After watching Oregon’s convincing victory over Stanford (only 3 weeks after they pasted us in Palo Alto) I couldn’t help but notice a few changes in the offense. These changes have led to a larger number of easy buckets than we’ve been seeing. In front of more than 12,000 fans at Matt Knight Arena, our Ducks put on an offensive display in the second half (a more than welcomed sight). The ball movement was crisp; the timing of cuts to the basket precise, and the ability to finish at the rim was there. Combine these three offensive ingredients and you have a recipe for success.
In many of my other pieces on Ducks Basketball, I have been critical of the offense and its inability to produce easy buckets. Simply put, you need to have a creator to get those easy buckets (something we’ve been desperately lacking since Artis went out). Johnathan Loyd was sensational and had his best game as a Duck – not just statistically, but from an entire floor game perspective. He disrupted Aaron Bright, Chasson Randle, and the Stanford offense; he created easy buckets and open looks; and most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over. Loyd set career highs in points (15) and assists (9) while only turning the ball over once, netting three steals and causing countless more turnovers.
With Dominic Artis out and no return in sight, it’s about time Loyd stepped up and took control of the team. The “penetrate and dish” that Loyd provided Saturday is this team’s recipe for success.