Hoops Preview - Oregon

Arch rivals will meet on Saturday when the Oregon Ducks (9-4. 1-0) come to town to square off with the Washington Huskies (10-2, 1-0). The game will take place at 2 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. Coming off of a less than impressive win Thursday night against Oregon State, the Huskies will look for a more comforting result against a team that also won their Pac-10 opener.

The Ducks had a big game on Thursday when they faced Washington State in Pullman and won in double overtime by a score of 91-89. The Cougars thought the game might have come to an end in the first overtime when DeAngelo Castro scored on a finger roll, but the Cougars bench was given a technical for coming onto the court. Oregon's star point guard Tajuan Porter had ice in his veins and hit both free throws to send it into double overtime.

Porter finished the game with 31 points on 11-26 shooting and was 6-14 from beyond the arc. He only had one turnover in 42 minutes on the court. Also helping the Ducks' cause on both ends of the court was Michael Dunigan. He finished with 22 points on 8-11 shooting and had 12 rebounds, five blocks and two steals.

For the season, the Ducks' 9-4 record doesn't appear as noteworthy upon further inspection. So far they have beaten Winston-Salem, UC Davis, Colorado State, Montana State, Mississippi Valley State, Oakland, Idaho State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and WSU. They have lost to Portland, Montana, Missouri and Saint Mary's.

Oregon's roster is one made up of players from around the country, and includes just three upperclassmen. They feature four players from Illinois and Oregon and one from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Washington and Wisconsin.

Leading the way this season has been Porter, who, despite his diminutive stature (5-foot-6) has proven to be a star and team leader. He is averaging 13.2 points a game on 44 percent shooting from the floor and .385 shooting from three. Also picking up his play of late is Dunigan. He's listed at 6-foot-10 and 255 pounds, although there have been reports to believe it is more. In the last four games he has averaged 19.5 points, 8 rebounds, two blocks and a steal per contest. For the season he is averaging 11.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Another Oregon guard to keep an eye out for is 5-foot-11 sophomore Michael Armstead. Originally he is from Alabama, but he played one year at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla. So far he has stepped on the scene and made a big impact with 11 points, 4.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

As a whole, the Ducks are averaging 78.4 points, 36.9 rebounds and 13 turnovers a game. They are also shooting .460 from the field and .379 from three-point land.

Following this game, the Huskies will begin to prepare for their annual trip to the desert where they'll face off with Arizona State (10-4. 0-1) on Friday and Arizona (6-7, 0-1) next Sunday. The game times will be at 7:30 and 2:30, respectively.


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