It was forgivable – understandable even – that the Oregon Ducks dropped a game to the Houston Cougars last week to move to 2-2 on the season. Houston looks like perhaps the best team in all of college basketball, and Oregon held them to 66 points and hung tough throughout.
However – Thursday’s performance against the UConn Huskies in the Phil Knight Invitational didn’t give Duck fans anything to be thankful for.
Dana Altman’s squad shot an abysmal 20-for-47 from the field, good for just 42.6%, while turning the ball over a whopping 17 times. Factor in a horrific 14-25 showing at the free throw line and you have all the makings of a world class beatdown, suffered on Nike founder Phil Knight’s birthday in Portland, just a few hours north of Matthew Knight Arena. Yikes.
Here is some more info on Thursday’s tough outing for the Ducks, and what is coming up for Altman’s team this weekend:
- Oregon shot just 42.6% from the field and 5-15 (33%) from deep. Not having Keeshawn Barthelemy or Jermaine Couisnard forced Rivaldo Soares and Will Richardson to shoulder the load in the backcourt, and they combined to go 5-19 from the field with four turnovers and three assists. That’s not going to get it done.
- Speaking of turnovers, Oregon had a whopping 17 of them, leading to plenty of easy scoring opportunities for the Huskies.
- UConn was led by dynamic transfer guard Tristen Newton, who had 23 points and six assists while shooting an excellent 5-6 from deep. The same number of made threes as the Ducks combined.
- Kel’el Ware was fantastic off the bench, but all other Oregon non-starters scored just four points.
- N’Faly Dante had 15 points to lead Oregon’s starters, but he managed just one rebound and turned the ball over four times.
- Kel’el Ware led the Ducks with 18 points off the bench, while tacking on nine rebounds and two assists. He was 6-8 from the field and 2-3 from deep. A much needed performance from him.
- Will Richardson’s quiet start to the season continued, as he had just nine points while shooting 3-9 from beyond the arc, and adding just two assists. Oregon only had 11 assists on the day.
Oregon will play the loser between the No. 12…