Both Oregon men’s basketball teams played this weekend. On Thursday against Arizona, you saw the one with heart that ran down every missed shot and made the extra passes to create easy shots. That team won. On Saturday, the team full of “athletes” couldn’t shoot the ball into a swimming pool. Horrific shooting — again — 26% in the second half.
Take nothing away from Oregon’s heart in the past two weeks. They have found an identity, and a couple of leaders in Payton Pritchard and Louis King. This team is still capable of winning 20 in the regular season, but it has to find more than one or two consistent scorers.
Paul White was terrific against Arizona, but he did very little against Arizona State. Twice he stood flat-footed while Pritchard ran past him to chase down a loose ball. Twice more he stood around on a defensive rotation and let someone shoot a three without even putting a hand up to contest it. Oregon needs him to be consistent.
Victor Bailey went 0-9 Saturday, and did not score a single point. He missed four straight wide open three-point shots. Wide open. Oregon needs White and Bailey to make shots, and needs them to defend and rebound.
The Ducks Need to Play Smarter
Herb Brooks once told the USA Hockey team in 1980 “You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.” The same is true for this Ducks team. Ehab Amin plays with guts but is not always smart. There’s a dunk you’re going to see Oregon giving up a hundred times this year. And when you do, remember this: it will be 100% Amin’s fault.
Amin was selfish and playing hero ball on defense. He gambled in front of Zylan Cheatham when he didn’t need to. That left Kenny Wooten, who had three fouls, at the rim, knowing he couldn’t foul again. Cheatham’s huge dunk brought the crowd into the game. Oregon had played defense for 25 seconds and Amin selfishly gambled.
Amin had a lay-in on a break that was blocked because he didn’t put his body between himself and the defender, and he drove twice and turned it over. That’s not his game. He was trying to do too much. Love the heart, but the Ducks need more brains from him.
Bailey gets to the rim a lot, then tries to go up and under and up and over and behind and around and everything spectacular that he can think of. Here’s an idea: go up and dunk it and make them foul you. He has that kind of athleticism and needs to use it at the rim.
Water Cooler Notes
Need a third team to watch? One you can really get into every game? Oregon’s women’s team is now 17-1 and rolling. Satou Sabally is starting to emerge as one of the top players in the conference, if not the nation. Against ASU, Sabally ran the length of the court and blocked a three in the corner to help them close it out, 39 minutes into a game she had dominated at the offensive end. Pretty impressive.
This is a really fun team to watch. They move the ball, make plays for each other, rebound, and make the extra pass. And their game is expanding.
Sabrina Ionescu now has 16 career triple-doubles, after posting one Sunday against Arizona in their 93-60 win. She had 12 rebounds and 12 assists while scoring 21. Sabally scored 25, with three blocks and five boards. Oregon led 31-4 after the first quarter. An unbelievable team.
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson
Bob Rodes, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is an IT analyst, software developer and amateur classical pianist in Manchester Tennessee.
A native Oregonian, Bob’s spent 16 years covering Duck football and basketball for AOL Fanhouse, OregonLive and Rivals.com. He’s also hosted a sports talk show on ESPN Radio and led marketing for the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.
The Comments Below are CLOSED, as we are moving to the OUR BELOVED DUCKS Forum!
Comments below articles are now closed as we have moved all conversation over to the free Our Beloved Ducks Forum. It has been a big success already with many more posts than what we could fit into the comments below articles.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Be a part of the forum and stay caught up! When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!