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Focus on Wiseman as No. 13 Memphis faces No. 14 Oregon

Memphis' James Wiseman (32) take his position on the floor between plays during an NCAA college basketball game against Illinois-Chicago, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 in Richmond, Va. (Dean Hoffmeyer/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Relatively untested in their first two games of the college basketball season, No. 13 Memphis and No. 14 Oregon will square off Tuesday night in the Ducks' backyard, the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.

It's technically a neutral-court game, part of the Phil Knight Invitational that is named for the Nike co-founder. But the city is less than two hours' drive north of Eugene, home of the Ducks.

The Tigers (2-0) are coming off a 92-46 win over Illinois-Chicago last Friday night, in which Boogie Ellis hit six 3-pointers as part of his 22 points and James Wiseman added 17 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

Wiseman, a 7-foot freshman center and the jewel of head coach Penny Hardaway's 2019 recruiting class, played despite being ruled ineligible by the NCAA, and after being granted a court injunction on the day of the game.

Attorneys for Wiseman have since sued the NCAA to restore the player's eligibility. The legal process with the NCAA will continue for Wiseman, Hardaway and the Tigers, but for Memphis, there is a basketball schedule to play and Wiseman is expected to suit up.

Hardaway was asked several times about Wiseman and the situation but said he couldn't comment on the NCAA matter.

"We know we have to focus. We still had a task ahead of us," Hardaway said after the game. "He (Wiseman) went out there and played his heart out. To me he was still business as usual."

The Ducks (2-0) are coming off a record-setting performance from 3-point range last Saturday night at home, when they cruised to a 106-75 win over Boise State.

Graduate transfer Anthony Mathis made 9 of 11 3-pointers, a Matthew Knight Arena single-game record, and scored 30 points. The Ducks made 42 of 60 shots (70 percent), also an arena record.

Senior guard Payton Pritchard added 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Pritchard, who's likely to make his NCAA-leading 112th consecutive start, is now one of just two players in school history with 1,000 points, 500 assists and 400 rebounds.

Pritchard moved past former NBA player Luke Ridnour for third on the Ducks' career assists list against Boise State. He has 501.

Oregon hopes to have post player Francis Okoro available. Okoro was struck by a car before the Boise State game and taken to a hospital but later released. He watched the game from the bench.

Ducks coach Dana Altman said after Saturday's game that Okoro is sore but his status is day-to-day, and that he hopes Okoro is ready because of the physical nature of his play that will be needed against Memphis.

"We're not very big, especially when Francis isn't out there," Altman said. "We're going to have to play really hard and run the floor really hard. Keeping them off the boards is going to be a real challenge."

Altman said the Tigers' athleticism stands out.

"We'll just find out where we're at," Altman said. "They're going to be really hard to play against. But our guys, I think they'll get excited about the opportunity. We love playing in Portland."

--Field Level Media

Updated November 12, 2019

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