Oregon Basketball Gameday: Will Long Layoff Hurt the Ducks?

Joshua Whitted Editorials 25 Comments

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For just a moment, it seemed like everything was back to normal.

Sure, coaches and players on the bench were wearing masks, there was no band or cheerleaders, and the raucous crowd of years past was much less inspiring in limited form. But none of that mattered once the brackets locked and the action got underway. Even though it looked different, March Madness was back.

And it didn’t take long for the madness to ensue. Nearly every bracket was busted from the onset, as 15-seed Oral Roberts pulled off the improbable upset of title-contending Ohio State in one of the first games of the tournament. Bid-stealer Oregon State kept its magical run alive with an upset win over Tennessee, and 13-seed North Texas made history by winning its first NCAA Men’s Tournament game against B1G stalwart Purdue.

But then, just as we were given a much-needed escape from the COVID-19-centered world we now live in, the pandemic took center stage once again on Saturday night.

From Twitter

Ohio State lost in a stunning first-round upset.

Many had the 7-seed Oregon Ducks penciled in to advance to the round of 32, and advance they did. But it wasn’t their vaunted shooting or overwhelming length that pushed them past VCU. Rather, it was declared a “no contest because of NCAA COVID-19 protocols,” according to a statement released by the NCAA.

The NCAA isn’t allowed to release many details, but the bottom line is VCU became the first team in this year’s abnormal tournament to deal with COVID-19 issues, and the result is an unceremonious ending to their season.

Many would assume this is a good thing for the Ducks. Although the Ducks were favored, 7-vs-10 matchups are tricky and can go either way. Surviving and advancing is the name of the game in March, by any means necessary.

The Ducks certainly aren’t going to apologize for advancing by default, but it doesn’t do them any favors to face one of the tourney’s best teams while coming off of a 10-day layoff. The last time we saw Oregon in action, it was well over a week ago in the Pac-12 Tournament, when red-hot Oregon State upset the Ducks on its way to stealing the conference championship.

Gary Breedlove

Will Oregon’s shooters start off cold against Iowa?

It doesn’t get any easier for our feathered friends, who now have to keep pace with one of the most explosive offensive attacks in college basketball. The 2-seed Iowa Hawkeyes, led by the most decorated player in the B1G, center Luka Garza, rank in the top 10 nationally in both scoring offense and three-point field goal percentage. Garza can score from just about everywhere on the floor with his imposing 6’11, 265-lb. frame, but when he gets doubled in the post, he has plenty of talented shooters on the perimeter to kick it out to.

The Hawkeyes made quick work of Grand Canyon on Saturday. Sure, the Lopes were clearly overmatched coming into the contest, but they did boast an excellent defense that potentially posed some problems for the high-scoring Hawkeyes. It turns out, Grand Canyon didn’t stand a chance. Iowa shot better than 45% from behind the arc and over 50% from the field, finishing with a ho-hum 86 points and an easy first-round victory.

Oregon’s no pushover, though. The Ducks have much-coveted length at every starting position, and everyone is a threat to score from long range. Their offensive versatility should give a porous Iowa defense trouble. The question is, can they figure out a way to contain Garza and company on the other end of the floor?

Let’s hear your thoughts, Oregon fans. Will an extended layoff give the Ducks fresh legs to outlast a talented Iowa team, or will Oregon struggle to shake off the rust?

Joshua Whitted 
Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Photo by Eugene Johnson

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For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!

I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)

I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.

Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:

Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua WhittedMr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric BolesAlex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram

A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.

Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!

Our 33 rules at FishDuck 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!

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Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Ranking Ruminations:

This is the first time that Oregon and Oregon State have been in the Sweet Sixteen at the same time.
Oregon Baseball is ranked No. 16 this week!
Oregon Softball is ranked No. 3 this week! (UCLA is No. 2, Washington is No. 6, Arizona is No. 9 and Texas is No. 8)

Good victory by the Oregon Women last night in basketball; they came out better than expected, but boy they can be ragged at times with the bad passes. But they played incredible defense in the first half, and I salute them.


A day later and I’m eating my words regarding the women’s bb team. The bigs, Prince in particular, moved and banged down low like I have not seen from her before. The guards are still inconsistent with ball handling but figured out how to get the ball to Prince on the blocks where she can operate. The grit shown against Georgia was very encouraging especially late in the game. Prince had the look of the leader this team has been looking for.


Interesting interview with Tyler Shough by 247Sports and his decision making process to transfer to Texas Tech.

A small snippet from the conversation.
“you just want to go somewhere where you have a chance to play and you know the coaches have your back and you know you can have success. That’s what it came down to coming around the second time. That’s what I was looking for and Texas Tech was the best opportunity for that.”


As much as Bill Walton makes me a foaming at the mouth crazy man, I wish he had been announcing yesterday! One of the announcers tried channeling him for a little bit “the ducks are soaring?” or something like that… However, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this game on the DVR. I have saved it and will watch it again, especially from the 18 minute mark (46 – 46) in the 1st half and following.

I think my speculation on the loss to the beavs in the P12 tournament (too many games in too few days, leading to loss of legs) has some merit. OBDucks came out flying last night! Lots of energy, especially on defense! Will’s first basket of the night set the tone (3 points in the 1st 14 seconds? Crazy stuff!!) and they took off from there!

I also think the thing I noticed where Duarte was showing some uncertainty now that Richardson is back, got ironed out. Chris certainly showed no hesitation in his game, and it was clear when they were setting up a play that Will was the point guard. Good stuff!

My feeling when I saw the NCAA seeding was that the Ducks were under seeded. I know this made my feathers bristle, and I assume the team probably felt slighted as well. Hopefully this can help fuel them to Victory in the upcoming games.

All in all, a most excellent Victory!!

Our Beloved Ducks Be Dancing!!

Go Ducks!!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

That was a beautiful post olcodger…and now I truly appreciate the team that Dana assembled. If Dante’ wasn’t hurt–what would have been the upside?


My biggest disappointment with Oregon teams this season has been the regression of the women’s basketball team. I realize three incredible players departed and the virus has scrambled everything. But the bigs are clunky, play tippy-toe and reach, and have little to no touch around the rim.

No point guard has emerged who plays under control and the entire team has no concept of how to make a decent pass. They play excellent pressing defense which keeps them in many games.

I was proud of the hustle and grit the team showed against S. Dakota last night but they looked ragged and deeply flawed on offense. Anyone else have thoughts on why such a highly rated class of recruits seems to be getting worse as the season comes to a close?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Logger…you wrote it much better than I, and you nailed so many of the issues on offense. Is it my imagination, or does Prince kind of shy-away from banging too much underneath?

As for my theory…Graves spoke about the need for a team leader in the local paper about halfway through the season. He stated that he cannot ‘appoint’ one, and it had to happen naturally inside the team–and it hadn’t. He said that until a leader is established, the team would have great, and then stinker games.


USC saying that the Ducks “stole” the Pac-12 championship. Extra fuel to wollop them in the upcoming Sweet 16 matchup.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Boy….I have to admit that as good as Oregon looked–USC looked even better last night. Beat Kansas by 34 points? I was surprised at well they played, but the question is…which Trojan will show up? Last night’s team or the one that lost to Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament and lost at Utah?

I think they will be motivated, thus a tough game.


They have a Jekyll and Hyde personality, going very pedestrian after beating Oregon while the Ducks went on a tear. Altman will have a plan ready, my prediction is Oregon wins by 10.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Glen…you got a ton more guts than I do! I am a Duck-Homer, but USC looked like a perfect team against Kansas. Their bigs–we all know about, but the guards and forwards were killing-it too.

It will be a tough game, but our veteran team will give it their full effort–and I will be proud no matter what!

Jon Sousa

I totally agree with something their coach said… that there is no way that the number 1 and the number 2 teams in the PAC 12 should be meeting in the Sweet 16.

We can add, especially when there is no advantage in “staying in the west” because none of the games are actually in the west.


On that point I agree as well. Terrible seeding arrangement for the Pac12, Oregon and USC should have been in different divisions in the tournament!


So far the only person with a solid bracket is Bill Walton with 5 Pac-12 teams in the final 4.

Well done Ducks, even Franck Kepnang looked like a dominant force off the bench.

Jon Sousa

Somewhere, Bill Walton is saying, “I told you so! Conference of Champions!”

Jeremiah Geiger

What a game! The Ducks are flying high! Dominant performance from Oregon


Altman is the real deal. The PAC-12 plays real basketball. The sports media(espn) has real bias. Sir Charles gave Altman his due and called out the tournament seeding committee for under valuing the PAC-12 . This was a very satisfying win for many reasons.

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

It was said that Iowa was the highest No. 2 Seed, thus that would make them the No. 5 ranked team in the nation going into the tournament?

A stunning victory!


On the DA radio show this morning, Amendolara was saying no one in other parts of the country thinks of the PAC-12 teams when they think of March Madness–or the football playoffs. I’m thinking that’s not true. But then he says that the PAC-12 network is hard for people in other parts of the country to find and that is probably true.


I didn’t get to see the game but the box score shows a very balanced starting lineup! CD lead the way for Ducks scoring. Looks like they played just enough D (95-80) to win by a measly 15 points…GO DUCKS!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Omigosh! Was that the most fun NCAA game you watched ever? Totally unexpected, and the teamwork and the commitment to their game-plan was stellar. That will be fun to watch again…

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Boy I cannot believe the score at half, with Oregon up 10 points 56-46, but I swear there were three points not counted during the game; a fade-away by Eugene O., and a foul shot.

I am very concerned about the pace of the game and whether Our Beloved Ducks will have enough in the tank at the end of the game since we are not subbing very much. A good thing we are shooting well, and that has to hold up too!

I cannot believe the gutsy 3s taken/made and some of the breathtaking drives to the basket. High level stuff!

Jeremiah Geiger

Duarte is one of the best guards in the country; if the Ducks want to win today, he has to have a big game. Another X-factor to look out for
is Will Richardson, if he is shooting well to complement other scorers like Duarte and Eugene from Eugene, the Ducks will be hard to beat in this game.

Defensively, the key is to limit Iowa’s perimeter shooting. Garza will get his points, but if Oregon can shut down the three ball, they have a great shot to win.

I have Oregon advancing to the Sweet 16, 75-71

So excited for this one! Go Ducks!

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck

Considering all that has happened to Oregon with injuries this season–the fact that we are healthy and ready is as important as playing on Saturday. If the Ducks shoot well, then they can win. I do not think just playing great defense is going to keep them in this game.

We need the hot shooting!

And I still cannot get over how the Pac-12 has five teams in the final 32 in the nation, with two (congrats OSU!) in the Sweet Sixteen already.