The Ducks are the epitome of a team. For most of the year, Dana Altman’s team has had five players averaging double digits in points. Preparing a defensive strategy for the Ducks can be a puzzle as each player on the court can make an opposing coach pay for not paying attention to him. Oregon has taken advantage of this and has made the most of it, being ranked as high as tenth in the nation this year.
The Duck’s strength can also be a weakness. Recently, the Ducks have been in some nail biters with crucial possessions at the end of games. Since the Ducks are overly team oriented, no one stands out as the “go to” guy who can drain a shot when it matters. In Thursday’s game, the Ducks had a chance to take the lead in the closing seconds. In the possession, it seemed like all the players were waiting for someone else to step up and take the big shot. The result was a fade away by Damyean Dotson which glanced off the front of the rim. I’m sure this is not what Dana Altman had in mind. In late game situations, you’d like to see someone take the ball to the rack and draw defenders in to kick it back out or try to create contact.
Dana Altman must address the situation and fast. In my opinion, the Ducks play the best team basketball in the conference, but with the postseason closing in fast the Ducks need to find a closer. Heck, Altman should just designate a player as the crunch time shooter. I do admire the team’s selfless play, but when it comes down to getting burnt like they did on Thursday against Cal, I’d rather the Ducks be selfish. It could pay dividends.