Returning starter Arts, Carter suspended indefinitely

by: COURTESY OF ERIC EVANS - Mike Moser, new Oregon Ducks forward from Grant High, drives to the hoop in last week's 99-59 victory at home over Northwest Christian.The college basketball season is here.

Well, in one respect, it's a long way from here.

For the Oregon men, it's in Seoul, South Korea. That's where the Ducks will play their season opener Friday, 5 p.m. PT., against Georgetown.

The game will take place at Camp Humphreys. ESPN will show it as part of the Armed Forces Classic. It's Georgetown's opener, as well.

The Hoyas have been picked to finish second in the Big East, behind Marquette. They are coming off a 25-7 season and No. 2 NCAA Tournament seed.

The Ducks are picked for fourth in the Pac-12, after their strong showing last season, when they challenged for the Pac-12 regular-season title before tying for second, then re-peaked in the postseason, beating UCLA in the conference tourney final and knocking off No. 4 seed Oklahoma State and No. 5 St. Louis in NCAA action as an upstart 12th seed.

Oregon's run ended in the round of 16 against eventual national champion Louisville, but the Ducks finished 28-9 after being ranked as high as 10th in the nation.

Oregon has lost some key pieces through the graduation of E.J. Singler, Arsalan Kazemi, Tony Woods and Carlos Emory. Singler, Kazemi and Woods were starters.

Returning starters are guards Damyean Dotson, a 6-5 sophomore, and Dominic Arts, a 6-1 sophomore -- although Arts was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday for selling team-issued apparel over the past year. The number of games Arts and 6-8 sophomore backup forward Ben Carter will miss has yet to be determined.

Oregon's returning group also includes 5-8 senior Johnathon Loyd, who figures to draw even more playing time in Arts' absence.

Those three backcourt players combined for 27.4 points per game last season.

Arizona, UCLA and Colorado are rated above the Ducks in this year's Pac-12 preseason poll, as Oregon will have to reload with the likes of guard Joseph Young, a junior transfer from Houston (18 points per game last season) and former Grant High star Mike Moser, a 6-8 who came from UNLV who had 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds as a Rebels sophomore.

It's a tough schedule for coach Dana Altman's Ducks, who leave Tuesday for Seoul to get used to the 17-hour time difference. Oregon will play 19 games against teams that competed in the 2013 postseason.

That includes a Dec. 14 game at Moda Center against Illinois.

The immediate schedule after the Georgetown game is kinder — Oregon's home opener is Nov. 13 against Western Carolina, and then come home games with Utah Valley on Nov. 19, San Francisco on Nov. 24, University of the Pacific on Nov. 29, North Dakota on Nov. 30 and Cal Poly on Dec. 1.

The Pac-12 season opens for Oregon on Jan. 2, with the Ducks at Utah. They'll be at Colorado on Jan. 5.

Civil War dates are Jan. 19 at Oregon State and Feb. 16 at home against the Beavers.

The Pac-12 tournament starts March 12 at Las Vegas.

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