Following an 82-57 blowout victory against their most hated rivals, the Oregon Ducks are hoping not to suffer from a post-game hangover and lay an egg against the Washington State Cougars. The Ducks listened to coach Dana Altman and certainly defended their home court, and they must now do the same to the other team in Washington. Thankfully, the Cougars are a terrible team and are even worse away from Pullman. Their overall efficiency on the road is among the worst in college basketball, but the Ducks can’t afford to get too lazy today.
The game will be played at 3:00 PM PT, and the Ducks destroyed the Cougars 92-75 on the road. That high scoring affair will be repeated in this game, except don’t expect Wazzu to put up 70 this afternoon. They are a solid offensive team at home, but their offensive play completely evaporates in someone else’s home court. In fact, the Cougs managed to score only 43 points in their last game at the Matt Court.
The Oregon Ducks are 17-7 and 8-4 in the Pac-12, while the Cougars are 5-7 in Pac-12 play and 13-11 overall. One thing to watch out for is that Wazzu exorcised some road demons in their surprising 83-73 victory over the Oregon State Beavers. The Ducks lost to their hated rivals in the Civil War last time out, and WSU has been playing better basketball than usual in their past three games.
Brock Motum is easily this team’s best player and has been worth about four wins this season. He leads the team with a 24.1 PER and a 64.5 TS%. The Cougars are a solid offensive team but are horrible on defense, and the team has many quality offensive players but lacks an above-average defensive player. Motum is the team’s best defensive weapon, but he is merely mediocre in this regard.
Washington State is still missing star Faisal Aden and his 21.9 PER, while the overrated DaVonte Lacey is busy playing mediocre basketball in terms of efficiency.
Charlie Enquist and D.J. Shelton are two of the more efficient players in the conference and both have PERs above 17, TS% above 60, and average at least 1.1 points per play. However, there isn’t much else besides those two and Motum, so the Cougars are headed for a long day against one of the better teams in the conference.
The Oregon Ducks can always count on their big three, and expect senior Garrett Sim to have a big say in this game. His play has leveled off recently, but his 65.5 TS% tells the story of an efficient player who is just waiting to have a big night. The Cougars won’t be able to stop his precise shooting on the perimeter, so expect him to hit 15 points and notch a couple of assists.
Much like the Cougars, the Ducks are mainly an offensive team. While they are actually the same as the Cougars in terms of overall efficiency, Wazzu’s statistics are inflated due to their improved play at home. The Ducks, meanwhile, are mediocre on defense and aren’t nearly as bad on the defensive side as the Cougars. Their combination of solid offense and average defense is much more attractive than the Cougars futile road offense and non-existent defense while playing away from Pullman.
Center Tony Woods and star senior leader E.J. Singler are the two Ducks players who are worth at least one win on defense. The Cougars, on the other hand, have only two players with a DWS of 0.7, which means that they have no players who have contributed one win to the team on defense alone. In fact, Motum is the only Cougar who has added at least two wins to their club. Oregon has three such players, with Devoe Joseph being the “worst” of the three with a 2.5 WS in just 18 games. Woods is 0.2 wins away from hitting the two win threshold.
Anyway, Singler has been worth exactly three wins and is 0.2 away from Sim for the team lead. He has already clipped Sim in PER and is climbing back to the 20 PER threshold (19.7). Singler averages 5.5 boards per game and forces about one steal/block per game in addition to allowing one point per possession. Singler has been worth one win on defense this year, while Woods’s defense has been valued as a 1.1 win contribution to the Oregon Ducks. Enquist is the only player on the Cougars who receives significant minutes to allow under one point per possession.
Woods leads both teams on season statistics in opponents PPP with a .975 average. He is a decent rebounder who turns away 1.6 shots per game and has a hefty 9.1% block percentage. Tony Woods is a rugged big who plays lock down defense on the interior and will have no trouble stymieing the opposition this afternoon.
After their enormous triumph over the Huskies, this should certainly be an extremely easy victory for the Oregon Ducks. However, they did have a stretch where they struggled against some bad teams, most notably Arizona State. However, fans should have confidence in the Ducks ability to wipe-up an inferior opponent who just so happens to have a phobia of playing on the road. This game should be chalked up as a 79-66 win for the Ducks, but Altman must make sure that this team doesn’t implode and blow it. It’s unlikely, but stranger and far worse things have befell winning teams in the Pac-12 this year. Just ask the team the Ducks recently clobbered; they will be the first ones to say it.
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Topics: Arizona State Sun Devils, Brock Motum, Charlie Enquist, D.J. Shelton, Dana Altman, DaVonte Lacey, Devoe Joseph, E.J. Singler, Faisal Aden, Garrett Sim, Oregon Ducks Baskebtall, Oregon State Beavers, Tony Woods, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars