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#8 Oregon Ducks Open Game Thread

Can the Dawgs pull off the home sweep of the Oregon schools against a tough Ducks team on national TV?

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NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament Final-Oregon vs Washington Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 1/18/19

Tip-Off Time: 12:45 pm PT


Radio: KOMO 1000

Streaming: CBS All-Access

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting line: Washington +2

Oregon 2019-20 Statistics:

Record: 14-4 (3-2)

Points For per Game: 77.3 ppg (32nd)

Points Against per Game: 67.2 ppg (116th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 113.9 (7th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 95.3 (81st)

Strength of Schedule: 24th overall

Oregon Key Players:

C- N’Faly Dante, Fr. 6’11, 230: 7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 64.1% FG, 42.9% FT

C- Francis Okoro, So. 6’9, 235: 4.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.9 bpg, 56.3% FG, 45.7% FT

Okoro normally gets the start for Oregon but since Dante became eligible he’s played nearly equal minutes and the two will split time at center unless Oregon goes small. Okoro is definitely the better rebounder and will give the Huskies a very tough time with his ability to provide second chance opportunities. Dante was a 5-star prospect and is shooting 73% in the paint this season but has been a below average rebounder and struggled mightily with fouls.

F- Shakur Juiston, Sr. 6’7, 225: 7.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 46.0% FG, 10.0% 3pt, 45.0% FT

Juiston came in as a grad transfer from UNLV and is a bruising power forward who is a plus offensive rebounder and adept scorer in the paint. Think a poor man’s Noah Dickerson. The biggest difference though is that Juiston is a fairly abysmal shooter and while Isaiah Stewart can’t afford to get in foul trouble, it might be better to send Juiston to the line at 45% rather than let him get an easy look at the basket.

F- Chris Duarte, Jr. 6’6, 190: 13.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 44.7% FG, 36.8% 3pt, 80.0% FT

Duarte was the top rated JUCO player in the country and he’s made an immediate impact for Oregon. He can score from anywhere on the court and has also been their best wing defender. Expect him to match up against Naz Carter or Jaden McDaniels if he’s playing and largely lock them down.

G- Will Richardson, So. 6’5, 180: 10.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 47.2% FG, 47.6% 3pt, 86.1% FT

After shooting just 28% on 3-pointers in his freshman season Will Richardson is now shooting a blistering 48% from deep while also cutting down on his turnovers. We’ll see whether he regresses to the mean a little bit but at least for now Richardson has the potential to punish Washington’s zone shooting over the top of it.

G- Anthony Mathis, Sr. 6’4, 185: 9.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.9 apg, 44.5% FG, 44.1% 3pt, 78.9% FT

Mathis was high school teammates of Payton Pritchard and grad transferred back home from New Mexico to be re-united with him at Oregon. He’s one of the best shooters in the country and is the definition of a 3-pt sniper. Mathis takes about 80% of his shots from behind the arc making nearly 45% of them. The Huskies absolutely can not afford to lose track of him in the zone or he will torch them from outside.

G- Payton Pritchard, Sr. 6’2, 190: 19.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.9 apg, 49.0% FG, 40.2% 3pt, 75.9% FT

Two days after playing the final regular season game against ageless wonder Tres Tinkle they’ll also finally be done with Payton Pritchard. He has saved the best for last and is playing at an All-American level. Pritchard has improved his shooting efficiency, increased his assists, and cut down on his turnovers all while taking more shots which is borderline unheard of. He has a season low of 14 points (excluding a 40 point romp over Alabama State where he didn’t play the whole game) so essentially no one has been able to figure out how to slow him down.

2019-20 Oregon Shot Chart

Synergy Sports

Unfortunately for the Huskies that’s a lot of red and orange. Oregon has not been a very good team shooting along the baseline so you may see the Huskies leave that spot open in the zone and dare the Ducks to beat them from there. They’ve been very efficient when getting the ball inside to the paint and Isaiah Stewart will need to play the defensive game of his life to give the Huskies a chance.

The Outlook

Oregon and Oregon State have averaged almost the exact same number of points on offense and defense this season but the reason the Ducks are a top-20 team and the Beavers aren’t is that they’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the country and OSU has played one of the easiest. This will already be Oregon’s 8th game against a team that’s top-40 at KenPom and only 2 of them were played in Eugene. You can bet that they won’t be intimidated to play in Hec-Ed. But then again they weren’t intimidated to play in Pullman and that didn’t stop the Cougars from pulling a massive upset on Thursday night.

What was the secret for Washington State? Hit over 50% of your 3’s. That strategy might not work so well for the Huskies who haven’t made more than 41% of their 3-pointers since the win over Ball State on December 22nd. RaeQuan Battle provided a spark for Washington on Thursday night and he may be the only player with the shooting chops to pull off a similar effort.

Dana Altman is a good defensive coach and you can be sure that he will start out the game doubling Isaiah Stewart on his every touch until the Huskies show they can adjust. He’s also likely to run a full court press for a large percentage of the game as they have in years past. Oregon presses on 32% of their defensive possessions which is by far the highest of any team Washington will play this season. The press has been a horror show for UW in recent years and it was at the end of the game against Oregon State. Without Quade Green available the Huskies will need to play their highest IQ basketball of the season to avoid giving up multiple easy steals for layups/dunks.

Probably the best way to beat the press on offense is actually to play good defense and keep Oregon from scoring. That’s been easier said than done this season as the Ducks rank in the 95th percentile nationally in points per possession. Oregon plays efficient basketball as they’re shooting 61% on shots at the rim (95th percentile) and 39% on 3-pointers (97th percentile). The Huskies have generally been good about taking away shots at the rim this season as they’re 6th nationally in 2-pt defense and 6th in block percentage. Washington will have to leave Isaiah Stewart in an island while staying home on Oregon’s shooters and trust that the potential All-American can take away enough shots to give the Dawgs a chance.

The only team Washington has faced this season with a similar amount of offensive firepower this season was Gonzaga and UW was able to keep the Zags from shooting well from the perimeter. It came at the cost though of Gonzaga shooting 56% on 2-point attempts and securing 11 offensive rebounds. The Ducks present a pick your poison scenario.

Perhaps a bit of good news is that Oregon is also prone to the unforced error. The Ducks rank 312th in non-steal TO% (UW is 310th) and also rarely force turnovers that aren’t steals (338th in the same stat on defense). Unfortunately with Pritchard at the helm they rank 6th in offensive steal percentage so the Husky zone will have their work cut out for them forcing live ball turnovers. Washington played their best ball control game in ages against OSU and if they can get past the press then there’s a chance for them to win the turnover battle and counter the offensive rebounding of Okoro.

It may not be a coincidence that Washington only committed 8 turnovers when both Elijah Hardy and Jaden McDaniels were unavailable. It’s unclear whether either will play on Saturday but the pair lead the team in turnovers per minute on offense. If either plays and struggles initially getting the ball in bounds then Hopkins may need to have a short leash and give Tsohonis and Battle another shot to prove themselves further.

The last time that Washington scored 65 or more points against Oregon was in the Pac-12 tournament in 2016 when they put up 77 and still lost by 6. The Huskies have the slowest tempo in the country on defense and Oregon has the 318th ranked tempo overall. This will be a low possessions game which means the Dawgs can not afford to give away the ball. They need to get up a shot every time down the court and give themselves a chance. If Oregon has 2-3 steals with their press for easy layups then I don’t think Washington can keep up barring an out of body experience day shooting the ball from deep. The defense has been great lately but they haven’t faced a test like Oregon in a long time.

This game will likely have the highest viewership for Washington since their NCAA 2nd round match against North Carolina. It’s the game of the day for CBS and a tremendous opportunity if the Huskies can play up to their potential. I see this one playing out as a lower scoring version of the Gonzaga game where the energy from the crowd helps keep things close but they can’t quite get over the hump as Pritchard makes his free throws late.


Washington Huskies- 57, Oregon Ducks- 60


Keep up with the game in the comments below. You can also follow me for all your UW Men’s Basketball News and Game Updates @UWDP_maxvroom