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Oregon Ducks Game Preview and How to Watch

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Washington looks to build off their first win at home against their rival

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Saturday, 12/12/20

Tip-Off Time: 5:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: 1090 AM/KVI 570 (the game was getting moved off KJR 950 because of the overlap with the football game so we’ll see if they move it back)

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting line: Washington +8.5

Oregon Ducks 2020-21 Statistics:

Record: 3-1

Points For per Game: 78.5 ppg (59th)

Points Against per Game: 67.8 ppg (106th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 110.4 (16th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 90.7 (38th)

Strength of Schedule: 115th

Oregon Key Players:

G- Chris Duarte, Sr. 6’6, 190: 15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, 57.5% FG, 45.0% 3pt, 100% FT

Duarte was viewed as a reasonable Pac-12 player of the year candidate and he’s had an incredibly efficient start even if the raw stats could be a little higher. He’s the former junior college player of the year and has taken on a little more of a distributor role with the Ducks’ starting point guard injury. He can do just about everything on the court and affect the game without completely dominating the ball. His 71.5% true shooting percentage has to come down at some point though.

F- Eric Williams, Jr. 6’6, 200: 14.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, 50.0% FG, 40.0% 3pt, 75.0% FT

The transfer from Duquesne has had a great start to his Oregon career and has been even more efficient than he did in the Atlantic-10. Some of the most similar statistical comps to his freshman season at KenPom include eventual pros like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bradley Beal. Williams is a fantastic rebounder and definitely can stretch the floor as well.

F- Eugene Omoruyi, Sr. 6’6, 235: 21.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 50.0% FG, 33.3% 3pt, 62.5% FT

It’s been the transfer from Rutgers who has taken over this team and is top-20 in the country in percentage of team’s shots taken at 36.1%. So when he’s on the court he’s taken more than one-third of Oregon’s shots. Statistical comps to his most recent season include Reid Travis so he’s shown off better rebounding chops than so far. But he is a dominant scorer in the paint with the range to step out and hit 3-pointers on the wing.

G- LJ Figueroa, Sr. 6’6, 200: 6.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 53.3% FG, 28.6% 3pt, 66.7% FT

There may still be a little bit of chemistry issues for Figueroa since he missed the opener for Oregon after a late arriving transfer waiver finally got granted. He averaged 14+ points each of his first two seasons at St. John’s shooting better than 35% from 3-point range so he’ll eventually get going...but hopefully not against UW.

G- Amauri Hardy, Jr. 6’2, 190: 4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.0 apg, 50.0% FG, 20.0% 3pt, 25% FT

We arrive at transfer #4 as Hardy has been pressed into starting point guard duties coming in from UNLV. So far though he’s been the clear weak link for Oregon offensively averaging almost 3 turnovers per game and unable to make a jump shot.

C- N’Faly Dante, So. 6’11, 230: 8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 65.2% FG, 50% FT

The former 5-star continues to look like a dominating presence when he’s in the game but hasn’t shown the stamina to stay on the court for very long. He went 10/10 from the field against a completely overmatched Florida A&M team on Wednesday night but had 11 combined points in their first 3 games. Against Washington’s zone though he could have a big night on the boards.

Oregon 2020-21 Shot Chart

Synergy Sports

Oregon has absolutely lit things up in the paint making nearly 2/3rds of their shots from there. They’ve also been great from 3-point range everywhere except from the top of the arc. That’s the easiest place to get an open 3-point look against Washington’s defense so hopefully they settle for some long shots from there. They also have not been very good making that free throw line jumper which bodes well against the zone.

The Outlook

Is it too late to cancel this UW-Oregon game instead of the football game?

Coming into this season the Ducks were viewed as part of a triumvirate at the top of the conference along with UCLA and Arizona State. However, I had them #1 in my preseason rankings. Even without starting PG Will Richardson who is out for at least another month following hand surgery (46.5% 3pt last year) the Ducks are still loaded. They brought in 4 transfers who have averaged double digit points per game before and all were from conferences that usually get multiple bids to the NCAA tournament so no one who put up numbers going up against Marist or Bethune-Cookman every night.

Oregon’s success can be chalked up largely to their versatility. Their 4 leaders in minutes per game are all 6’6 but it comes in a variety of body types. Omoruyi is reminiscent of former Duck Jordan Bell and can hold his own playing center against many teams. Duarte can play both on and off the ball while Williams and Figueroa are both quality shooters and quality rebounders. And for the minutes when they need some extra heft then N’Faly Dante and Chandler Lawson can put up quality minutes splitting minutes at center.

They’ve managed to put together an offense built mostly at obliterating teams near the rim. Oregon is 37th nationally in the % of 2-point shots they take and also 32nd in their percentage making those shots. This will be a massive challenge for Nate Roberts and Riley Sorn to man the middle against what should be a relentless assault. Expect the UW bigs to force Oregon to show they’re willing to take and make the midrange jumper before leaving the area right around the basket.

The Ducks’ defense has been only so-so this year but their biggest strength has been on the defensive glass. Washington is coming off by far their best offensive game of the season but it’s tough to know how real it is unless we see a repeat performance against a team of Oregon’s caliber. This is a game where Coach Hopkins would love to have the Dawg Pack behind them but hopefully the familiar shooting setting leads to a repeat 50% 3-pt shooting performance.

Quade Green will need another lights out performance in order to keep this one close. And if Erik Stevenson or RaeQuan Battle could pick a night to come out of their early shooting slumps, this would be it. If Washington plays like they did against Seattle then they have a shot to steal this one. But given how bad they were the first 3 games it’s tough to think things have completely changed until we get a bigger sample size.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 65, Oregon Ducks- 78

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