Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Pregame: 6:30 p.m. on 1290 a.m. (Brad Allis, Pete Delgado, John Schuster, Ryan Radtke, Joe Nehls)
Postgame call-in show: 1290 a.m. approximately 30 minutes after the end of the game.
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
On-Line: Arizona All Access (subscription required)
Oregon at a glance: Location: Eugene, OR
Coach: Ernie Kent
Leading Scorer: Aaron Brooks (15.0)
Leading Rebounder: Maarty Leunen (4.7)
Leading Assists: Aaron Brooks (4.6)
Last Meeting: Arizona defeated Oregon 74-66 in Eugene.
Last Time Out: Arizona cruised by UCLA 83-73. Oregon defeated Washington State 69-66.
OVERVIEW: Oregon Junior Forward Ian Crosswhite was kicked off the team Tuesday creating big problems for the Ducks. Crosswhite left the team averaging 8.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and led the team in total blocks. This void down low creates some changes in the starting lineup for the Ducks, that the Cats will look to capitalize on.
"They have made a couple of changes in the starting lineup," Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson said. "It makes it more difficult for us, but on the other hand they will have to deal with our size. Jordan Kent is starting now in their four position." Kent had 19 (points) and 16 (rebounds) in their last game. With his ability to slash to the hole and attack the glass, he could be a real challenge for Ivan Radenovic.
Kent is the son of Head Coach Ernie Kent, and the Duck spirit certainly runs through that family's veins. Kent's daughter is actually a cheerleader for the Ducks squad.
While Kent replaces Crosswhite, parts of the lineup change as well. Marty Leunen has now moved to the five spot. Leunen is a strong rebounder, and look for him to be aggressive on the boards.
"I think he is someone with the potential to be the next Luke Jackson," Olson said. "He handles the ball well, shoots the ball, and has a really good feel for the game."
Despite the changes down low, the biggest threat from the Ducks comes from point guard Aaron Brooks who is the leading the team in scoring and assists. Above everything else, Brooks has speed which is unmatched in the Pac-10.
"(He's) the quickest guy in the league up and down the floor, so one of our first challenges is going to be to handle their fast break," Olson said of Brooks. "They really keep the court spread to create a lot of driving opportunities. It should be very much a challenge."
Arizona enters this game playing their best basketball of the season following a sweep of the Los Angeles schools on the road. These next two home games will be the last for the season, and for seniors Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye. There is a lot more riding on this game because of it, and Arizona looks to capitalize on a changing Oregon squad.
KEY MATCH-UP:Mustafa Shakur vs. Aaron Brooks. Brooks has been a bright spot for a struggling Oregon team. Shakur has struggled recently, but lately has seemed to get his game back on track. This time, his most important task will be defending the dangerous point guard. Brooks is Oregon?s leading scorer, and leads the team in assists which is the primary reason Shakur will need to play suffocating defense.
Brooks is arguably the fastest player in the Pac-10 which is why Shakur, Arizona's fastest player, will be covering the guard. If Shakur can hold Brooks, Arizona should come away with their 5th straight win.
OUTLOOK: This came comes down to Arizona playing their game. This is a game they should win, and win big. With an Oregon team that lost their big guy down low, Arizona should have no problem coming away with the W. If Arizona can just play the game they have played the last two weeks where they have been destroying their opponents, they can move closer to their goal of a Pac-10 Championship.