Word of advice, don’t mess with the Oregon Ducks at the Matt Court; especially if you are the Washington Huskies. The Ducks always seem to have the Huskies number at home, and their 82-57 trouncing of Lorenzo Romar’s squad proved it. The Huskies looked awful last night, while the Ducks were led by an amazing shooting performance as a team (67.2 eFG%). These teams looked like mirror opposites of each other in terms of skill, even though the Huskies are the second best team in the conference right now. Their loss proved that they still aren’t completely over their schematic inefficiencies and could not deal with the various zone defenses set up by the Oregon Ducks. The Huskies aren’t ready to challenge California yet.
The Huskies looked awful on defense and allowed 1.15 (!) points per possession while generating just .80 points per play of their own. UW hit under 40% of their shots from the free throw line, which was one of the only things that the men’s and women’s teams had in common in their games against the Ducks. Having a high eFG% is crucial, because this stat measures a team’s overall shooting effectiveness and weighs three-pointers. Oregon was a precise 7-13 from downtown, while the Huskies were extremely wasteful and hit just 2 of their 16 attempts and had a 37.9 eFG% overall.
Carlos Emory is jockeying for more playing time on the Ducks roster, and the forward had a career-high 16 points on twenty minutes coming off of the bench. Emory added eight boards and was 7 for 8 in an incredibly efficient day. The starting line-up is calling for Emory, and it is time for Dana Altman to grant its request. This guy has been playing solid, efficient basketball this month.
The same can’t be said for the entire Huskies team, and that’s bound to happen in a 25-point loss to a bitter rival. On the bright side, star point guard Tony Wroten had four assists and four steals. On the dark side, Wroten had six turnovers, shot 6-13 from the line and 4-10 overall. He finished with a team-high 14 points, but he had arguably his worst game of the season. As Ben Knibbe of UW Dawg Pound brilliantly notes, Wroten once again shows why he is a huge liability on defense when playing inside and desperately needs to improve on that face of the game. Knibbe’s notes on the game are a must-read for Huskies fans, especially the last one in which he details why it isn’t time to riot against Lorenzo Romar yet. The fan base must- and should- be extremely frustrated with their coach, but it is imprudent to shove the struggles onto his shoulders.
In any case, there is no way to sugar-coat this loss for the Huskies. They were horrible. This is as bad as it gets for the Huskies and as good as it gets for the Ducks. Washington’s stock took a huge hit, while the Ducks are creeping back up to the top three in the site’s conference power rankings. This was both a huge win and huge loss for both teams, and the Oregon Ducks will certainly build on this momentum. The Huskies, on the other hand, need to remember how to shoot and not over-think this loss. However, this team is far too talented to lose like this and have the most talent in the conference with future first-rounders in Wroten and Terrence Ross.
Speaking of which, Ross was another Husky with a rare off-game. The usually consistently efficient Ross was 4-12 and missed all four of his three-point attempts. Ross is a future top 15 NBA Draft pick and is one of the top three-point shooters in the country. Star guard C.J. Wilcox (4-13, 1-7 from three) can also chalk this one up as “one of those days” and channel his inner Fred Durst. However, he took a little too many quizzical shots last night.
Fittingly, the Oregon Ducks big three of E.J. Singler, Garrett Sim, and Devoe Joseph (in order of level of play on Thursday) each scored 13 points. Joseph’s impact on this squad since his transfer has been incredible, and the Ducks rode their big three and efficient supporting cast, as usual, to another victory. This one was much different than the others, however, because they absolutely demolished a rival that just happens to be the second best team in the conference.
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