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Know The Enemy: Oregon

In the first installation of this year’s Civil War, the Beavers head to Eugene with the chance for huge upset on their minds.

UCLA v Oregon Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Oregon Ducks (15-2)

  • Latest BTD Pac-12 Power Rankings: 1st Overall (4-0)
  • Head Coach: Dana Altman (7th Season)
  • Top Performer: Chris Boucher (14.1 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.9 BPG)
  • Points For: 79.9 PPG (T-54th)
  • Points Against: 64.5 PPG (T-34th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 85-66 Win at Washington State (13W)

The Skinny

In the first installation of this year’s Civil War, Oregon and Oregon State will meet on Saturday night in Eugene, with the bragging rights for the Beaver State on the line. Will it be the heavily favorited Ducks who walk away with the victory? Or will a star-crossed Beavers squad find a way to get the job done?

The first answer to this match-up should begin with the status of Oregon State forward Tres Tinkle, who currently is ruled out for the Beavers indefinitely and shows little signs of returning to the mix this season. That news, along with the revelation that Oregon star Dillon Brooks will be in the line-up after being ejected from the Ducks’ last game against Washington State, is the last thing Beaver nation wants to hear. However, that seems to be the challenge that Oregon State is up against on Saturday night.

If the Beavers want to pull out the upset victory, the plan should be simple. Take care of the ball. Work for high-percentage shots on offense. And slow the slew of talented playmakers that head coach Dana Altman has at his disposal, starting with two potential All Pac-12 selections in forward Chris Boucher (14.1 PPG) and Dillon Brooks (13.8 PPG). Boucher and Brooks lead a quintet of Ducks that average double-figures on a nightly basis, followed by guards Tyler Dorsey (13.0 PPG) and Dylan Ennis (11.6) and big man Jordan Bell (10.4 PPG). Oregon also gets solid contributions from freshman guard Payton Pritchard (7.8 PPG), who has been an underrated addition to an experienced Ducks team.

Oregon and Oregon State split their regular season meetings a year ago, in campaigns that both eventually culminated in the NCAA Tournament births. However, this time around, a 4-13 Beavers group has a much bigger mountain to climb against a Ducks squad currently on a thirteen game winning streak. But remember, a rivalry brings out the best (and sometimes worst) in people. If Oregon State can hang around in this one, the Beavers may find a way to put forty minutes of strong basketball together and walk away with a signature win that could change the context of their trying season thus far.

Want more on the Civil War? We got you covered...

Players To Watch

Chris Boucher (Senior - Forward)

One of the best talents in all of college basketball that nobody is talking about, you have to give credit to Oregon forward Chris Boucher for taking a huge leap in his senior campaign, which could culminate in an All Pac-12 selection by season’s end. An athletic, 6’ 10” forward, Boucher is fairly consistent as a double-figure scorer and high single-digit rebounder on a nightly basis, but like his 29-point outing against Washington State showed, Boucher is never too far from a primetime performance. This season, Boucher is currently leading the team in scoring (14.1 PPG) and blocks (2.9 BPG), while also being second on the team in rebounds per outing (7.3 RPG).

Dillon Brooks (Junior - Guard/Forward)

With “Tripgate” now behind for now (kinda), Brooks will try and re-take his past form against the Beavers, as the third-year player for the Ducks has seen a bit of a dip in his production so far this season. Hampered by injury to start the season, Brooks looks to have taken a bit of a back-seat to emerging forward Chris Boucher, who has vastly increased his pro potential in his senior season. For Brooks, the junior playmaker had just eight points and seven points respectively in blowout wins over Washington and Washington State, the latter of which he was ejected from mid-way through the contest, and he’ll want to have a big bounce-back performance against his arch-rival.

Dylan Ennis (Senior - Guard)

A veteran presence on the court for head coach Dana Altman, it’s hard to think that Dylan Ennis will be phased by the moment on Saturday night, as the senior guard steps into just another big game on his resume in what is now his fifth season of Division I college basketball. Ennis, who began his career at Rice, transferred to the Ducks from Villanova prior to the start of the 2015 campaign and has emerged as a key component to Oregon’s chances at a Pac-12 title this season. Averaging 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, Ennis is a do-it-all type of player who holds this Oregon group together.

Game Info

Date: Saturday, January 14th
Time: 10:30 PM PT
Location: Matthew Knight Arena (Eugene, OR)
Coverage: Pac-12 Network