The Beavers seemed to have finally hit their stride, sweeping the LA schools. But the Ducks are even hotter, winning 4 straight Pac 12 games to sit atop the standings with Cal. When these two locomotives collide, which team will be left standing? More after the jump.
This Ducks team is a very intriguing look. Yes, core guys like EJ Singler, Garrett Sim and Tyrone Nared are back, but they've added some really good pieces to go along with them, namely Tony Woods, Olu Ashaolu and Devoe Joseph. Suddenly, this team turned from an offensively inept team to an outfit that can and will fill it up. They take and make a ton of 3s and FTs in their slow pace but are average overall. They are also a good offensive rebounding team but struggle to take care of the basketball (they average more turnovers than assists).
About the only thing the Ducks do well defensively is keep opponents off the foul line. However, they allow foes to shoot 46% from the floor, 38% from the 3! They are also not good at blocking shots and stealing the ball, and only win the rebound battle slightly (50.3 vs. 49.7%).
A lot of the firepower for the Oregon Ducks come from the backcourt. Devoe Joseph is a flat out scorer, capable of beating you from outside and driving to the hole. Garrett Sim is also another hot hand the Beavers MUST track at all times on the floor. Also expect EJ Singler to get a lot of action/touches from the perimeter, and Jonathan Lloyd to come off the bench and give some bench minutes speeding around and making plays. The first 3 players are the primary facilitators as well, a mixed results given that they average just as much turnovers as well as assists.
What makes Oregon even more dangerous is that the frontcourt is no slouch; they carry their own weight and then some. Olu Ashaolu is primarily a post guy but can also sink a couple of mid range shots. Another key piece here is Tony Woods, an athletic shot blocker who is primarily a defensive dynamo down on the block (lead shot blocker) while chipping in around 6-8 points a game. Helping these two are Tyrone Nared, who's another athletic shot blocker but is not as tall or huge as Woods.
This is going to be a great matchup as both the backcourts and frontcourts of both these teams are stacked with good players and contributors. I am looking forward to see what TEMPO the game is going to be played (slow, Oregon's, or fast, OSU's). Again, defense is once again going to a determining factor, as both teams are more on the porous side on their own end of the floor; I think whoever digs in the most will win the game. Finally, should the game is tied or close, I would like to see how Coach Robinson handle the schematics in late game situations, because... no offense to Coach Rob, but it was an issue in some games, and Altman is a very proven veteran coach.
Anyhow, that's it for the Civil War Preview. Best of luck to the Beaver men! Bring this one back to Corvallis, dudes!