Eugene, Ore. – From Media Row at Matt Knight Arena, Dean Davis, Basketball Correspondent for FishDuck.com reporting.
The Ducks took on the Portland State Vikings on Sunday afternoon in what many of us believed would be a blow out. And in fact, it was. After losing two heartbreaking games on the East Coast this past week to Michigan and VCU, the Ducks were hungry for a win to get their mojo back. Oregon started off the game a little sluggish, maybe due to being used to East Coast time, or maybe it was because Dwayne Benjamin was out of the lineup with an ankle injury. Either way, after a couple of shots to get the rust off and some easy buckets for the Vikings, Oregon saw clearly that this team wasn’t going to be a particularly difficult matchup, simply due to its lack of talent compared to the Ducks.
After a couple of minutes of being down 8-2, the Ducks went on a 31-5 run to basically seal the deal early in the game. Oregon’s man defense was just too much for the Vikings to handle throughout the entire game, seeing how Oregon is a much more athletic team. It was almost too easy for the Ducks to stay in front of their defenders. Our Ducks were able to execute easily off of transition points after stopping the Vikings on seemingly every possession. What really got the Ducks to take lift-off was Jalil Abdul-Bassit’s 19 points on 5-6 from downtown at the half! Boy did Jalil need this one. He’s been struggling to find his shot with various injuries lingering, and it seems he’s definitely on the right track after tonight’s performance.
The Ducks shot an eye-popping 47% from beyond the arc at halftime, something we’ve all been waiting to see with the explosive shooters this team is privileged to have. Joseph Young, who also had been struggling mightily throughout the season to find himself, looked comfortable with a smooth 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists at the half. It was just beautiful watching him handle the Vikings with such ease. This is another player that the Ducks desperately needed to get going before league play began, and hopefully tonight’s crushing win was what he needed to get back on track. Oregon’s defense was stifling as it made Portland State shoot a dismal 24% from the field. The Ducks were simply too much to handle tonight as they were up 30-50 at the half.
The second half saw much of the same as the first half. Although Portland State began clawing its way back early in the half, the Vikings quickly were shut down by Joseph Young’s 19 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals. Definitely a night that young man will remember, and definitely a night his opponent will try to forget as he has nightmares. You have to love Dillon Brooks energy though folks, as he finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds. He had a monstrous double-double, and he’s only been getting better every game. Get excited about him, people, because he could be the future of the program with numbers like that!
Coach Altman is extremely pleased with Dillon Brooks’ energy on the floor, and he understands that with such an undersized team, they’re going to need every ounce of activity to get each and every one of those rebounds.
The Ducks will thankfully get a week off after such a hectic past two weeks with cross-country traveling and whatnot. Their next game is next Sunday against Ole Miss, so they’ll be ready to get going.
Top photo by Craig Strobeck