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Tough slate for UO men's hoops.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Oregon will play as many nonleague games out of Eugene as in McArthur Court, adding a challenging element to the 2007-08 men's basketball schedule announced Wednesday.

`It's just the way it worked out,' UO coach Ernie Kent said. `This team is definitely going to get challenged, and with the (nonleague) games away from home, it becomes a very difficult schedule.'

Oregon won all 12 of its nonleague games last season, propelling it to a 29-8 season that saw the Ducks reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Going unbeaten in nonleague games again this year will be much more of an accomplishment, with so many games away from home and an increased level of competition.

The Ducks will travel to the Midwest to play two Big 12 teams, Kansas State on the home court of the Wildcats on Nov. 29 as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series that matches teams from those conferences, and Nebraska in Omaha on Dec. 15.

Oregon will play Oakland University in Detroit on Dec. 22, an opportunity for Ducks Malik Hairston and Tajuan Porter to play in their hometown. Kent said Oregon will strive to play a game in a future season in Chicago, the hometown of UO sophomore Joevan Catron and two recruits expected to sign with the Ducks in November.

Oregon will play at Saint Mary's on Nov. 20. The 1997 Saint Mary's team, which won the West Coast Conference title in Kent's final season as coach at the school before leaving for Oregon, will be honored in conjunction with that game. It will be the first time Kent has coached against Saint Mary's.

`I felt it was the right thing to do,' Kent said of scheduling the game. `What that team did was pretty amazing and they should be honored.'

Oregon's other nonleague games out of Eugene will take the Ducks twice to Portland, against the Pilots on Nov. 17 at the Chiles Center and at the Rose Garden against Utah on Dec. 8 in the annual Pape Jam.

The nonleague opponents playing in McArthur Court are Pepperdine, the University of the Pacific and Western Michigan in the season opening World Vision Invitational on Nov. 10-12, and later the University of San Francisco, Sacramento State and Mount St. Mary's. There will also be exhibition games against St. Martin's and Concordia.

The Pac-10 schedule includes two Sunday games for Oregon, on Jan. 13 at McArthur Court against Stanford and Jan. 20 at Washington State.

For the complete schedule, see page D2 in today's Scoreboard.
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Title Annotation:Sports; Ducks will be challenged with six nonleague games on the road during 2007-08 season
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 23, 2007
Words:427
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