3, with game-time set for 6 p.m. (PST). Oregon Sports Network on Comcast Sportsnet Northwest will carry that contest.
KENT BREAKS WINS RECORD
Head coach Ernie Kent became Oregon's all-time wins leader with Friday's 84-77 road win over UC Irvine. Kent, now with 213 career victories at UO, passed Basketball Hall of Famer Howard Hobson who boasted an 11-year mark of 212-124. Kent is currently 213-135 in his 12th season with the Ducks.
• 303-215 career coaching record (17 years)
• 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year
• Seven postseason trips (NCAA and NIT)
• Five NCAA tourney trips in last nine years
• Two Elite Eight appearances since 2002
• Two NIT Final Fours (1999, 2004)
• Only coach in Pacific Northwest to take his team to an Elite 8 this decade • 129-42 (.754) record at McArthur Court • 63-19 record against teams from Pacific NW • Coached four first round NBA Draft selections
HEAD COACH ERNIE KENT - NOV. 18 POST-PRACTICE MEDIA GATHERING On the upcoming EA SPORTS Maui Invitational... "It's a huge challenge for this team and this program. But it is a huge challenge for a lot of teams that are going to be over there. It is going to be great to have that type of competition to play in a neutral-court environment. It won't be a normal on-the-road situation, because everyone will be on the road. It will be more about a growing and learning process. I know these guys are excited, as we (the coaches) are, to see how we do in that type of competitive environment."
The recent signing of Jeremy Jacob to a NLI
"Jeremy is a former state champion and state player of the year out of Louisiana. I just don't think you can have enough winners and state champions in your program. He is an excellent person off the floor. He is going to fit in very well with the character of this basketball team and what we are trying to accomplish.
PORTER ECLIPSES 1,000-POINT MARK
Junior guard [db]Tajuan Porter[d/b] became the 29th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark following his team-best 23 points at UC Irvine. Porter has amassed 1,003 points in 70 career games with the Ducks. He has been a starter 62 of those contests. Just under 60 percent of Porter's points were scored from behind the 3-point arc (600 points), 24 percent on 2-point field goals (244 points), 16 percent came from the charity stripe (159 points).
He is the 10th player to reach the milestone under head coach Ernie Kent, and the fifth player in the last three seasons (Aaron Brooks, Malik Hairston, Bryce Taylor, Maarty Leunen) to eclipse the figure under Kent's direction.
PORTER MOVING UP CAREER 3-POINT LIST
Tajuan Porter is also making his way into the 3-point record books, now ranking sixth all time in career 3-pointers made at Oregon. He has hit 200-of-501 attempts (.399) in the 70 games played. Porter's total of 200 3-pointers made is just three behind Luke Ridnour (203), the 2003 Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year. He is just five behind former teammate and all-conference selection Aaron Brooks, who ranks fourth in school history (205).
Porter's four 3-pointers against Oakland moved him into sixth-place all-time at Oregon in 3-point field goals made (197). The complete top 10 list for UO career 3-pointers made can be found on page five of this release.
The Crimson Tide are 1-1 overall this season, losing their season opener to Mercer (72-69) before rebounding with a home win over Florida A&M (89-48). The 'Tide is coached by Mark Gottfried who is in his 11th season as head coach at UA. Gottfried is 199-125 with the 'Tide, while posting a career record of 267-149 overall in 14 seasons.
'Bama went 17-16 overall and 5-11 in SEC action a year ago, failing to qualify for the conference tournament after finishing in a tie for ninth-place. They return nine letterwinners and two starters from last year's squad, headlined by senior guard Ronald Steele who is averaging 20 points per game in two games this season. Freshman forward JaMychal Green has made an immediate impact for UA, averaging a double-double early on this year (14.5 ppg, 10.0 rpg).
Alabama leads the all-time series with Oregon, 1-0. The 'Tide defeated the Ducks in the only meeting, 87-86, at the Las Vegas Shootout on Dec. 20, 2003.
BIG MIKE DELIVERING
Freshman center Mike Dunigan, a 2008 McDonald's All-American from Farragut Academy in Chicago, is beginning to show what all the hype is about. The 6-10 post has averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals per contest in his first three games at Oregon. He has done all of this while averaging just 22.7 minutes per game.
Dunigan, who ranks third on the team in per-game scoring, registered his first career double-double last Monday against Oakland, tallying 13 points and 10 boards to go with a game-high three blocks. Dunigan also leads the team in shooting percentage this season, making 16-of-27 shots from the field for 59.3 percent. His field goals made total (16) ranks second on the team.
LONGMIRE FILLS SCORING NEEDS
With the Ducks graduating 62 percent of their offense from last year's team (Malik Hairston - 16.3 ppg, Maarty Leunen - 14.9 ppg, Bryce Taylor - 12.8 ppg), someone was going to have to pick up the scoring slack. Sophomore forward LeKendric Longmire, from Pascagoula, Miss., has done just that. He is tied with Tajuan Porter for the team lead in scoring (15.0 ppg) and is the only Duck to score in double figures in each of their first three games.
His career-high entering the season was 14 points, a number he surpassed in the first half against Oakland last week. Longmire finished with a game-high 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field (3-of-4 on 3-pointers), while still contributing his trademark defense (2 blocks, 1 steal).
On the year, he is shooting 51.5 percent from the field (17-of-33) and an astounding 75.0 percent on 3-pointers (6-of-8). Compare those numbers to last season, Longmire was just 4-of-12 on 3-pointers and he averaged 3.8 points per outing while playing in 28 of UO's 32 games.
FRESHMEN CLASS INITIATED
All six true freshmen have seen playing time this season, with three first-year players already cracking the starting lineup. Michael Dunigan has started all three games. Matthew Humphrey, a 6-5 guard from Chicago, started the first two games of the year and is averaging 15.3 minutes per game. Garrett Sim, of Portland, Ore., is playing 17.3 minutes per game and is coming off a start at the point guard spot against UCI on Friday.
Add to the mix Josh Crittle, Drew Wiley and Teondre Williams who have all played early in the year. Crittle, who like Dunigan and Humphrey hails from the Windy City, leads the team in blocks per contest (1.3) and ranks third on the squad in rebounds per night (5.0). Wiley has appeared in all three games, while Williams saw his first action at UCI after missing the first two games recovering from a preseason injury.
LAST GAME: OREGON 84, UC IRVINE 77
Oregon defeated UC Irvine, 84-77, on Friday night at the Bren Center in Irvine, Calif. The Ducks improved to 2-1 with the victory, their first road test of the 2008-09 season. The Anteaters dropped to 0-3 on the year.
Four Oregon players scored in double figures, while there were 10 players who played 10 or more minutes in the game. Porter finished with a team-high 23 points. He was held scoreless until the three-minute mark in the first half, before finishing 4-of-7 from the field and 12-of-12 from the free throw line.
Junior forward Joevan Catron and sophomore wing LeKendric Longmire chipped in with 12 points apiece. Freshman center Michael Dunigan added 11 points and seven rebounds in a foul-plagued 20 minutes of action.
Both teams shot a high percentage from the field, with Oregon hitting 50.9 percent (27-of-53) and UC Irvine a tenth of a percentage point behind at 50.8 (30-of-59). The Ducks were outstanding from behind the 3-point line, hitting 11-of-19 for 57.9 percent. UCI made 5-of-11 from behind the arc (45.5 percent), going just 1-of-5 in the second stanza.
Oregon held significant rebound (34-27) and block (7-2) advantages. UO had 13 assists to 16 team turnovers, while UCI recorded nine assists and 12 turnovers.
The Anteaters were led offensively by Kevin Bland who came off the bench to shoot an amazing 12-of-14 from the field, finishing with a game-high 26 points. Eric Wise was the only other UCI player to score in double figures with 16 points.