No. 13 Oregon hammers UC Irvine to improve to 10-0
EUGENE, Ore. (AP)
The return of Dominic Artis has given Oregon a bounty of talented players, a problem coach Dana Altman is happy to have.
Artis, last year's starting point guard, returned from a nine-game suspension to score five points and grab eight rebounds in the No. 13 Ducks' 91-63 win over UC Irvine on Tuesday night.
The Ducks improved to 10-0 for the first time since 2006-07, when they started 13-0 and went on to win the Pac-10 and advance to the Elite Eight.
Altman said the addition of Artis to Oregon's deep roster is a "great problem" to have. "It's a long season, and you have all kinds of adversity," he added.
With the added depth, it's also easier to extend the defense with presses, Altman said.
When asked if Artis would regain his starting job over Johnathan Loyd, who has played well for the Ducks, Altman said he was more concerned with who would make plays and finish games.
"Having a lot of talent never seemed to be a problem on any team I've ever played on," said Mike Moser, who had 15 points for Oregon.
Artis and teammate Ben Carter were suspended for nine games for selling university-supplied apparel, a violation of NCAA rules. Artis led the Ducks with 3.2 assists per game last year as a freshman.
Joseph Young led Oregon with 18 points on Tuesday.
The Ducks made six of their first seven 3-pointers and led 28-12 after Young hit a 3 with about nine minutes left in the first half.
The lead grew to as many as 21 points and Oregon entered the break leading 48-29.
The game was never in question in the second half as the margin ballooned past 30.
"We got dominated," UC Irvine Coach Russell Turner said. "That wasn't much fun. I give Oregon credit for that."
Will Davis II had 20 points for the Anteaters (6-6) and Luke Nelson added 13 points, five rebounds and six assists.
Nelson is a freshman from England, but Turner said he wasn't surprised by his strong performance. "He's going to have a very fine career," Turner said.
Young entered the game leading the Ducks with 19.4 points per game. He and Moser are among seven transfers on Oregon's roster.
The Ducks ranked second nationally in scoring at 89.1 points heading into Tuesday's game.
UC Irvine was picked first in the Big West Conference preseason media poll for the first time in 12 years.
Last year, the Anteaters made the program's first postseason appearance in 11 years, beating High Point in the first round of the CIT before losing to Oral Roberts.
Chris McNealy scored 14 points for UC Irvine, which had four players averaging double figures coming into the game.
The Anteaters have two freshman over 7 feet, including 7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye, the tallest player in the nation.
Ndiaye was limited by two early fouls, but finished with seven points, five rebounds and four blocks.
"Mamadou has an impact on the game, both on offense and on defense when he's out there," Turner said.