Getting Back On Track

EUGENE -Oregon has lost three straight games. But it isn't unfamiliar waters for the Ducks to swim out of. Last year the team lost three straight to the same three schools before rallying to win 5-of-6 en route to a Sweet 16 run.

EUGENE -Oregon has lost three straight games. But it isn't unfamiliar waters for the Ducks to swim out of. Last year the team lost three straight to the same three schools before rallying to win 5-of-6 en route to a Sweet 16 run.

Now, just five players from that team remain, but the Ducks will seek to refocus and redirect their season in Corvallis on Sunday.

"I mentioned to the vets, we've been here before and most teams will go through it," said coach Dana Altman. "We've hit a tough spot, there's no doubt about it. It's going to test our character and our leadership on the team."

To get the residue out of their mouths, they'll need to exhibit improved toughness, something they spent time this week practicing. The players went through a "tough man drill", according to forward Mike Moser, in which three players battled each other untethered by fouls or rules.

"We've been playing these close games, and I think we haven't been tough enough to get that last rebound or last stop… to get over the hump.

"If you're not tough, then you'll be there all day," Moser said.

The Ducks could be in for a long day if they aren't against the Beavers, whose front court of Eric Moreland, Devon Collier and Angus Brandt is as good as any they've faced this season.

"All of those guys are very talented," Atlman said. "They've got big physical experience, all three of them. The three of them are very good players."

Oregon allowed teams to shoot 53-for-83 in the paint in its three losses, and was just 37-for-88 themselves from the same distance. For more, check out skopilsystem.com.

Also in play for the Beavers is the conference's most prolific scorer: Roberto Nelson. Averaging 21.4 points per game, Nelson has been on fire in Pac-12 play, especially from three-point range. Against league foes, he's shot 10-for-18 from deep.

In the three losses, the Ducks have been beaten badly by lesser scoring guarded Askia Booker, Jordan Matthews and Anthony Brown. Booker, Matthews and Brown all had career-highs against the Ducks.

"The last couple of games, we've had these guards score on us pretty easy, but they've always started the game off with a wide open look. It's important for him not to get a good look to start the game right," said guard Johnathan Loyd of stopping Nelson.

A Transfer Of Power?

Oregon State coach Craig Robinson doesn't approve of the fifth-year transfer rule Oregon has benefitted from under Altman. Robinson told media member this week that they should "have to sit out like any other transfer should."

"Technically I'm not allowed to talk to a guy until he gets his release," Robinson said. "It's just hard to go out and poach guys when you really aren't supposed to be able to talk to them. That's hard for me to figure out how to do."

Altman says it's actually been "pretty easy" for them.

"I have no idea what he's talking about. The people that have been fifth year with us, have contacted us," he said.

"Everybody has got a right to an opinion. I have no idea what he said. I have no idea what his opinion is, he's got a right to it. I don't really care."

Projected Starting Line-ups

Oregon State (9-7, 1-3)

PG- Hallice Cooke (6-3, 185) 6.5 points per game, 2.0 rebounds per game.

SG- Roberto Nelson (6-4, 198) 21.4 points per game, 4.0 assists per game.

SF- Langston Morris-Walker (6-5, 216) 3.5 points per game, 1.1 rebounds per game.

PF- Eric Moreland (6-10, 218) 9.3 points per game, 9.3 rebounds per game.

C- Angus Brandt (6-10, 246) 12.3 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game.

Oregon (13-3, 1-3)

PG- Johnathan Loyd (5-8, 163) 9.1 points per game, 6.7 assists per game.

SG- Joseph Young (6-3, 185) 18.8 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game.

SF- Damyean Dotson (6-5, 209) 11.4 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game.

PF- Mike Moser (6-8, 211) 14.6 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game.

C- Waverly Austin (6-11, 257) 2.2 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game.


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