Oregon Ducks (11-4)
- Latest BTD Pac-12 Power Rankings: 5th Overall
- Head Coach: Dana Altman (8th season)
- Top Performer: Payton Pritchard (15.4 PPG, 4.3 APG)
- Points For: 82.8 (39th)
- Points Against: 69.9 (T-126th)
- Last Game/Streak: 77-62 Win vs Colorado (1W)
The first weekend of 2018 brings us the first Civil War of the basketball season, as the Ducks come to Corvallis this Friday to take on the Beavers. This is a game that could set the tone for the rest of the season for both teams.
Oregon had the same first week results as the Beavers; a win over Colorado and a loss to Utah. The mixed results have left both squads stuck in the middle of a very crowded PAC-12 field.
The Ducks are struggling to recover from the losses they suffered after their Final Four run last season. Guard Payton Pritchard is the only returning starter from that lineup, and has been Oregon’s leading scorer. In Oregon’s loss against the Utes, Pritchard was held to only 7 points, so controlling him will be key for the Beavers.
With so much of Oregon State’s offense focused on Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks, the battle against Oregon forward Kenny Wooten will also be one to watch. Wooten is not a great scorer, but leads the PAC-12 in blocks, and will be an obstacle if the Beavers hope to score in the paint.
The keys to this game for the Beavers; can the Thompson brothers control Oregon’s perimeter scoring, and can Tinkle and Eubanks create opportunities in the key? The answer will determine which team is set to make a run for the PAC-12 crown.
Players to Watch
Payton Pritchard (SO - Guard): In an Oregon team that is almost entirely different than the one that made it to the Final Four last season, Pritchard is the most important returning player. He’s jumped into a leadership role quickly. After averaging only 7.4 points per game last season, he has taken his scoring to the next level with 15.4 PPG this season.
Elijah Brown (RS - Guard): The Ducks other top scorer, Brown is a transfer from New Mexico. After garnering Mountain West honors and leading the Lobos in scoring for three seasons, Brown moved to Oregon in attempt to boost his draft profile. Brown has 13.5 points per game so far this season, and combined with Pritchard, gives the Ducks a lot of power from the guard position. Stephen Thompson, Jr. and Ethan Thompson will have to put in a lot of work to keep up and control the flow of the game.
Kenny Wooten (FR - Forward): Wooten is young and not a great scorer (he got shut out against Utah) but he can block with the best of them. Wooten has 49 blocks so far this season, 3.3 per game, and ranks 9th in the country in the category. Getting by Wooten so Tres Tinkle can score is going to be important for the Beavers.
- Date: Friday, January 5th
- Time: 7:00 PM PT
- Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
- Coverage: Fox Sports Go