Rough Weekend

After digging themselves a hole they couldn't get out of against Arizona, the Oregon men's basketball team did the same thing against Arizona State and for many of the same reasons. The Ducks didn't move on offense, they didn't run and they struggled shooting, all of which contributed to their 64-51 loss.

"We were very stagnant and we didn't let our offense flow," said Oregon's Malik Hairston, who led the Ducks with 17 points in 35 minutes. "We didn't play with a lot of intensity."

Hairston was right. After Maarty Leunen cut the ASU lead to three at 20-17 with 6:55 left in the first half, the Oregon offense slowed way down. A Mitch Platt tip-in with 2:07 to go that made the score 31-19 was Oregon's only score in the final 6:55. ASU's tough D had the Ducks passing the ball around the perimeter and not getting any looks inside.

"A lot of times with this group they are first option oriented and there is not a lot of flow to the game right now," Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent said. "(They) don't realize there are second and third options out there so we become stagnant."

The Ducks finished the first half 8-29 from the floor and 2-11 from long range. Star point guard Aaron Brooks was 0-6 on field goals in the period.

Oregon (11-5, 3-4) didn't do much better in the second half. Against Arizona State's (14-5, 3-4) zone, Oregon again simply moved the ball around the perimeter, rarely getting the ball to the high post and even more rarely getting a quality shot. The Ducks settled for a number of poorly selected jumpers.

"We want to get somebody in the middle to attack (Ike) Diogu but we didn't get that," Hairston said. "We ended up not getting great motion then ‘whoops, there's the shot clock.' We had to force up a lot of threes."

The words "a lot" may be the understatement of the night. Oregon finished the game having taken 34 three point attempts and making only four bombs or 8.7 percent of the attempts. The team record for attempts was set a year ago against ASU when the Ducks took 38 in an 86-75 loss.

No Duck made more than a single trifecta with Hairston, Leunen, Bryce Taylor and Chamberlain Oguchi all tallying one.

"I guarantee you we won't shoot it this bad the rest of the year," said Oregon's Jordan Kent.

This poor shooting night by Oregon came two days after the Oregon State Beavers shot 62.5 percent from the field against the Sun Devils.

So was it Oregon's poor shooting that made ASU's defense look good, or was it ASU's defense that caused Oregon to shoot so poorly? Sun Devils' Coach Rob Evans thinks it was the defense.

"Yesterday we had the hardest practice we've had the day before a game because I wasn't pleased with the defense we played at Oregon State," he said.

Although the Ducks shut down Arizona State's all-everything center Ike Diogu, holding him to 10 points,10 boards and four blocks, Oregon couldn't stop Serge Angounou. He went 7-11 from the floor for 20 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes of play.

"Serge had the hot hand and he played well today," Diogu said.

Still, Ernie Kent was happy with the defense.

"Defensively we were good enough to win the game," he said.

One bright spot that Oregon can be happy with was their rebounding. The Ducks out-rebounded the Sun Devils 44-42 with Jordan Kent grabbing 10 of them. 23 of Oregon's boards came off of the offensive glass, however, that was three more offensive rebounds than made shots for the Ducks.


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