MBB Preview Vs. Cal State Northridge

The Ducks return home to open a long home stand. First up, Cal State Northridge.

After opening the season undefeated, Oregon has gone .500 in their last six games. After looking hapless against Ole Miss, the Ducks went on the road and beat Illinois in their own house. Dillon Brooks set his career high with 24 points and four other Ducks scored in double figures as the came out of the United Center with the victory.

It seems to be the standard for the Ducks, when they come away with wins, the scoring is more spread out and they get numerous players involved. They will have another chance to get several players into double figures once again as Cal State Northridge (3-6) comes to town opening up a seven game home stand which will carry the Ducks into conference play.

The Matadors are anchored by their senior wing, Stephan Hicks. Hicks leads the team with 17.7 points a game and also chips in 5.5 rebounds per contest. He is joined by forward Stephen Maxwell, another senior who is averaging 14 a game, which is down from 17.5 a season ago. The Matadors are not all about offense though, as they have a rim protector in Tre Hale-Edmerson. The 6-9 junior Oregon product has already set a school record for blocks in just two seasons. He will be the last line of defense for Oregon’s slashers as they look to stay in the top 30 nationally in scoring.

Part of Northridge’s struggles to this point in the season comes from their tough opening schedule. They dropped back to back games against ranked opponents San Diego State and Arizona. The Matadors and Ducks have a mutual opponent in Portland State. The Ducks beat the Vikings 81-59 in dominating fashion while the Matadors fell to PSU 63-55.

Look for the Ducks to get out on the run and score in transition so as to negate CSN’s inside presence. It will be an interesting matchup with Dillon Brooks and Hale-Edmerson. Brooks is coming off a 24 point performance against Illinois. The Freshman has been a breakout player for the Ducks after finding his legs early and his production will be needed down the road. Wednesday will be an interesting test to see if Brooks can continue with his production.

This is not a game Oregon should lose. They have the horses to get out and run and put the game away early. It may resemble the Portland State game as Oregon could barrage the Matadors early offensively and hold a lead through the entire second half.

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