Oregon Looks to Rebound in 2009-10

Eugene, OR - It was Media Day for Oregon's basketball team today at MacArthur Court and despite last seasons dismal record, there was a lot of optimism among the players and coaches. The Ducks finished last in the Pac-10 during the 2008-09 campaign, winning only two of 18 conference games.

Oregon's Head Coach Ernie Kent told the media gathered that "improvement in terms of strength and conditioning will be noticeable right away" from his young team. All five starters and 11 lettermen return for the Duck's all-time leader in career coaching wins with 219, in his 13th season at Oregon.

When asked what the goals were for this season, Kent responded "to win, to win. Every year, the goal is to get to the post-season." Several players, including seniors Joevan Catron and TaJuan Porter echoed those sentiments.

Kent feels that confidence is the key ingredient for the Ducks this season. He said the team has it now due to being a year older and stronger but that they need to carry it into the season.

Kent added that this is "the deepest team I've had" at Oregon and that he had to battle a lot of premier national programs to assemble the roster the Ducks now have.

The question is whether these Ducks will live up to their recruiting hype. Kent said that Oregon "will press a lot more this year...these kids have an enormous amount of energy."

Kent said that he expects to see improvement out of all of last seasons freshmen and mentioned Michael Dunigan's improved conditioning and game.

As for new Ducks, Malcolm Armstead (PG), Jamil Wilson (F), Jeremy Jacob (F), and EJ Singler (F), Kent said that Jacob "is a very good basketball player" and that fans "will like his game."

Jacob is a sophomore out of Chipola College in Florida which finished 3rd in the nation last season in Junior College basketball. Armstead also attended Chipola and led the team in three point percentage at 52 percent. Jacob and Armstead let Chipola on a 32 game winning streak last season.

The Ducks start their exhibition season on Nov. 1st against Concordia. The regular season opens at home on Nov. 13th against Winston-Salem State. In a notable non-conference game, Oregon plays at Missouri during the Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Series on Dec. 5th.

Porter is just four made 3-pointers shy of breaking the school record of 282 set by Orlando Williams from 1991-95. Porter is also 77 points shy of moving into the top ten of Oregon's career scoring leaders. If he continues on the pace from his first three years in Eugene, Porter may finish 4th in school history.

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