The last time the Oregon Ducks started 6-0 in the Pac 12 the Pittsburgh Pirates were World Series Champs, The Great Gatsby was published, and the most popular film in the theater was Ben Hur: The Story of Christ. It was 1925, and McArthur Court hadn’t been built yet. That year they finished 18-4, 10-0 in the Pacific Coast Conference North Division.
Fast forward to the present and Oregon can match that mark tonight with a victory vs Washington State(10-8, 1-4 Pac 12). The Cougars come to Eugene shooting just over sixty three points per game, their leading scorer senior Brock Motum is averaging 18 points per game this season. Washington State has only scored 75 points in two games this season, both victories, including vs Utah (75-65) last weekend.
The Ducks come back home after a successful road trip (in California) playing USC and UCLA. They have won eleven of twelve and have yet to lose a game in 2013. Home cooking never hurts either. Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena is 8-0 on the season, and look for their 18th consecutive win tonight. Oregon has been led by different players throughout this season, most recently an ailing Tony Woods who put up eighteen points in twenty five minutes vs UCLA on the road last Saturday. Oregon won 76-67.
The Ducks are averaging 76 points per game this year and are working their way up the rankings in both national polls. (Currently 16 in the Associated Press, 19 in the Coaches Poll) The only other Pac 12 school ranked is a team that the Ducks beat, Arizona(#7 AP). One piece that can be included in the Ducks success this season is tranfser Arslan Kazemi. He arrived from Rice with one season of elegibility remaining and he is making the most of it. He is 6’7″ and is a rebounding machine, averaging 25 minutes and 10 rebounds per game. Last weekend he had 11 rebounds in both road games vs USC and UCLA. Oregon has also been able to squeeze points from it’s bench of late, which doesn’t hurt either.
Wednesday’s game vs the Cougars is at 6:30, Saturday’s game vs Washington tips at 4pm and if you have the chance to get out to Matthew Knight Arena to see this team, I highly suggest you do. This team has a lot of momentum right now and is climbing not only the polls, but also the early NCAA Tournament bracket projections. There is something to be excited about in Eugene and it’s at Matthew Knight Arena tonight and Saturday.
Get out and see this team.
Justin Phillips is the Sports Reporter for Newsradio 1120 KPNW in Eugene.