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Oregon Ducks Open Thread

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Can the Huskies close out an undefeated season at home on senior night heading into the Pac-12 tournament?

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 3/9/19

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT

TV: ESPN

Streaming: Espn.com/watch

Radio: KOMO 1000 AM/97.7 FM and TuneIn

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting Line: Washington -5.5

Oregon 2018-19 Statistics

Record: 18-12 (9-8)

Points For per Game: 70.5 (219th)

Points Against per Game: 64.3 (22nd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 107.3 (115th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 95.2 (33rd)

Strength of Schedule: +3.52 (77th)

Oregon Key Players

F- Kenny Wooten, So. 6’9, 235: 6.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 55.7% FG, 70.7% FT

Wooten has been good this year but his stats are down almost across the board except for his free throw shooting which is way up. His shot blocking is still absolutely elite but his offensive game is almost entirely wide open dunks and putbacks. Wooten had just 2 points and 0 blocks when they played the Huskies in January but last year he eviscerated the Huskies shooting 88% from the field with 5.5 blocks per game.

F- Paul White, Sr. 6’9, 230: 10.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.6 apg, 45.2% FG, 38.4% 3pt, 74.6% FT

White’s a player that has the ability to give Washington some serious matchup problems with his outside shooting at 6’9. He’s making almost 42% of 3-pt attempts in conference play while also contributing on the offensive glass. He was hobbled with an injury during the first meeting and only managed 5 points and 1 rebound.

F- Louis King, Fr. 6’9, 205: 12.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 42.9% FG, 35.5% 3pt, 76.9% FT

King was a 5-star player entering this season but missed the first 7 games due to injury and then struggled to integrate. He picked things up in a major way in conference play though averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds on 48% shooting from the field. He is shooting 42% on 3’s from the right side of the court or straight away and just 26% from the left side of the court so the Huskies have to track him when he’s on the right wing or corner.

G- Victor Bailey, So. 6’4, 190: 8.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 41.7% FG, 41.3% 3pt, 90.5% FT

Bailey is one of the best shooters in the conference and is on a particular hot streak shooting a very nice 11 of 16 (69%) from deep over the past 4 games. He’s not a great passer or finisher at the rim but the Huskies will have to mark his every move on the perimeter.

G- Payton Pritchard, Jr. 6’2, 195: 12.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.4 apg, 40.8% FG, 32.7% 3pt, 85.2% FT

The injury to Bol Bol obviously took the wind out of Oregon’s sails but Pritchard’s play this season has to be #2 on Duck fans’ list of biggest disappointments. Last season in conference play he had a 27/12.5 Assist rate to Turnover rate and shot 39.4% from 3-pt range. This year it’s 22.5/15.7 and shooting just 31.6% from beyond the arc. Oregon is 2-6 in games when he has an offensive rating below 100 and 11-3 when it’s above 110. If he has an inefficient game it makes it much harder for the Ducks to win.

Oregon Shot Chart

The Ducks don’t take a ton of midrange shots but they’ve been very efficient when they do. With multiple 6’9 shooters on the roster the Ducks are very well equipped to give the Huskies problem in the high post against the zone.

Synergy Sports

The Outlook

It all comes down to this. A win by Washington 100% guarantees that they will be ending a streak of 7 straight years without an NCAA tournament appearance regardless of what happens in the Pac-12 tournament next week. It also would mean that the Huskies go undefeated at home for the first time since 2005 when they were a #1 seed in the tournament and made the Sweet 16.

You know the atmosphere is going to be electric since this is senior night for one of the great recruiting classes in Washington history. What started out as a group of 8 following an emphatic reset of the program under Coach Romar ends with 4 remaining: Matisse Thybulle, Noah Dickerson, David Crisp, and Dominic Green. Each had the opportunity to transfer after Coach Hopkins took over but they all stayed true to Washington and because of that will be fondly remembered in Seattle for the rest of their days regardless of how the rest of the season turns out.

The hope is that the Huskies are able to channel the extra emotion that will be in the building for senior night against the team’s most hated rivals and turn it into productivity rather than have it make them sloppy and frenetic (it’s probably not a good sign in this regard that David Crisp and Noah Dickerson were both tweeting that they couldn’t sleep at 2a this morning). That will be even more imperative against this particular Oregon squad. The Huskies play slow but the Ducks play at one of the slowest tempos in the country which could frustrate the team if they are overly amped up. It also will be a problem against the Oregon press.

Last time around the Ducks went exclusively to a full-court press over the final quarter of the game and it caused a full-on Washington collapse. The Huskies held a 9-point lead with 8 minutes remaining but went scoreless over a 6 minute stretch during which the Dawgs committed 6 turnovers in 9 possessions. Many of those times the ball never even made it past half court or was even controlled by a Husky player before they gave it away. If Washington is able to consistently (I mean 95%+) beat the press then I don’t think Oregon has the firepower to stay in it. But if you give them 10+ points off turnovers then the Dawgs are in real trouble.

This Oregon team is much better than their record suggests and are (in my opinion and most computer metrics) at least the 3rd best team in the conference even without Bol Bol. They have had 3 games in which they held a 90%+ win expectancy in the 2nd half that they ended up losing. That statistic may reflect a lack of mental toughness but it also shows that Oregon is capable of getting out to a dominant position in the first place. They’re on a 3-game winning streak including 2 flat out demolitions of the Arizona schools at home.

I see two potential outcomes for this game. In the first, the Huskies adequately channel their emotions and play with a focus and fire that blows Oregon completely out of the water in a romp. In the second, Washington struggles with turnovers early trying to force things but are able to claw back into it and once again the game comes down to the final minute. I’m desperately hoping for option #1 but...

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 64, Oregon Ducks- 63

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