Oregon St. (9-15, 4-9) vs. Oregon (13-12, 6-7) - 1 PM - Matthew Knight Arena - FSN
Oregon St. visits Oregon for the second battle of this season's basketball Civil War, and their first look at Matthew Knight Arena.
It's the 335 th. renewal of the series, which the Beavers lead 183-151.
The Beavers have had trouble staying above water of late, dropping 3 straight games, 6 of 7, and 9 of 11. Oregon St. has also lost their last 8 games on the road, dating back to the late November win over Howard. Last week, the Beavers lost 67-56 at USC, and then on Saturday, 69-61 at UCLA, despite 14 points from Jared Cunningham, and 10 each by Devon Collier and Roberto Nelson.
The Ducks are flying higher, getting a split in LA, and having won 5 of their last 7 games. Oregon has also won 3 of 4 games on Kilkenny Court since Matthew Knight Arena opened. Oregon lost at UCLA 64-54, but bounced back Saturday to bounce USC 61-51, behind a balanced effort, where they were led by Malcolm Armstead's 14 points off the bench, to go along with 11 points and 6 rebounds by E.J. Singler, and a 9 point, 7 rebound effort by Joevan Catron.
Oregon took the first battle of the Civil War this season, winning a close 63-59 contest back on January 22 at Gill Coliseum.
The Beavers have also reverted to 5:30 AM practices, a hallmark of coach Craig Robinson's early success at Oregon St., in an effort to get back to basics. "I may have jumped too far ahead too fast," Robinson said Tuesday in his press conference, referring to the return to early morning, "boot camp" style practices.
Robinson also indicated that Joe Burton, who was benched for the UCLA game, after violation of a team rule, is likely to return to action Saturday. "I've been pleased with how he has handled the situation. He broke a rule, and I had to deal with it. His status for Saturday is still to be determined, but I see no reason why he wouldn't play."
Last year, the Beavers swept the Ducks, winning 64-57 in their last ever visit to Mac Court, and 62-42 at Gill.
Cunningham leads the Pac-10, and is third in the nation, in steals with 71, 2.96 per game. Cunningham is also one steal away from tying Gary Payton's Oregon St. sophomore steals record of 72, set in 1987-8.
Collier, Ahmad Starks, and Angus Brandt have started along with Cunningham of late, and Omari Johnson took over for Burton in the starting lineup against the Bruins, which gave Oregon St. their ninth different starting lineup of the season.
Oregon starts Singler, an Oregonian, Catron, and Garrett Sim, another Oregonian, and guards Tyrone Nared and Jonathan Loyd, but has frequently been playing Jay R Strowbridge and Malcolm Armstead more minutes off the bench than Nared and Loyd have been seeing.
The women's Civil War is also to be contested today, with Oregon visiting Oregon St. at 5 PM. We'll have coverage and analysis of both later.
Chip in below with your observations below.