On Thursday night (10:00 P.M., FSN), the #9 Missouri Tigers (5-1) travel to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks (4-2) in the annual Big 12 / PAC 10 Hardwood Series. Oregon is coming off of a 98-71 loss to Duke, in Portland, OR. Missouri is coming off of a 111-102 OT loss to Georgetown, in Kansas City. A season ago, Missouri routed Oregon 106-69, in Columbia.
The Ducks head coach, Dana Altman, has been playing about 10 people this season, but he relies very heavily on his two star players, a pair of 6'6" forwards, in senior Joevan Catron (18.8 points/game, 6.3 rebounds/game) and sophomore E.J. Singler (12 points/game, 4.8 rebounds/game). Singler has connected on 53% of his 3-PT attempts this season. The Ducks third starting forward, 6'8" junior, Jeremy Jacob (9.0 points/game, 4.3 rebounds/game), missed Oregon's first three games with an injury, and is rounding back into condition. Jacobs was Oregon's leading rebounder a year ago. Coach Altman brings 6'8" junior F Tyrone Nared off the bench to help out up front.
In the back court for Oregon, 6'0" junior G Malcolm Armstead (6.8 points/game, 4.3 assists/game, 2 steals/game) handles the basketball, and 6'1" junior G Garret Sim (6.2 points/game) completes the starting line-up. Off of the bench in the back court for the Ducks, is a former starter, 6'4" junior G Teondre Williams (8.7 points/game), who has been the Ducks best outside shot, and is hitting 59% from behind the arc. Coach Altman also brings in 5'11" senior G Jay-R Stowbridge (7.3 points/game) and 5'8" freshman G Johnathan Loyd (5.3 points/game) off of the bench.
As a team, the Ducks are scoring 75.8 points/game, and are allowing opponents to score an average of 73.8 points/game. Oregon's being outrebounded on average, by a 37-36 margin, and have a collective assists-to-turnover ratio of 1.01 A/T.
Marcus Denmon is scoring 16 points/game, to lead Missouri, and he is hiting 54% of his 3-PT attempts, and is hitting 92% of his FTs. Ricardo Ratliffe is scoring 12.7 points/game, and pulling down 9.2 rebounds/game for Missouri. Laurence Bowers is scoring 11.8 points/game, and is grabbing 6.2 rebounds/game. Michael Dixon is scoring 10.8 points/game, and is averaging over 4 assists/game, with a 2.8 A/T ration, and is averaging 3 steals/game. Dixon is also hitting 79% of his FTs. Kim English is scoring 10.2 points/game.
Missouri has 10 players averaging at least 10 minutes/game, and the Tigers are outscoring opponents 85-71. Missouri is outrebounding their opponents by 2.5 rebounds/game, and have assisted on 55% of their made baskets.
Oregon will be facing Missouri within the cozy confines of McArthur Court. We're almost sure to see Coach Anderson utilize his bench more than he did against Georgetown. Will the Tigers play with the defensive intensity that invariably produces their best results? Will Missouri go inside, and take advantage of what looks to be a clear size advantage?