It was far from their finest performance, but the Oregon men got the job done Monday night at Matthew Knight Arena, finishing off their exhibition slate of games with an 82-65 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State. Five Ducks scored in double figures Monday, as true freshman point guard Dominic Artis led the way once again for Oregon; scoring 15 points to go along with five rebounds and four steals. On a team with only four players who saw significant action last season, Artis has the look of a player ready and willing to lead once the regular season begins in earnest Saturday afternoon when the Ducks host Northern Arizona.
Artis chipped in 15 points, five rebounds, and four steals in Oregon's exhibition victory over Southwestern Oklahoma State.
"He's really got a knack for scoring and making plays," said Oregon head coach Dana Altman of Artis. "I think he's got a really good feel for the game. He's worked really hard, he's getting more consistent with competing and making plays; I think he's got tremendous upside.
"For a freshman making the transition it takes a little time, but I think he's making it quickly and I think he's making progress."
Behind Artis in the scoring column were four Ducks who scored 12 points a piece. E.J. Singler, Tony Woods, Damyean Dotson, and Carlos Emory each chipped in a dozen, with Singler shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field in his first game back after being sidelined a week ago versus Concordia with knee tendonitis. Though he was limited to 18 minutes, Singler flashed the ability to be Oregon's bonafide go-to scorer, demonstrating little to no ill affects coming off his injury.
"I felt pretty good," said Singler following the game. "The pain wasn't there -- which is good -- but the explosiveness and just the timing is going to take a little bit to get back in the groove, but overall I felt good.
"Defensively, I didn't do that well of a job, but that's kind of due to a little bit of the explosiveness [missing] and just the timing of it. I'll get back in the groove and our team will get back in the groove, but it'll take a little bit of time."
Within the context of his team as a whole, Altman admitted as much after the game, as the Ducks only led by six at halftime before running away with the game in the second stanza. 19 turnovers and generally poor rotation on the defensive end of the floor were the most glaring areas of concern for the third year head coach, who jokingly suggested that this team of youngsters might be ultimately be his undoing.
"This team is going to drive me nuts for awhile," said Altman. "We're making a lot of fundamental mistakes that we need to clean up to beat good teams or even stay in the game against good teams. We're making a lot of defensive mistakes but anytime you're throwing that many new guys out there, that's going to happen.
"This team's going to be up and down for awhile, but I like the young guys and I think they have tremendous upside and I think we have some pretty good depth."
The Ducks open the regular season this Saturday versus Northern Arizona at Matthew Knight Arena. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. and the game can be seen live on the Pac-12 Network.
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