Dec 18, 2011; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Devoe Joseph (34) drives the lane against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half at Matthew Knight Arena. Virginia beat Oregon 67-54. Mandatory Credit: Jim Z Rider-US PRESSWIRE

Oregon Ducks and Utah Basketball

It’s time for the Oregon Ducks to close things out in the last game of the conference season, as the team will face off against the Utah Utes at home after disposing of the Colorado Buffaloes in a pivotal home game last time out. The Oregon Ducks are in a prime position to make it into the NCAA Tournament, so an unlikely loss here would be disastrous, to say the least.

The Ducks are currently the third best team in the conference behind California and Washington, while Utah is easily the worst team in the conference. They can’t play defense, and they don’t have a player who allows less than 1.07 points per possession. As a team, Utah allows 1.10 points per play and generates just .89 points per possession. Those are both horrible numbers and are 331st and 328th out of 344 teams in college basketball. The Utes get outscored by 13 points per game, on average, and they are just 6-23 this season. So yeah, don’t expect the Oregon Ducks to lose this one.

Utah has only one above-average player on their roster, but Jason Washburn is a well above-average player who has a 20.8 PER and a 59.9 TS%. Washburn is a legitimate player who is easily the star of this team, but he is yet another Ute who struggles mightily defensively. Washburn is the only player on this team who has been worth more than a win or with a PER over 13.5, but one man can’t carry this team all alone.

Only four players on Utah have positive win shares, and no player on the team has a positive defensive win shares total. This team somehow has a couple of wins in Pac-12 play, but the Oregon Ducks will blow Utah out. They just can’t play defense, and their offense isn’t good enough to overcome their defensive inefficiencies. Actually, their offense is as inefficient as their defense and doesn’t do much at all.  To illustrate this team’s incompetence, Jason Washburn is the only player who generates more points than he allows (.016 difference per play).

Devoe Joseph is a legit Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate, and Dana Altman is a near-lock for Coach of the Year. Joseph will shred and slash through an incapable defense, and the Oregon Ducks will role to an 80-58 victory at home against the worst team in the conference. Devoe Joseph has a 21.4 PER this season and is undoubtedly the best player who will be playing today at 3:00 PM PT in the Matt Court, and the Oregon Ducks will win accordingly.

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Tags: Basketball California Golden Bears Colorado Buffaloes Dana Altman Devoe Joseph Jason Washburn Utah Utes Washington Huskies

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