Oregon Basketball is a team on the rise, despite two losses to respected teams last month. The Ducks are now 6th in the Associated Press poll.
The first few months of the season have been somewhat crazy with the Gonzaga Bulldogs now being the number one team in the country after several weeks of team shuffling for the top spot and losing in the process. The Ducks are the highest ranked Pac-12 team in the poll this week.
Oregon played and beat Texas Southern last weekend, but it was a back and forth battle. The Ducks committed 19 turnovers. Payton Pritchard came through in the end with 29 points to help Oregon to the win. The Ducks return to the court on Sunday to face Alabama State before the start of Pac-12 play.
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Gonzaga, Ohio State, Louisville, and Duke are the top four teams in the Associated Press poll this week. The Pac-12 Conference has just two other teams ranked this week with Washington at 21 and the Arizona Wildcats at 24. Several teams are on the cusp of the top 25 including Colorado at 27, and the Stanford Cardinal with some votes to put them as the 40th best team in the nation this week.
Oregon Basketball has done an efficient job so far this season. The key areas that Dana Altman always talks about with rebounds and turnovers have been a positive for the most part. The addition of Freshman N’Faly Dante will certainly help Oregon as they enter Pac-12 play. Anytime you can add a 6 foot 11 athlete, it should help shift the dynamic if what the Ducks have done so far this season to get to where they are.
I expect the Ducks Defense will be stronger with Dante in the lineup and Altman will get some defensive assistance with a rim protector, similar to what he had with Chris Bouche and Jordan Bell in recent seasons. Oregon has played small so far this season. I expect the pace of play will remain the same with a few new wrinkles as we enter 2020 and Pac-12 play next week.
Oregon Basketball hosts Alabama State on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena. Tipoff is set for 1 pm Pacific Time.