Oregon Downs St. Martin's 101-58

Eugene – It was what one would expect for an opening exhibition game, plenty of mistakes and miscues but also signs that the No. 13 Oregon Ducks could be a very good basketball team again this year. The Duck opened the 2007-08 season with an exhibition win over St. Martin's of Lacey (Wash.) 101-58.

"It was nice to play someone, just to be able to look at the tape and see things to work on," said Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent. "There were some things to I saws we need to work on. The 20 turnovers were too many, but it was just nice to get a game under out belt. Overall, I'd give them a C plus."

The contest ran in stretches with some pretty good basketball and then the game would look like it was being played at the local YMCA rather than Mac Court. Oregon started the game off with Bryce Taylor, Malik Hairston, Maarty Leunen, Tujaun Porter and Joevan Catron as the starting line up, but it wasn't too far along in the game when the bench started to get some work. The Ducks raced off to a 48-27 halftime lead that wasn't too surprising considering St. Martin's play in NAIA and the Ducks made it the Elite-8 last March. While the starters were in the line up the execution was too far off what fans saw last spring, but when the new faces stepped on the court, thing became a little more tentative.

"We wanted to get a lot of bodies on the floor and get everyone in the game," conceded Kent. "I'm glad we had a the opportunity to do that."

Bryce Taylor picked up right where he left off last spring by finding creative ways to get to the hoop and stroking the ball easily outside the 3-point line. Taylor was the game-high scorer with 20 on 8-for-9 shooting including 3-of-4 in 3-pointers. Porter had 12 while Leunen popped in five but had 10 rebounds. Hairston was hampered with foul trouble for the entire game and finished early by fouling out, recording five points in only eight minutes of play. Catron was particularly effective early on and it was very apparent that losing 20 pounds during the off-season helped him get up and down court as well as attack the basket aggressively. He had eight points a block and as steal for the night but it was Taylor's offense that put the game away early.

"Bryce has been on a tear since the summer and he continued that," Kent said of Taylor. "His energy and confidence are just really high right now."

Redshirt freshman LeKendric Longmire made his first appearance as a Duck and responded by recording 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting with one 3-pointer on two attempts. Longmire was smooth in his ball handling and was happy he's finally on the court after spending last year in redshirt status. In the last three years, he's been sidelined for two years. He missed his entire junior year of high school but did play as a senior. Another freshman that showed great potential was Kamyron Brown. Brown came in and took over ball handling duties from Porter and held his own quite nicely. Some of his passes will remind many of Luke Ridnour's ability to find an open man. Brown had 12 points and was the high man in assists with five.

"I was really impressed with Kamyron," said Kent of Brown. "He's got a chance to be real good at this level."

Mitch Platt and Ray Schafer showed something tonight at the high post as they both made sharp, crisp passes to teammates cutting to the basketball. Kent said in the post-game interviews that the Ducks had picked up the high post options from visiting with the Phoenix Suns this last summer. Platt had two assists while Schafer picked up one, but it was clear both players were capable of executing the pass from the high post. Platt also had three boards in 11 minutes of play.

"Mitch played well," offered Kent. "He rebounded well and did a good job for us while he was on the floor."

Everyone saw time on the floor tonight. Frantz Dorsainvil made up time and as he allowed himself to play with the flow of the game he's big body and physical presence was obvious. Kent feels that right now Dorsainvil thinks too much about what he is trying to do in the game rather than just doing what comes naturally in the game. Kent feels in a month or two Dorsainvil will be a much different player.

"I don't think you can really judge him (Dorsainville) until late December," state Kent.

Drew Viney looked as if he wanted to pass the ball off rather than take his shots but as with the entire bench any mistakes made were because of hustle rather than complacency. Kent is convinced that Viney can turn the shooting touch on and it is just a matter of time that happens. The rest of the players, Churchill Odia, John Elorriaga and Nicholas Fearn saw at least five minutes of playing time tonight.

"Our young guys are going to make us good," Kent said of his team. "They will hold us accountable in practice."

Jake Linton led the way for St. Martin's with 16 while Brendan Campbell and Bill Richardson both had 10.

The game was sloppy at points as reflected by the 20 turnovers – which were way too many for Kent's liking. One the upside though, was that the Ducks had 15 steals. The 8,511 in attendance were treated to some good play and glimpses at what the Ducks can be. Hard work in practice and an increased emphasis on defense should have the team ready when the counting games come around later this month and a better grade from the head coach.

Next Tuesday the Ducks will back on Mac Court for another exhibition game against Concordia. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The season formally opens on Saturday, November 10th against Pepperdine staring 4 p.m.

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