How to Watch (and bet)
Date: Wednesday, 2/15/23
Tip-Off Time: 8:00 pm PT
Location: Seattle, Washington
DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies +5.5
Oregon Ducks 2022-23 Statistics:
Record: 15-11 (9-6)
Points For per Game: 70.7 (177th)
Points Against per Game: 67.0 (90th)
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 113.7 (38th)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 98.7 (64th)
Strength of Schedule: 11th
Oregon’s Key Players:
G- Will Richardson, Sr. 6’5, 180: 13.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.4 apg, 43.9% FG, 33.9% 3pt, 82.1% FT
The 5th year senior has been the one constant for Oregon in their injury-filled season as he is averaging 36 minutes per game and started every one. His 3-point shooting is the lowest it has been since his true freshman season but playing more point guard he’s at a career high in assists. Last year Richardson went scoreless in Washington’s rout over the Ducks in Seattle but that’s not likely to happen again this year.
G- Keeshawn Barthelemey. 6’2, 175: 8.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.3 apg, 44.4% FG, 36.4% 3pt, 82.4% FT
The transfer from Colorado missed 12 games in the middle of the season but has started to round back into form shooting 42% on 3’s in conference play. Since his return he’s playing a 6th man role but is usually in the closing lineup as a well rounded overall guard. You could say rebounding is a weakness but in general he’s at least average in every other aspect of his game.
G- Jermaine Cousinard, Sr. 6’4, 210: 12.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 42.2% FG, 35.7% 3pt, 82.2% FT
Cousinard didn’t make his Oregon debut after transferring in from South Carolina until game 15 for the Ducks. He’s shooting a career high from every area of the floor playing more off the ball than he did with the Gamecocks. Unsurprisingly that also means he has cut way down on his turnovers and has been a big part of Oregon’s offensive resurgence.
F- Rivaldo Soares, Sr. 6’6, 215: 7.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.6 apg, 37.7% FG, 26.0% 3pt, 83.0% FT
Soares isn’t much of a floor stretcher but starts at the 3 before often shifting to the 4 spot in endgame lineups. There’s not a lot in his profile to suggest why he keeps starting but he’s okay with not having the ball very often and that’s needed amongst an Oregon lineup that has a lot of mouths to feed.
C- N’Faly Dante, Sr. 6’11, 230: 13.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 62.6% FG, 64.8% FT
The Ducks have enough bigs that Altman doesn’t play Dante heavy minutes but he’s a dominant force while on the floor. In Pac-12 play Dante is 1st in offensive and defensive rebounding rate plus 3rd in 2-pt% and 5th in block rate. Put it all together and he and Oumar Ballo are probably the two competitors for best traditional center in the conference. If he gets Braxton Meah in early foul trouble then the Huskies are in for a long night.
It’s a weird part of this Pac-12 schedule that the last two conference teams the Huskies face are their two primary rivals and they come in back-to-back games. The good news for Washington is they only have to face Oregon at home which means no journey to the abomination that is the Ducks’ home court. The bad news is that the Huskies are facing Oregon now that they’re at full strength and showing signs of Altman’s normal mid-February magic.
Nine different Ducks have started at least 4 games this season and a 10th had a 10-game stretch playing 15+ minutes per game. That’s a sign of how thoroughly they were rocked by injuries early in the season including have times with just 7 total scholarship players available. Now that everyone is healthy Altman has started to figure out Oregon’s best lineups. That has generally involved moving 5-star freshman and expected lottery pick Kel’el Ware to a reserve role and playing more of Nate Bittle including a twin towers starting lineup of Bittle and N’Faly Dante at the same time.
Oregon is now 6-3 in their last 9 games with one head scratching loss to Stanford and more understandable ones vs. UCLA and at Arizona. In Pac-12 play only the Ducks are now up to 2nd in offensive efficiency by virtue of shooting nearly 5% better on 2-pt shots than 2nd place Arizona at 56% (Washington is 6th at 48.8% in that stat).
They need to be able to convert at the hoop because this is an Oregon team surprisingly light on shooters. Will Richardson is a career 38% 3-pt shooter but is down to 34% this year having to play more point guard. Everyone but Dante averages multiple 3-point attempts per game but only Keeshawn Barthelemey shoots better than Richardson’s 34%. That results in Oregon shooting even worse from deep than Washington at 303rd nationally.
Oregon is 4th nationally in average height which is part of why they are so effective inside. The current 8-man rotation goes 6’2, 6’4, 6’5, 6’6, 6’8, 6’11, 7’0, 7’0. Considering the amount of size they have it’s somewhat surprising they’re only a so-so offensive rebounding team as a whole. But against Washington’s zone it won’t be a shock if Dante/Bittle/Ware are able to get up 3rd or even 4th chances in a single possession.
The weakness for Oregon so far this season has been their perimeter defense. They rank nearly last in the country in opponent free throw percentage which you could view as a sign of bad luck. I tend to view it as a sign that most of their fouls come against opposing guards rather than bigs. There’s a chance that Keyon Menifield Jr. can run circles around Oregon’s guards to get open in the midrange but he’ll have trouble trying to take the ball all the away to the rim.
Opponents shoot just 46.0% on 2-point attempts against Oregon which is the 35th best mark in the country. They always have at least one 7-footer in the game and oftentimes have a pair of them. Given that the Huskies tend to rarely challenge opposing bigs down low that probably means a lot of contested perimeter looks. It’s technically possible that Washington has a rare hot shooting night and are able to keep pace with Oregon but it seems much more likely we just see a brick-laying clinic similar to Saturday night.
The Ducks haven’t been a fantastic road team this season. They’re 3-3 in conference including a loss to Stanford. They got drubbed by 27 points at Colorado. Washington’s hope in this game is pretty much that Oregon just doesn’t really show up ready to play and UW makes enough early shots that the crowd really gets into it and helps carry them to a victory. If you’ve watched UW play this year at all you probably know that a fast start is very unlikely.
Max’s Record this Year: 19-7 Straight Up, 14-11-1 Against The Spread
Washington Huskies- 61, Oregon Ducks- 72