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Oregon Ducks Game Preview/Open Thread

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Washington closes out the regular season in a must win game against the rival Ducks

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 3/3/18

Tip-Off Time: 1:30pm PST

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting Line: Oregon -1.5

Oregon 2017-18 Statistics:

Record: 19-11 (9-8)

Points For per Game: 78.9 ppg (53rd)

Points Against per Game: 71.8 ppg (140th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 112.1 (70th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 101.0 (86th)

Strength of Schedule: 88th

Oregon Key Players:

C- Kenny Wooten, Fr. 6’9, 220: 6.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 67.2% FG, 61.2% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 60% 2-pt (7th), 52.4% FT

F- MiKyle McIntosh, Sr. 6’7, 240: 10.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 46.1% FG, 34.9% 3pt, 74.4% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 49.5% 2pt, 36.1% 3pt (24th), 77.8% FT (15th)

F- Troy Brown, Fr. 6’7, 215: 11.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 46.5% FG, 30.5% 3pt, 75.3% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 57.8% (11th), 26.9% 3pt, 72.5% FT

G- Elijah Brown, Sr. 6’4, 200: 13.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 41.7% FG, 35.2% 3pt, 93.6% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 55.4% 2pt (18th), 34.9 3pt, 93.5% FT (1st)

G- Payton Pritchard, So. 6’2, 195: 14.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.9 apg, 45.4% FG, 41% 3pt, 80.5% FT

Conference-Only Percentages: 46.5% 2pt, 37.8% 3pt (17th), 78.3% FT (14th)

The Outlook

Washington’s road trip to Eugene at the beginning of February was probably the most depressing game of the Husky season. UW was coming off an insane high from a last second euphoric victory over Arizona and there were commenters on the blog debating about whether a 5-seed was achievable. Then the Dawgs crapped the bed and scored an anemic 40 points in a 25 point loss to an Oregon team coming off a 35 point loss to being a 3 game losing streak.

Now the Huskies get Oregon at home where their offense has been much more consistent. Washington shot a season low 32.4% on 2-pointers in that first game which was almost entirely due to the presence of Kenny Wooten. Oregon’s shot blocker extraordinare got his hands on 7 shots and altered a handful more. UW has to be smarter when attacking inside. They can’t telegraph a drive and finesse it in with a floater or finger roll. UW has to either pump fake and get Wooten caught in the air or go straight into his body to negate his athleticism/wingspan. I expect to see smarter offense.

Jaylen Nowell will also need to come up big. While he’s had a few big games in the 2nd half of the year it’s been noticeable that some of those mid-range jumpers that used to swish aren’t falling now. Nowell had probably his worst game in Eugene going 4 for 15 with 5 turnovers and 1 assist. He missed an early air ball and the Oregon student section chanted it every time he touched it the rest of the game. Without that in his head he’ll hopefully play better.

Troy Brown was a one man wrecking crew on offense in the high post but no one else for Oregon scored more than 12 points. I don’t see any reason why Washington can’t pull off a similar defensive effort this afternoon. It will be interesting to see if Hopkins continues to play more with Hameir Wright at center. His length/athleticism might be able to shut down the Kenny Wooten lob which Noah Dickerson was powerless to stop.

The Huskies know what’s at stake here. A win and they are exceedingly likely to finish in the top-5 of the conference and may be just 1 more win away from an NCAA berth. A loss and they have to play Oregon State a 3rd time and will have to win 4 straight to get to the Big Dance. This game is massive. How Washington handles the pressure will decide this game. At this point I’m picking with my heart and going to pray they can get this thing done. Let’s send out Dan Kingma right on senior night. Go Dawgs!

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 71, Oregon Ducks- 69

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