Catron, Porter Sign with Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon men's basketball team has signed high school seniors Joevan Catron of Harvey, Ill., and Tajuan Porter of Detroit, Mich., to National Letters of Intent, head coach Ernie Kent announced Thursday.

"We have gone into the Midwest and recruited two excellent young men who the fans at McArthur Court are just going to love," said Kent. "Our fans recognize skill and talent and that's one of the reasons ESPNU chose Mac Court as one of the greatest venues to play in of all time. When they see what these two young men bring to the floor, it's going to be unbelievable in there.

"And I can't say enough about the tremendous families both these guys come from, and really it's an extended family when you get into support they get at their schools," said Kent.

Catron, a 6-6 forward, averaged 14 points per game as a junior at Thornton Township High School. He was rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, which called Catron an "undersized big man who battles and gets tough buckets inside...he's a max effort guy. You won't outwork him."

"The Pac-10 has had a number of great forwards from the Chicago area like Sean Lampley at Cal and Michael Wright at Arizona and Joevan is going to continue that tradition and make Chicago proud of the success he'll have," said Kent, who himself is a native of Rockford, Ill. "He has a great energy and passion for the game of basketball.

"Joevan has the ability to play two or three positions in our offense that will showcase all his talents," said Kent. "He can score in a variety of ways and his toughness and style of play will ignite our Mac Court fans."

Porter, a 5-6 point guard, is a former teammate of current UO sophomore Malik Hairston at Renaissance High School and played with Hairston in 2004 when Renaissance won the Michigan state class B championship.

As a junior, Porter averaged 18 points per game to lead Renaissance to a 22-3 record and the state semifinals. In a 67-50 win against Rogers, Porter recorded a quadruple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals. He also torched Rogers for 32 points later in the season. Like Catron, Scout.com gave Porter a three star rating saying he has, "serious range from the perimeter and (is) a strong player."

"What I love about Tajuan is that he possesses all the characteristics of an outstanding point guard like leadership, court awareness, tremendous shooting and great ball-handling ability," said Kent. "He always seems to make the right decision when the ball is in his hands.

"At a tournament we saw him at in Las Vegas, Tajuan was one of the top players out of the 3,500 that were there," said Kent. "He's a difference maker with a big-game mentality. He's going to be the next in the long tradition of excellent point guards we've had at Oregon."

Oregon has two seniors on the 2005-06 roster who will graduate in the spring in guard Brandon Lincoln and center Matt Short.

Also on Thursday, the Oregon Sports Network announced that the Feb. 9 game at Arizona has been added to the OSN schedule. That game will begin at 5:30 p.m. PST. OSN now will broadcast a total of 11 Oregon games live this season: Nov. 30 at Vanderbilt, Dec. 17 at New Mexico, Dec. 31 versus Oregon State, Jan. 21 at Washington, Jan. 28 versus USC, Feb. 2 against Stanford, Feb. 4 versus California, Feb. 11 at Arizona State, Feb. 16 against Washington and Feb. 18 versus Washington State, in addition to the Arizona game.

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