Oregon closes out their non-conference slate with the UC-Irvine Anteaters. Many fans will remember that the Ducks and Anteaters faced each other last season in Eugene with the Ducks coming away with a 91-63 lead. The game featured one of the more entertaining moments of the season when 5 foot 8 Johnathan Loyd attempted to front 7 foot 6 Mamadou Ndaiye.
It is difficult to look at last season’s game and garner any takeaways applicable to this year’s edition of the meeting as 3 of Oregon’s top 4 scorers from the game last year are no longer with the program. In addition, Ndaiye has missed the last six games with a sprained foot. Irvine is expecting him to return to action soon but it is not clear if he will be playing tonight against the Ducks.
Joseph Young scored 18 points last season and has been on a tear recently. His 20.3 points a game is leading the conference and good enough to rank 15th nationally. He also is one of only three players in the country to score 20, tally 5 rebounds and 4 assists each game and is the only player in a power conference to accomplish that feat to this point in the season.
The ‘Eaters are led by Luke Nelson and Alex Young, scoring 11.1 and 10.7 a game respectively. Irvine plays a lower scoring game than the Ducks, averaging 67.8 compared to the Ducks 80.3 which is in the top 20 nationally. Irvine is a little turnover prone as they cough the ball up nearly 15 times a game. If the Ducks can continue to force turnovers and get out and run, it could be another blowout much like a season ago.
Again, Ndaiye’s potential absence could hurt the Anteaters further as they look to get just their third win in the series against Oregon. The Ducks will likely win this game and win comfortably as they inch ever closer to the conference schedule. However, if the Ducks get caught looking ahead to the impending Civil War on the third and fall in love with the three point shot it could be a close game down the stretch.
MBB Preview Vs. UC Irvine
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