Ducks Soar to Victory with Benjamin Scoring as 6th Man
The Oregon Ducks basketball team continued their quest to dominate the entire state when they defeated the Southern Oregon Raiders by a score of 91-40 last night.
The Ducks used a well balanced offense to gain their second win of the season. Five players for the Ducks scored in double figures led by 16 points by Dwayne Benjamin and Tyler Dorsey. Benjamin has provided a spark off the bench for the Ducks, forcing turnovers and slashing to the hoop for thunderous throw downs.
In a postgame interview, Benjamin was asked about how he has adjusted to his new role. Benjamin was quick to reply saying, “I’ve told my coaches and my teammates, I’ll do whatever it takes to win. Whether if I’m playing 6th man or even 8th man, I just want to win.”
His humbleness and leadership was on display during this interview and is something that younger players, Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey, can learn from. Although Benjamin has no problem declaring his praise for senior transfer Chris Boucher who once again shined for the Ducks.
Benjamin preached Boucher’s work ethic in practice and how it has translated so well in the actual games. Extremely animated when describing one of Boucher’s five blocks on the night, Benjamin noted how comfortable he is knowing that upon making a mistake, Boucher is behind him disrupting shots.
This comfortability resinates with the whole team, allowing for more of a high pressure defense. The Ducks forced 23 turnovers, including 15 steals, on their way to 30 points off turnovers.
Brooks got hit with three early fouls and was held in check for most of the game but still managed to attack the basket and score 10 points. Duck fans should be excited to see the plethora of weapons that coach Dana Altman has to work with.
Following the game, Altman was pleased at the level of intensity that his team showed, yet noted that there is always room for improvement.
With just 4 days until the next game against Jackson State, Altman discussed a few key components that will be at the forefront of his upcoming practices.
The physicality on the offensive and defensive glass is a top priority for Altman and the Ducks. Boucher led the Ducks with 14 rebounds including 7 offensive boards. As a team the Ducks out-rebounded the Raiders, 49-28.
Point guard Casey Benson confirmed Altman’s agenda when he told reporters that coach is constantly reminding his players to find a body and box out. Altman hopes to limit extra possessions and second-chance points.
Next on the list is executing the offense.
In the first half the Raiders switched to a 2-3 zone and had success against a Ducks team that hasn’t been shooting the 3-point shot well so far this season (5-18 tonight). Altman stressed the importance of practicing the zone offense because when No. 22 Baylor comes to town in one week, he expects the Bears to run the zone.
It was another impressive performance for the lanky, athletic Oregon basketball team. The Ducks will look to continue their hot start this season with another tune-up game against Jackson State on Friday.
Top Photo by Gary Breedlove