Welcoming back the basketball season, the Oregon Ducks brought Northwest Christian University into Matthew Knight Arena from just up the street. It was apparent from the beginning that NCU was overmatched and the Ducks rolled to a landslide victory, 101-69. Playing against his former team Austin Kuemper contributed 19 points and 5 rebounds while being a fly in the ointment against Oregon’s big men.
“We just wanted to get out on the floor. So many of our guys it’s the first time in front of people. We start out the season and games come pretty quick. In the next three weeks, things are going to come at us pretty quick. I thought it was important to get our guys out,” said head coach Dana Altman.
Oregon turned the ball over on their first possession and fell behind 3-0. It wouldn’t last long though as Ahmaad Rorie connected on his first shot as a Duck and Oregon rattled off a 32-5 run which put the game out of reach in the first ten minutes of the game.
“I thought we got off to a good start, our intensity on the defensive end was really good. Then we got the big lead and we just kind of exchanged baskets. I was disappointed in that. With so many guys without Division 1 experience, every minute counts, and I just didn’t think we approached it like that,” said Altman.
It appears that Joseph Young may not have to shoulder the load all on his own this year as the interior combination of Elgin Cook and Dillon Brooks contributed 20 and 16 points respectively. Against the Beacons, Young was able to display his abilities as a playmaker, accounting for 7 assists to compliment his game high 27 points.
Oregon dominated the rebound battle 45-20 which is nice to see. It’s difficult to tell if these exhibition games are signs of things to come or red herrings. If it’s the former, Oregon’s rebounding ability will be a major factor in the Ducks’ ability to be competitive this season. Another thing that has been missing from Oregon’s roster since the graduation of Tony Woods is a shot blocker. Jordan Bell seems to be fitting that role nicely as he rejected 2 shots.
Oregon simply has to get better at taking care of the ball. Against a lesser opponent, the Ducks turned it over 14 times, 8 coming in the first half. Much of this comes from the absence of playing time this team has had together. It simply has to be cleaned up by the time Oregon gets to conference play.
Young and Cook Lead The Way Against Beacons
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