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Oregon Ducks Game Preview/Open Thread

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The Huskies look to extend their winning streak to 5 games

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Stanford John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Thursday, 2/8/18

Tip-Off Time: 7:15pm PST

TV: FS1

Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: Foxsportsgo.com

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Betting Line: Oregon -7.5

Oregon 2017-18 Statistics:

Record: 15-8 (5-5)

Points For per Game: 79.2 ppg (44th)

Points Against per Game: 72.1 ppg (155th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 110.8 (80th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 102.2 (113th)

Strength of Schedule: 110th

Oregon Key Players:

C- Kenny Wooten, Fr. 6’9, 220: 6.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 70.7% FG, 62.8% FT

Wooten is possibly the most physically dominating player in the conference. He’s 3rd nationally in block percentage and 8th in 2-pt % on offense so he will contest everything at the rim and dunk everything on the other end. But he is still incredibly raw and fouls a lot so it’ll be fascinating to see the battle between him and Dickerson.

F- MiKyle McIntosh, Sr. 6’7, 240: 9.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 45.7% FG, 30.9% 3pt, 75.8% FT

The grad transfer from Illinois State has been a useful glue guy but stands out mostly as an above average rebounder and solid defender.

F- Troy Brown, Fr. 6’7, 215: 11.7ppg, 6.5rpg, 3.0apg, 46.9% FG, 32.4% 3pt, 74.6% FT

Brown is a projected lottery pick who has been good but hasn’t lived up to Duck fans’ expectations. He’s above average in every regard except outside shooting where he’s fine but not great for a wing. This is the perfect Duck recruit from a Husky perspective as he’s good enough to only stay one year but not good enough to make Oregon a force.

G- Elijah Brown, Sr. 6’4, 200: 13.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 42.4% FG, 36.5% 3pt, 96.3% FT

The other Brown (no relation) is a grad transfer from New Mexico where he led the MWC in scoring last year as a high volume low efficiency player. He has lowered his volume and improved his efficiency this year and has become the best free throw shooter in the country (54/56 and 22 straight to start conference play). If Oregon wins it’s likely because Brown has a good night.

G- Payton Pritchard, So. 6’2, 195: 14.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.5 apg, 46.1% FG, 40.8% 3pt, 81.4% FT

Pritchard is the lone returning starter from the Ducks’ Final 4 team of a year ago and he’s played like it. The ball is almost always in his hands especially in crunch time and Oregon relies on him to make good decisions. He has the size to get shots up over the zone and is by far Oregon’s best shooter.

The Outlook

There was an argument to be made that Oregon was finally hitting their stride. They struggled in the non-conference with 0 wins of note but were just 341/351 in minutes continuity so it could be expected that they’d need some time. They beat UCLA at home after close losses to Arizona and USC then beat OSU and Cal for a 3-game winning streak. But last Saturday they lost by 35!!!!! points at Maples Pavilion to Stanford, the worst loss of the Dana Altman era. With Oregon coming off their worst loss in a decade and Washington coming off their best win in several years how will both teams react?

This Ducks team has the potential to give the UW zone problems. If Oregon plays small with Troy Brown at the 4 and puts him in the high post he has the perfect skill set to punish the Huskies. They also could put Elijah Brown there who almost literally doesn’t miss from the free throw line which is scary. Oregon likes to get the ball inside and take shots at the rim where they shoot a very high percentage. However, they will occasionally get a little too happy shooting 3-pointers and if they revert back to that tendency then Washington is in great shape.

Oregon’s biggest problem on defense is at the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 75% against them (330/351) and Oregon is just 299th in preventing the opponent from getting to the line. While some of the free throw shooting is bad luck, it suggests they have a tendency to foul guards on the perimeter. David Crisp will have to make extra efforts to drive the ball rather than launching 3’s. It’s much harder to rely on getting foul calls when on the road but it’s the best way to attack the Duck defense despite the presence of an elite shot blocker. Jaylen Nowell’s mid range game has the potential to be huge stopping just short of Wooten blocking the rim.

Washington absolutely can’t take this game lightly. I generally don’t take emotion into account when predicting games but it wouldn’t surprise me if the mental aspect comes into play here. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know whether each team will play better or worse coming off such a big win or loss. It does worry me that the line on this game opened at 5 and has gone all the way to Oregon 7.5. But I think Washington is definitely a better team right now and hopefully that’s enough to get it done on the road. Go Dawgs!

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 71, Oregon Ducks- 65

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