NIT Game Preview: Oregon Ducks


University of Oregon (Public – Research Institution)
Mascot: Ducks
Location: Eugene, OR
Enrollment: 24,500

Current Record: 24-9 (13-5 in Pac-12 Conference)
RPI: 59        SOS: 103

Coach: Dana Altman (2nd year)

First Thought: The Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies have met twice this year and each walked away with a win on their home court. UW was anxious to see them again in this NIT tournament because the Ducks “embarrassed” them in Eugene. Beating the Huskies by a score of 82-57. That was their last meeting and for many Husky fans and players that bitter taste of defeat still lingers in their mouth.

As one Husky fan said to me, “Nothing would be more delightful than to destroy the Ducks and move on to Madison Square Garden.” This is the sentiment for most of Husky Nation not just because it is the rival but Washington is out to prove that they deserved a shot in the NCAA. To do that, they need to go through Oregon.

Best Win: 90-81 vs Colorado (RPI 54)
Worst Loss: 76-71 at home to Oregon State (RPI 128)

Last Game: 108-97 win vs Iowa (RPI 124) – In the second round of the NIT.

Synopsis: The Oregon Ducks had a decent season. They really only had one poor loss and that was against Oregon State. The rest of their losses were against teams that had an RPI under 60 and a handful of them made the NCAA tournament. The Ducks have proven to be a good team on their court and away from their court this season.

In the Pac-12, they only struggled with California, who they lost to twice, everyone else they won at least one game against. They won the only meeting they had with Arizona and split with Colorado, Washington, and Oregon State.

They are an impressive offensive team that can get hot at any given moment. They shoot an impressive 47% from the field, 71% from the line, and 38% from three. A sign of this was their last game against Iowa in which they had 101 points. That is an NBA total for a game not an NCAA total in one game. However, they also allowed 97. The defense wasn’t there for either squad.

Analysis: Let’s take a look at the star players for the Oregon Ducks.

EJ Singler- gathers much of the attention for this Oregon Ducks team because he can really get hot and often the Ducks ride the waves of what this player can do. He was 9 of 10 in the last game against Iowa. He is averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2 assists a game. If he gets going early, he is hard to stop especially when he gets hot from deep. He is shooting 37% on the year from behind the arch.

Olu Ashaolu- is really inconsistent in terms of production but he is coming off a 22 point performance against Iowa. He also had 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. That should give him some confidence going into the UW game as that was the best game of his career. On the season he averages only 8.9 points, 5 rebounds, and just under 1 assist a game.

Devoe Joseph- is Oregon’s leading scorer at 16.8 points a game. He has had only one game this entire season (that he played in) where he averaged less than double-digits in scoring. That game was in the first meeting of UW and Oregon. He scored only 4 points. He is an impressive guard that finds ways to score and he can also stroke it from deep (42%). However, he tends to struggle against Washington’s guards. He only had 13 points in their second meeting in which UW would identify as one of their worst games.

Garrett Sim- averages 12.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists a game. He is their best three point threat at almost 50% on the year (47%). That is an impressive number considering he has attempted 152 this season. He needs to be guarded closely on the perimeter.

My Prediction: Washington 81 Oregon 79