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

The preview for this game predicted everything, because this game wasn’t hard to foresee. However, the extent of the beating that the Utah Utes took against the Oregon Ducks was even bigger than I thought. Utah was thoroughly destroyed in a 94-48 home win for the Oregon Ducks at the Matt Court to end the season. The scoreline actually flattered the Utes, because Oregon eased up on the opposition after a 52-14 lead at the half that was reminscent of a Ducks football game. Devoe Joseph had as many points as the entire Utah team at the half, but the Ducks mercifully scored just eight more points than the Utes in the second half.

After Josh Watkins, their best player, dismissal from the team earlier this season, the already poor Utes looked even worse in their first season in the Pac-12. They notched three conference wins, which is more than can be said for the USC Trojans. However, Utah showed why they are so poor in this 98-48 drubbing.

 

Jason Washburn has been the lone bright spot for Utah recently, and he led all scorers with 26 points on 11-19 shooting in an inspired display for the 7’0″ star. He is their only above-average player, and he showed it by also adding seven rebounds and two blocks. Nobody else on the team scored more than five points, and the terribly inefficient Chris Hines was up to his old tricks in a 2-12 performance.

Olu Ashaolu and E.J. Singler had 12 points apiece, though Ashaolu shot better than Singler and had a couple of nasty jams that we have been accustomed to seeing from him. Garrett Sim didn’t quite play as well as he did against Colorado, but he added a steady 13 points and nailed three more three pointers. I can’t wait to watch Sim make it rain in the NCAA tournament, the Oregon Ducks now have a bye week, because the crowd starts going when he hits those big shots in the second half. And when that happens, teams just start to get flustered, the Oregon Ducks rally behind the crowd, and then the game swings in our favor. Just watch the game against the Buffaloes again if you don’t believe me. His three on the tipped kick-out was the tipping point of the game.

One of the brightest breakout stars has been Carlos Emory, who only recently started to make a name for himself off the bench. He knocked down 8-9 shots with six boards and went 3-4 from downtown. Emory also had 19 points, and only Devoe Joseph bested that total.

It’s sad to think that Devoe Joseph will leave after this season, because Oregon Ducks fans are beyond grateful for having their first star since Luke Ridnour. The point guard is one of the best players in the conference and has the ability to take over games, and it’s no secret that his arrival signaled a renaissance for this team and a good season. Joseph has as much to do with the Ducks success as Dana Altman, who is the sure-fire Pac-12 Coach of the Year.

Like Emory, Joseph went 8-9 from the floor, and he also went 3-4 from three. As usual, the former Minnesota Gopher filled out the stat sheet with six rebounds and five assists for a +29 EFF day.

The Oregon Ducks are ready to make the NCAA Tournament, and they have a rugged supporting cast, a star, and two others- including a leader and sharpshooter- to fill out their big three. The Ducks have the brilliant coach, the sturdy rebounder who can throw it down, the quiet passer on the bench, and the sparkplug who generates points in bunches off the bench. The Ducks have played the toughest schedule in the Pac-12, and they deserve an NCAA bid if they can make it to the semi-finals in the conference tourney. The Oregon Ducks are legit again, and now it is time for them to close it out and rise to the occasion in the Pac-12 Tournament.

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Tags: Basketball Carlos Emory Chris Hines Colorado Buffaloes Dana Altman Devoe Joseph E.J. Singler Garrett Sim Jason Washburn Josh Watkins Olu Ashaolu USC Trojans Utah Utes

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