What else can you say about these fighting Ducks? Who would’ve thought 20 games into the season our men’s basketball team would be 18-2 overall and a perfect 7-0 in conference play? The Ducks, winners of 20 straight home games (tied with Marquette for the 6th best active streak in the nation) travel to the Bay Area this week to take on two teams struggling to find their identity.
Stanford, 12-8 (3-4), is a very up and down team with some very talented players. Dwight Powell, a 6’10″ forward is averaging 14.5 ppg and 7.7 rpb and is right in the thick of conference player of the year talks. His post presence is something Arsalan Kazemi, Tony Woods, and Waverly Austin are going to have to pay close attention to. The Cardinal also have a very solid point guard in Chasson Randle. His quickness and shooting ability open up lanes and easy shots for the likes of Powell and Co. If we can handle Powell, we should make firewood out of the trees.
So, what else do we need to warm a winter night? How about a nice bear skin rug? After the Stanford game Wednesday night, we travel across the Bay to take on Cal and the Pac-12’s leading scorer Allen Crabbe. Thankfully, Cal, 11-8 (3-4) doesn’t have much else as they rely far too heavily on Crabbe night in and night out. The Bears seriously lack a post presence; one that should easily be exposed by the likes of Kazemi, Woods and even Carlos Emory slashing from the wing. The only other real threat to score for the Bears is point guard Justin Cobbs who is as streaky as they come. If he’s on, it could make for a close game in Berkeley.
All in all though, I see the Ducks coming back to Eugene Sunday with their perfect conference record intact and at least a two game lead in the conference. We control our fate. The best way to stay in control: just to keep on winning.