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Oregon Game Preview & How to Watch

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Washington looks to extend its winning streak to 4 games taking on the rival Ducks in Eugene

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 12 Oregon at Washington Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Sunday, 1/23/22

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT

TV: FS1

Streaming: Foxsportsgo.com

Radio: Huskies Gameday App

Location: Eugene, Oregon

DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies +11.5

Oregon Ducks 2021-22 Statistics:

Record: 11-6 (4-2)

Points For per Game: 72.8 ppg (114th)

Points Against per Game: 68.9 ppg (153rd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 113.2 (28th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 99.8 (108th)

Strength of Schedule: 21st

Oregon Key Players:

G- Will Richardson, Sr. 6’5, 180: 14.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 47.3% FG, 45.1% 3pt, 70.6% FT

Richardson isn’t a true point guard but he fills the role well enough as the homegrown leader for the Ducks. There’s no question he’s an elite shooter and has made almost 42% of his 3-point attempts in his career. Unlike many guys that shoot that kind of a percentage he takes more shots from inside the arc so he has some more variety to his game. During Oregon’s 6-game winning streak he has a 17:5 assist to turnover ratio and is making more than half of his 3’s.

G- De’Vion Harmon, Jr. 6’2, 200: 10.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.2 apg, 41.4% FG, 37.9% 3pt, 84.6% FT

After starring for an Oklahoma team that made the tournament last year Harmon has taken a slightly reduced role for Oregon. Last year he shot almost 57% on 2’s and that’s down to 43% this year in a new offense that doesn’t give him as many easy looks at the basket. Still, he’s a reliable shooter and has been a perfectly serviceable shooting guard option that has scored double digits in 6 of their last 7 games.

G- Jacob Young, Sr. 6’3. 190: 11.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, 43.8% FG, 27.7% 3pt, 69.2% FT

After a breakout season for Rutgers last year Young has similarly backslid transferring to Oregon. He’s averaging 3 less points and 1 less assist than last year while shooting almost 10% worse from the 3-pt line. That’s not surprising since he was the lead guard for Rutgers and has often been the 3rd option on offense for the Ducks. He scored 23 in an upset win at UCLA and 22 in a win over Utah in the last few weeks so like everyone else he’s heating up.

F- Quincy Guerrier, Jr. 6’8. 220: 8.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.9 apg, 41.7% FG, 28.1% 3pt, 56.8% FT

I really wanted Guerrier from Syracuse but he has probably been the most underwhelming of the transfers. His efficiency stats aren’t that different from playing under Boeheim but he’s averaging 7 fewer minutes per game at Oregon which makes the drop in his per game stats very noticeable (13.7 and 8.4 to 8.1 and 5.2). The other big difference is that at Syracuse he only took about 25% of his shots from outside and at Oregon it’s 50%. For an only so-so shooter that’s not a good thing for the Ducks.

C- N’Faly Dante, Jr. 6'11, 230: 8.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 71.4% FG, 51.2% FT

Last season Dante tore his ACL in the first meeting against Washington. He understandably eased into the season but has looked like a dominant force again in the last few weeks. In the last 4 games he’s averaging 11 points and 8.8 rebounds per game on 76% shooting. He’s essentially what Roberts would look like if Nate dropped 30 pounds and was capable of catching a tough pass and dunking it. The rim protection is only so-so but the rebounding is elite.

The Outlook

If I had told you one month ago that Washington and Oregon would enter this game with the same conference record your natural reaction would probably be that Altman must not have lived up to his reputation. Seemingly every year the Ducks struggle in the early going but put it together by the time things get to March. That first part was right as Oregon started off 6-6 with losses to Arizona State and Stanford. But following a loss to Baylor the Ducks have won 5 straight including a road sweep of the L.A schools albeit without fans in the stands.

Before the last 2 wins, Oregon had only one victory over a team in the top-100 at KenPom and 0 over the top-60. But beating UCLA and USC on the road is a pretty good sign that a team is a legitimate contender for the conference title.

It has been a fairly well-balanced offense that has mostly carried the Ducks to this point. They rank in the top-100 of just about every advanced stat category but rank in the top-30 of none of them so there isn’t a single defining element. Richardson, Young, and Harmon are all capable scorers and each pass the ball just enough to keep things moving. Although the lack of a true point guard is evident in their 313th rank in assists per field goal made so there is a tendency to rely on isolation scoring.

There are fairly well defined roles though even if there isn’t a true point guard. The 2 bigs (Dante and Kepnang) and 2 primary power forwards (Guerrier and Soares) all shoot at least 55% on 2-point attempts so all of their size is capable of scoring in the paint. 2 of the aforementioned 3 guards plus Eric Williams all shoot at least 37% from deep which provides enough spacing for the bigs to do their job. That means at essentially all times the Ducks have at least 2 credible floor spacers and 2 scoring bigs on the court which really stresses a defense.

On the other end teams have been able to get to the basket against Oregon. The Ducks rank 280th in opposing 2-point defense in part because of the lack of rim protection. Kepnang and Bittle are both elite shot blockers but combine to play fewer than half of the team’s minutes at center. Dante is fine in that regard but is now 30 games into his career and has only one game with at least 3 blocks. Even Nate Roberts has 2 such games. While Dante will neutralize Roberts on the boards he isn’t going to completely shut down shots in the paint for Terrell Brown Jr.

What makes predicting this game tough is knowing which Oregon team is going to show up. Have the Ducks truly turned the corner or did they play one exceptional game to beat UCLA in overtime and took advantage of a slightly overrated USC team? Oregon is 4-2 in conference play but 4 of those games were decided by 3 points or less so the 10-point win over USC is really the only time they’ve looked anything close to dominant this season. It just happened to be in their last game.

Almost certainly the Dawgs will once again be without head coach Mike Hopkins. It didn’t seem to hurt them against the Beavers but this is a big step up in competition now. Nothing would make me happier than seeing a road win over Oregon to move to 5-2 in conference. But realistically a 4-3 start in Pac-12 play with 5 of those 7 games on the road has to be considered a win for Washington right now. I think the Dawgs keep it close for a while but can’t quite keep up down the stretch.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 65, Oregon Ducks- 74