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Ducks to face early tests.

Byline: From Register-Guard and news service reports

The Oregon men's basketball program enjoyed one of the most successful campaigns in school history last season with a march to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and a 26-9 overall record. Now the Ducks are following that with a 2002-03 preseason schedule that will be one of the most challenging ever.

The highlight will be a rematch of last season's Midwest Regional final game against Kansas. The Ducks and Jayhawks will meet Dec. 7 in the Pape Jam at the Rose Garden in Portland. The Ducks will also host Minnesota at McArthur Court on Dec. 22, the first appearance in Eugene by a Big Ten team in 14 years, and have booked two other challenging games on the road.

Oregon will play at Pepperdine, an NCAA Tournament qualifier last year, on Dec. 14, then travel to East Rutherford, N.J., for its first meeting with traditional power Cincinnati on Dec. 17 in the Jimmy V Classic.

The Ducks haven't played this many good teams in the preseason since at least 1974, when Nevada-Las Vegas, Providence, Villanova and Hawaii played at Mac Court and the Ducks also faced a powerful Arizona State team in the Far West Classic.

"It's arguably the most challenging schedule Oregon has played in a long time, and Kansas, Cincinnati, Pepperdine and Minnesota will be every bit as good as teams we play in the Pac-10," UO coach Ernie Kent said. "Our program has reached a level where we need to compete against these teams to help us prepare for another outstanding Pac-10 race."

The Ducks will open the regular season on Nov. 24 with the first day of the John Thompson Foundation Challenge at McArthur Court. The four-team tournament will include Cal State-Northridge, Jacksonville and Grambling State, with the Ducks meeting Grambling State in the first round and the winner of the Northridge-Jacksonville game the next night.

In all, Oregon will play 13 games against 2002 NCAA Tournament teams, plus another against NIT participant Minnesota. Eleven of Oregon's 21 opponents won 18 games or more last season. The Ducks will open Pac-10 play at home against Arizona on Jan. 2.

Portland Fire guard Jackie Stiles recently underwent successful wrist surgery to remove scar tissue that formed after a procedure performed in September, the team announced Wednesday.

Stiles, the 2001 WNBA rookie of the year, missed 11 games this past season due to the injury and played mainly in a reserve role, averaging just 6.0 points and shooting 32 percent.

Rehabilition from the arthroscopic surgery is expected to take two to three weeks.


Former University of Oregon golfer Aaron Byers was eliminated in Wednesday's first round of match play in the U.S. Amateur tournament at Oakland Hills Country Club's South course.

Chris Botsford of Pasadena, Calif., beat Byers 4 and 3 to knock Byers out of the tournament.

Medalist Bill Haas, son of longtime PGA Tour pro Jay Haas, advanced with a 1-up win over Lee Williamson.

Two others with familial ties to professional golf played their way into the next round.

Kevin Stadler of Englewood, Colo., son of PGA Tour pro Craig Stadler, defeated Chris Davis, of Sour Lake, Texas, 4 and 3, and Daniel Summerhays, nephew of Senior PGA Tour pro Bruce Summerhays, advanced with a 2-and-1 win over Kirk Satterfield, of Bluefield, W.Va.
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Title Annotation:Regional Roundup: The Oregon men will play Minnesota, Kansas and Cincinnati in December.; Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Geographic Code:1U9OR
Date:Aug 22, 2002
Previous Article:Emeralds miss chance to close division gap.
Next Article:Walden bound for Montana.

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