Eugene, Ore. – From Media Row at Matt Knight Arena, Dean Davis, Basketball Correspondent for FishDuck.com reporting.
Rainy Friday night, what’s a better way to spend your evening than watching your Duck basketball squad? The Ducks have been improving little by little over the past couple of games, but this game definitely was their most difficult match up since the beginning of the season. Coach Altman has a lot of work to do improving the entire concept of team basketball, but tonight’s adversity helped the Ducks build their toughness.
Oregon and Toledo battled it out in the first half, which for most Duck fans, was stressful to watch. Oregon shot a dismal 36% from the field, not what this Oregon offense is looking to average throughout the upcoming season. The Ducks have so much athleticism and raw talent, but executing on the court is a challenge that Coach Altman and his staff will have this season. The Ducks struggled to move the ball around, and when they made an attempt, the shot selection was atrocious. Throwing up shots and just trying to draw a foul is not the right way to go about scoring, and the team is aware of that. It’s worse when teams aren’t aware of their bad shot selection. That’s because difficult to fix and thankfully the Ducks know what’s up.
On a positive note, the Ducks were incredibly aggressive on the boards, which is really what kept them in the game during the first half. The Ducks dominated the rebounding portion of the box score 23-16, and as a coach you have to love their intensity and energy. Oregon struggled to defend the three point line as well, as their 3-2 zone wasn’t as effective as they had hoped and Toledo shot 7-12 from downtown. Oregon had many adjustments that needed to be made, and they definitely picked it up in the second half.
At half time, Oregon’s leading scorer was Joseph Young with 13 points on 50% shooting. Elgin Cook also snatched a solid 5 rebounds. Jordan Bell had a block that got the fans out of their seats, and if you didn’t see it, I recommend you go back to the film and check out the play. On the other side, Toledo’s Julius Brown had a dominating half with 14 points and four bombs from downtown.
In the second half, Oregon turned up their awareness on both the offensive and defensive ends. The Ducks locked up the Toledo shooters, holding their overall field goal percentage to 38%. Oregon forced Toledo into taking terrible shots from all over the floor which helped Oregon get their offense going as they were then able to push the ball up the floor. The mighty Ducks were able to convert on many fast break opportunities, specifically from Elgin Cook and Dwayne Benjamin. Elgin Cook had a dunk as intense as Bell’s first half block, another top play of the night worth catching on the replay.
Joseph Young was the leading scorer with 24 points, and Elgin Cook had a very solid night with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Ducks have had their soft match ups for the season, as they will take on the Michigan Wolverines on Monday in a game that you definitely won’t want to miss.
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