Report Card: Rating the Oregon men’s basketball team’s performance in their first two Pac-12 games
The No. 10 ranked Ducks missed their opportunity to be 14-0 for the first time since the 1937-38 season. After picking up a two-point overtime victory over Utah in their Pac-12 opener, the Ducks fell to No. 20 ranked Colorado 100-91 to conclude what will likely be one of their toughest road series of the season. Despite dropping their first game of the season, the Ducks put their first real experiences of playing on the road in Pac-12 play under their belts.
Against Utah, the Ducks hit their lowest point of the season on the offensive end. For the first time this year, they didn’t live up to being a top-five ranked offense in the country, shooting a season-low 38.7 percent from the field. This was mostly due to the defensive work of Utah in the paint.
From blocked shots to clogging the lane, the Utes seemed to take Oregon out of its game plan and, up until the later moments of the game, it was Utah, not Oregon, that was in control. While the Ducks managed to string together a better performance down the stretch, their lack of a post game was exposed against the Utes. Moving forward, the Ducks will need to either shoot better from the outside or figure out a lineup that can do some damage in the low post.
This is where Richard Amardi, who is averaging 7.7 (PPG) and 5.0 (RPG), and Elgin Cook, who is averaging 9.4 (PPG) and 4.5 (RPG) come in. The two have been the most consistent players in the paint and will be vital in incorporating an inside out mentality that the Ducks are in dire need of.
Against Colorado, the Ducks came out strong and finished weak. In combination with poor free-throw shooting (16-21), the Ducks lost the rebounding battle 39-33 and allowed Colorado to control the paint. They also gave up the third most points this season to Colorado.
Colorado had four different players score in double digits. Aski Booker led the Buffaloes with 27 points, while Spencer Dinwiddle added 23 points. Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson also recorded 15 points a piece and combined for 19 rebounds.
Moving forward, the Ducks will have to address the two very problems they’ve been struggling with all season. Colorado exposed both the rebounding deficiencies and defense en route to its upset and the Ducks will need to address these very areas if they wish to contend for a Pac-12 title.
But following two closely contested road battles, the Ducks will now be prepared for what will be a long and grueling Pac-12 season. These past two games just alluded to that fact.
Follow Hayden Kim on Twitter @HayDayKim
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