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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - Oregon Ducks (Game 20)

It’s the second installation of the Civil War. Can the Beavers make it a season sweep over the Ducks?

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Oregon Joseph Weiser-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon Ducks (13-7)

  • Latest BTD Pac-12 Power Rankings: 8th Overall (12-6)
  • Head Coach: Dana Altman (8th Season)
  • Top Performer: Payton Pritchard (15.7 PPG, 4.5 APG)
  • Points For: 81.4 PPG (38th)
  • Points Against: 72.7 PPG (T-192nd)
  • Last Game/Streak: 94-91 Win v. UCLA (1W)

The Skinny

Just over three weeks ago in Corvallis, Oregon State won one of their biggest games of the season, when they held off rival Oregon to clinch their tenth victory of the season.

Now, as the dog days of conference play set in, the Beavers and Ducks find themselves as adversaries once again, at as crucial of a juncture as ever in the Pac-12 portion of the slate.

After winning six straight games from November 26th to December 16th, the longest ever streak under head coach Wayne Tinkle, Oregon State has struggled to regain their footing as they’ve dropped five of their last eight contests. It’s been a similar tale for Oregon, whose recent win over UCLA, snapped a trend of them losing four of their last six contests. It’s proving once again just how conference play can humble a team, especially those that haven’t completely figured things out on the hardwood just yet.

When looking into this game, you can throw the records out as usual, as the West Coast’s most underrated rivalry is sure to produce another thrilling chapter in it’s storied legacy. But as always, the questions will linger heading into this game, especially when looking at the second installation of the series from a personnel persepctive.

How will Dana Altman chose to guard the Beavers duo of Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks up-front? Who will win the perimeter battle between Stephen Thompson Jr. and Payton Pritchard? Which freshman or role player will have his breakthrough signature performance in this one?

While it’s fun to sit and think and wonder, it’s much more fun to simply sit back and enjoy as the feud between these two old friendly programs adds another chapter on Saturday. So be sure to be plugged in or heck, even make that trip to Eugene, to support the Beavers in this one.

Because it always feels just a little better when it’s the Ducks that are being beaten at the end of the day.

Players To Watch

Payton Pritchard (SO - Guard): The 6’ 2” sophomore guard is one of the only holdovers from last year’s Final Four squad, who has gone from excitable reserve to star player in just the matter of one off-season. Pritchard has been able to balance taking on a larger scoring load, while still being the team’s best all-around play-maker. Earlier this season against the Beavers, Pritchard scored just 9 points on a cold shooting night from behind the arc.

Elijah Brown (SR - Guard): A transfer from New Mexico who also struggled in Oregon’s loss at Oregon State back on January 5th, Elijah Brown is the type of player that Dana Altman’s team will feast or famine with, depending on the type of flow that the contest takes on. Brown has been known as a prolific scorer throughout his career (both with the Lobos and Ducks) but the opportunities for high-volume nights have lessened since he’s landed in Eugene. That doesn’t mean he’s any less dangerous out there on the floor at any given time.

Troy Brown (FR - Forward): A forward who may have been slightly over-hyped coming into the season, it’s taken a normal amount of time for freshman Troy Brown to carve out his role within this talented roster for the Ducks, especially as the more-proven talents continue to gel with one-another. However, in the breakneck world of college basketball, critics have already cast their vote on Brown, as the once considered one-and-done is now simply a program builder. Currently averaging 11.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, Brown has emerged as a true stat-sheet-stuffer, who head coach Dana Altman will hope hangs around for a few more seasons.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, January 27th
  • Time: 5:00 PM PT
  • Location: Matthew Knight Arena (Eugene, OR)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Network