Hoops Preview - Oregon

SEATTLE - A rivalry will renew tonight as the Oregon Ducks (10-3, 1-0) come to town to face off against the Washington Huskies (7-5, 1-0). The game will take place at 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena and will be aired live nationally on ESPN2.

The Ducks are led by second-year head coach Dana Altman, who came to the Ducks by way of Creighton, where he was at since 1994 and accumulated a 327-175 record with seven NCAA tournament appearances and two wins.

During his time at Creighton, Altman also became the third all-time for wins in the Missouri Valley Conference behind only Hall of Fame coaches Henry Iba (Oklahoma State) and Eddie Hickey (Creighton, Saint Louis and Marquette). Altman was also conference coach of the year in 2001 and 2002. Prior to Creighton, he spent time at Kansas State (1990-94) and Marshall (1989-90) and has accumulated a 431-261 career record. However, since joining Oregon Altman's success hasn't been as overwhelming.

Last year, the Ducks finished with a 21-18 record, but were CBI Champions (beating his former team Creighton 2-1 in the finals). This year, the Ducks one notable win has been Nebraska, with losses to No. 7 Vanderbilt, Brigham Young and Virginia.

Leading Altman's squad, despite only playing in seven games since becoming eligible, is Devoe Joseph, a senior guard that transferred after three years and a coaching change at Minnesota. In his first season in the green and gold, the 6-foot-4 native of Pickering, Ontario is averaging 14.7 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range. He is also flinging out 3.3 assists and pulling in three rebounds a game. On the defensive end, he is averaging 1.6 steals.

Starting beside Joseph in the backcourt will be the slow developing Garrett Sim. At 6-foot-1 and a native of Portland, Sim has seen time the last three years, but this year he is finally coming into his own, averaging 12.8 points a game on 58 percent shooting from the field, 49 percent from three and 86 from the free-throw line. He is also averaging three rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals. Nationally, he ranks No. 3 in true shooting percentage (73.8 behind Scott Eatherton at St. Francis (PA) and Ricardo Ratliffe at Missouri) and No. 8 in effective field goal percentage at 70.1. (TS is a shooting efficiency that takes on field goals, 3-pointers and free throws. EFG adjusts for 3-pointers being worth one more than a normal field goal.)

Stating at the wing will be the three-year experience wing E.J. Singler. The 6-foot-6 junior is averaging 12.2 points and five rebounds per game. Nationally, the one thing that stands out for Single is free-throw percentage. He ranks No. 23 at 91 percent. Despite some success,

Oregon lost their most talented player, Jabari Brown, and Bruce Barron after just two and three games due to transfer. Both were freshman. Oregon also will be without Tyrone Nared, who is battling a left knee injury. He will have missed the whole Pac-12 opening weekend before being reevaluated next week.

As a team, the Ducks are a highly effective defensive rebounding team at 25.8 per game (No. 58 in the nation). They are also No. 18 in free-throw rate at 47.3. On the defensive end, they are forcing their opponents to shoot 41.1 percent from the field and only force 12.5 turnovers a game, No. 58 lowest in the country.

Historically, Altman is 1-2 against the Huskies and Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar is 13-7 against the Ducks. Washington also holds the all-time series at 185-104, including 110-33 at home.


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