Oregon fought hard, but could not prevail over 14th ranked Virginia Commonwealth Tuesday night in Brooklyn at the Legends Classic Basketball Tournament. The Rams tried to turn the game into a rout, but the Ducks continued to stay close despite some fans chanting, “Just Give Up!” Dillon Brooks had 15 points and Elgin Cook posted 11 points for Oregon as the impact of the loss of Dwayne Benjamin to an ankle injury the night before became evident. Benjamin averages nine rebounds per game.
Oregon had to be hitting on all cylinders to win this game and it was not to be. Joseph Young had a tough night, missing 11 of his 13 shots to finish with nine points, far below his average of 24 points per game. The Ducks did force 20 turnovers from VCU, which was encouraging to Coach Dana Altman. “Our margin for error is not very big. So the guys out there have to be fundamentally sound. We have to get a lot more sound and I have to do a better job with that. Our guys have to play a certain way and our communication has to continue to get better.”
Joseph Young, who was last year’s Pac-12 Conference leader in free throw percentage, hit all four of his free throws Tuesday night to continue his torrid season from the line, as he is 30-for-30 after five games. This team surprised many with the play of the four freshmen (Casey Benson, Ahmaad Rorie, Jorden Bell and Dillon Brooks) so early in the season within Dana Altman’s offense. They have had many “learning curve” moments thus far, but the improvement is obvious just five games into the season. The Ducks are building an impressive nucleus for the future of Oregon Basketball with these talented freshmen.
Oregon plays next at Matt Knight Arena this next Sunday, November 30th, at 5:00 PM. Join the FishDuck.com writers and the Pit Crew to cheer on this improving and entertaining team!
Top Photo of Joseph Young and Dana Altman from Video