Meet the participants of the BTI Tip-Off
With the exhibition portion of the season behind the Oregon men’s basketball team, the Ducks will now turn their attention to the Basketball Travelers Invitational Tip-Off Tournament this weekend. Oregon will host Colorado State University, UC Davis, and Winston-Salem State at McArthur Court with the first round of games beginning today at 4:30 p.m. when Colorado State takes on UC Davis. Oregon will play its opening round game tonight at 7 p.m. against Winston-Salem State.
Here’s a quick look at each of the four teams:
Head coach: Ernie Kent
2008-09 record: 8-23
Key returner: Tajuan Porter
Coming off of an 8-23 overall finish last season, the Ducks have shown some much-needed growth in the off-season both on the court and in the weight room after winning both exhibition games over Concordia on Nov. 1 and Lewis & Clark on Nov. 8.
Oregon returns 11 players from last year’s squad, while welcoming in four new faces with freshmen E.J. Singler, Jamil Wilson and sophomore transfers Malcolm Armstead and Jeremy Jacob from Chipola College. Senior point guard Tajuan Porter will be back for his final season with the Ducks, and he is now just four three-pointers away from breaking the Oregon school record.
Head coach: Tim Miles
Conference: Mountain West
2008-09 record: 9-22
Key returner: Andy Ogide
The Rams are coming off two wins in the early exhibition play as well, with victories over Regis University and Western State as they enter the BTI Tournament. CSU has showed strong balance offensively early on, as four of the five starters finished with double-digit points in each game. Freshman Dorian Green has led the Rams with 17 points in the season-opener and 16 the following week, while shooting a combined 6-of-14 from beyond the three-point line.
The CSU defense proved to be a force to be reckoned with, as they held Western State without a field goal for the first five minutes, 28 seconds of the second half.
Head coach: Gary Stewart
Conference: Big West
2008-09 record: 13-19
Key returner: Joe Harden
The Aggies opened their season with an 83-56 win over California State East Bay and 6-foot-5-inch redshirt freshman guard Ryan Howley came off the bench to shoot a perfect 6-of-6 from the field to finish with a game-high 16 points and four rebounds. Fellow redshirt freshman Julian Welch and sophomore Adam Malik also contributed 14 and 12 points, respectively.
UC Davis finished 16-19 last season after being defeated by Pacific 67-60 in the Big West Tournament quarterfinals. The Aggies return three starters from that squad in Mark Payne, Joe Harden and Dominic Calegari.
Head coach: Bobby Collins
Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic
2008-09 record: 8-22
Key returner: Brian Fisher
The Rams are the only team featured in the BTI Tournament that has not played a game during the 2009-10 season, with its season-opener coming tonight against the Oregon Ducks.
WSSU returns its leading scorer from last season with senior point guard Brian Fisher. The 6-foot-2-inch Fisher averaged 13.9 points per game last year, while knocking down a team-high 49 three-pointers.
Junior forward Paul Davis will be another key returner for the Rams after shooting 53 percent from the field last year and also pulled 5.4 rebounds per game.
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