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Oregon Game Preview & How to Watch

Washington heads from one rivalry game to another

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at UCLA Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Thursday, 2/8/24

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT

TV: FS1

Streaming: Foxsportsgo.com

Radio: Huskies Gameday App, Sports Radio KJR

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Betting Line: Washington Huskies +7.5

Oregon Ducks 2023-24 Statistics:

Record: 15-7 (7-4)

Points For per Game: 77.5 ppg (66th)

Points Against per Game: 72.6 ppg (176th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 111.9 (56th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 98.3 (62nd)

Strength of Schedule: 45th

Oregon Key Players:

G- Jackson Shelstad, Fr. 6’0, 170: 12.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 47.6% FG, 39.5% 3pt, 81.5% FT

If you are some kind of sicko that misses getting to play against Payton Pritchard then you’re in luck because model 2.0 is here. Shelstad missed the first few games of the season with an injury but has come in as a high 4-star freshman and is now leading Oregon in assists per game and 3rd in points. He’s not an elite passer but can shoot the heck out of the ball. He’s definitely a minus defensive player right now with low steal, block, and rebounding rates.

Last game vs. UW: 17 pts, 3 ast, 7/11 FG

G- Brennan Rigsby, Jr. 6’3, 180: 7.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 46.7% FG, 42.6% 3pt, 68.4% FT

If you look at Rigsby and think he must not be very athletic then you’re carrying some biases with you because he can go up and score at the basket with flash. He prefers to shoot it from outside and is vastly improved in that regard in his 2nd year with Oregon. He doesn’t add a ton else but takes care of the ball and can score efficiently which is definitely worth a lot.

Last game vs. UW: 9 pts, 2 reb, 3/4 3pt

G- Jadrian Tracey, Jr. 6’5, 190: 7.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.5 apg, 40.8% FG, 37.5% 3pt, 78.8% FT

Dana Altman has added about one JUCO player per year in recent seasons and the latest add is Tracey who put up 14 pts and 6 reb per game on 43% 3-pt shooting there last year after starting his career at St. Joseph’s. The long range shooting has carried over and Tracey has been a plus perimeter defender.

Last game vs. UW: 4 pts, 2 TO

G- Jermaine Cousinard, Sr. 6’4, 210: 14.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 41.6% FG, 36.0% 3pt, 71.4% FT

After coming in from South Carolina last year Cousinard was second on the team in points and is in that same spot this year. He’s pretty much a known quantity but has maxed out as a solid piece: Gets a lot of steals, shoots just well enough from outside to keep defenses honest, isn’t a point guard but protects the ball, and gets to the line at a decent rate. Add it all up and he’s a good but not great player who is playing a little out of position as a psuedo-power forward given Oregon’s big man injuries.

Last game vs. UW: 16 pts, 8 reb, 2 stl

F- Kwame Evans, Fr. 6’9, 200: 7.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 44.4% FG, 27.28% 3pt, 83.0% FT

Evans has come in and played more than expected as a highly rated true freshman. His biggest impact has been on the defensive end where he’s putting up Tari Eason levels of blocks and steals. The offense is a little more of a work in progress where he’s still inconsistent as a shooter and has had multiple 5+ turnover games so far this year.

Last game vs. UW: 15 pts, 8 reb, 3 blk, 2 stl

C- N’Faly Dante, Sr. 6’11, 230: 14.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 63.0% FG, 58.5% FT

Dante was my pick for the best center in the conference coming into the year but he has struggled with injuries. He missed 14 games but returned for the toughest part of their schedule and Oregon has gone just 3-4 since his return. He has been virtually the same player as last year when on the court with almost identical rebounding, block, and steal rate plus shooting splits. The one huge leap is his playmaking where his assist rate is up 150% and he had a career high 6 assists against Utah.

Last game vs. UW: Out injured

The Outlook

There’s a chance that we look back at the end of the year and the first Oregon game in Seattle ends up being the difference between Hop staying or going. Washington went 12/22 from the free throw line including an appalling 5/12 performance from star Keion Brooks Jr. in a game they lost at home by 2 points. Washington got the benefit of Oregon playing without their 2 starting centers and working in a true freshman back into the lineup for the first time.

That advantage is partially dissipated. N’Faly Dante is back and there’s a good chance Nate Bittle returns for this game which means there will be a physically imposing threat at the center position. This is the matchup where the Huskies badly need Franck Kepnang but unfortunately it’s still unknown if he can make it back this season.

The good news is that Oregon is on a bit of a skid even with Dante’s return. They’ve lost 4 of their last 6 games. It’s fair to say though that the schedule has been a major factor as 4 of those were on the road and a 5th was at home against the top team in the conference, Arizona. That game against the Wildcats is the only one they’ve lost in Eugene so far this season going 10-1.

The injuries inside have led to a lot of small ball for the Ducks with at least 4 players that can credibly make a three-point shot on the floor at the same time. All six of Oregon’s primary perimeter players shoot at least 36% from deep so they keep you spaced out at all times. That should theoretically make it impossible to reliably double team Dante inside as he can always kick out to an open quality shooter.

The lack of height means that oftentimes Oregon gives those points back at the other end. They rank just 294th in opponent 3-pt percentage and also aren’t a great rebounding team. It’s difficult though to use their season-long numbers when they have been missing such a critical piece for the majority of the year.

Now though it’s the Huskies who are dealing with just an avalanche of injuries. Braxton Meah is playing through an ankle sprain. Koren Johnson injured his shoulder against Utah and it doesn’t sound like he will be ready to play real minutes despite briefly getting in the game against Washington State. Paul Mulcahy left Saturday’s game with back spasms and hasn’t returned to full practice. With Kepanang, Yates, and Ariyibi out injured as well plus King redshirting it leaves Washington with only 7 mostly healthy scholarship players available.

Washington has struggled on the road. Oregon has been very good at home. The Huskies have given away so many close games. The Ducks have excelled in tight contests. UW is very banged up. UO is finally healthy. The coaching matchup is Mike Hopkins versus Dana Altman.

Prediction

My record this year: 15-7 Straight Up, 9-12-1 Against the Spread

Washington Huskies- 64, Oregon Ducks- 76