At this moment the Georgetown men's basketball team is in the midst of a 14-hour flight to South Korea where the Hoyas will open their regular season against Oregon. When coach John Thompson III and company land they will discover the Ducks are suddenly shorthanded.
Oregon suspended point guard Dominic Artis and forward Ben Carter for the immediate future for violation of NCAA rules, the website Oregon247sports reported. The pair along with three former players reportedly "sold exclusive basketball shoes."
Artis and Carter are two of six players back from last season's team that finished 28-9 and reached the NCAA Tournament's round of 16. That group includes Artis and backcourt partner Damyean Dotson, the only two returning starters.
Oregon enters this season ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll.
The Hoyas and Ducks are participating in the Armed Forces Classic, which will be played at U.S. Army base Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
When Thompson spoke with the local media on Monday, he emphasized the up-tempo Ducks pressure teams on both ends of the court. Certainly offensively the push comes from Artis, who started 25 games for the Ducks last season. The 6-foot-1 point guard led Oregon with 3.2 assists while averaging 8.5 points and 1.5 steals.
According to Oregon247, Artis came off the bench in two exhibition games. The website projects senior Johnathan Loyd start at point guard for Artis.
As a freshman, Carter played in all 37 games for the Ducks last year as a reserve. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game last season. Carter was in the mix for a starting role.
Initial reports have both suspended players out for Oregon's first nine games.
Despite the loss of Artis, the Ducks still have solid guard options. Last month, two days after the NCAA ruled center Josh Smith could play immediately for the Hoyas, Oregon learned University of Houston transfer Joseph Young would be immediately eligible. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 18.0 points for Houston last season.