EUGENE - The return of two players from suspension didn't disrupt the Ducks groove any, if anything it seemed to enhance their play, as the Oregon handed UC-Irvine their most convincing victory of the season 91-63.
Ben Carter and Dominic Artis made their season debuts in Tuesday's lopsided affair, with each showing why they were expected to play key roles on this year's team.
"It's a whole new squad when they came in," said guard Joseph Young, who led the team with 18 points.
Most believed Artis would retain his starting point guard role this season, but he and Carter were forced to miss nine games due to selling team apparel. Artis played a team-high 26 minutes and led the team with eight rebounds.
"I thought he was a little rusty, but I think he played OK," said coach Dana Altman.
Artis also contributed fives points and three assists.
The sophomore's minutes were ballooned due to starter Johnathan Loyd's foul trouble. Loyd played just 12 minutes, but according to Altman, it might not have been a detraction on this specific night.
"He's just kind of got to get himself into game shape. I'm glad we were able to get him a lot of minutes. Johnny had the foul trouble, so it kind of set it up that way and I think he handled it pretty good," he said.
Carter filled in for 19 minutes, the second most of any post player, and added four points and four rebounds.
"Ben is a pretty mature player, defensively, I think he really gets it," said forward Mike Moser. "I think that really helped us out today. He definitely makes my job easier."
With Carter and Artis back, the Ducks used a 10-man rotation. The increased depth allowed them to step up their defensive intensity and force a season-high 13 steals.
"I thought we had one of our best activity games on the defensive end. We were active. We had 13 steals and coach thought we did good," Young said.
According to Altman, the effort "was really good", but can certainly continue to improve.
"Our depth doesn't do us much good unless we are able to get more possessions, speed the game up and utilize the depth as much as we can," he said.
The Ducks matched their season average with 91 points, and once again it was variety of scorers tallying the total. Each of the 11 scholarship players scored, with four finishing in double figures.
Asked if the high volume of players might be a detractor, Moser said he doubted that would the case.
"Having a lot of talent never seemed to be a problem on any team I've ever played on. I think we have the right blend of guys."
Dotson and Calliste joined Young and Moser in double-figures, with 14 and 10 points respectively.