Men's BasketballSports

Oregon looks to remain atop Pac-12 standings with Colorado and Utah coming to town



Drake recently dropped a new track called “Summer Sixteen” on his OVO Sound Radio. The hook of this already widespread song starts with the line: “Looking for revenge.”

Dillon Brooks, who has was named the Pac-12 and National Player of the Week, said at Wednesday’s practice that the song has been playing in the Oregon locker room in preparation for Colorado (17-5, 6-3 Pac-12) Thursday.

The last time the two teams met, the Ducks fell on the road 91-87.

“Colorado is a great team,” Brooks said. “All we want is revenge. We listened to some Drake, ‘Revenge,’ so it’s been on our mind the whole time and we got to come out there, outrebound them and solidify our home court.”

This is going to be another highly anticipated stretch of games for No. 16 ranked Oregon, who currently holds sole possession of first place in the conference standings. If things holds up, this team could capture its first regular season conference title in 14 years.

“As a team, we’ve been talking about that a lot,” Brooks said. “We can really separate ourselves from the pack. It’s going to be really tough games to pull out a 2-0 sweep.”

But with Colorado and Utah (17-5, 6-3) coming to town – two teams currently just one game back and in a four-way tie for second place – Oregon knows it will have to keep focused, especially at home where they’ve been a perfect 14-0 this season.

“Obviously they (Colorado) got us over there, so it’s a big game for us,” Casey Benson said. “We know they’re going to come in ready to go. Just got to match that intensity and set the tone.”

The Buffaloes enter this Thursday night matchup riding a three-game winning streak. The Utes are even hotter having won its last five games.

Both of their star big men have also been on a tear.

Just in the past three games, Josh Scott has put up an average of 14.3 points and 7.0 rebounds, while Jakob Poeltl has boasted an even more impressive streak of 24.3 points and 8.7 rebounds. Oregon’s focus will once again be on these two skilled post players.

In regards to slowing down Scott specifically, Brooks said the team will have to try and “attack him on offense because the more he has to move his feet, he’ll wear and tear and get tired.”

This is both a crucial and interesting time for Oregon. With just seven conference games remaining after this weekend, the pressure really is on to prove that the national hype won’t become a distraction. But if Oregon can manage to take care of its business and continue its success, the notion of this team winning the Pac-12 tournament and receiving as high as a No. 2 seed in March may actually become reality.

‘Things can change so quickly because anytime you have a bad weekend and it’s done,” Dana Altman said. “Conference race, lot of good teams involved, so it should be a really fun February.”

Like always though, the team’s focus will be on the game at hand, however hard that may be.

The Colorado game will air tonight on Fox Sports 1 at 6 p.m. and the Utah game will air Sunday on ESPN 2 at 1 p.m.

Follow Hayden Kim on Twitter @HayDayKim


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Hayden Kim

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