Well they might be playing for a national championship in football, but the Oregon Ducks are in the midst of rebuilding their basketball program.
Virginia is playing their 3rd game against a Pac-10 team, and if the first two were any indication how this game will go, we will be in for a long night. Oregon likes to play an uptempo style of offense. Their two biggest scorers are small forward Joevan Catron (17.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.8 apg) and small forward #2 E.J. Singler (13.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.4 apg). Some other key players are shooting guard Jay-R Strowbridge (8.9 ppg) and point guard Garrett Sim (7.8 ppg, 3 apg).
There are a couple of reasons to be optimistic. First off, we are at home and they had to travel the 2,200+ miles to play basketball. Hey, jet lag is a bear, and this is their first game away from Eugene. Secondly, they don’t have a player over 6-9 that has any significant minutes. They essentially use 6-8 forward Tyrone Nared at the one and surround him with 6-6 forwards and smaller guards. While they can run quicker than most, they are not a very strong rebounding team. This matches up well with our lineup. Lastly, and more importantly, their 7-3 record is full of cupcakes.
Wins: ND State in OT, Denver, UCSB by 2, Texas Southern, Portland State, Division II Willamette, and Jacksonville State.
Losses: #1 Duke, #8 Missouri, and San Jose State.
Exams are over with and we enter the stretch of games where the kids are away. Keeping up the intensity throughout the entire game should be the focus of Bennett’s boys. They will also need to wipe their memories clear of the Radford game. But 10 days of hearing how they played should give the Hoos ample motivation to pull out a victory.