Photo by Allan Johnstone
Oregon Basketball

Ducks Suffer Ugly Loss to Baylor

December 21, 2018

The Oregon basketball team started off its Christmas break with a lump-of-coal 57-47 loss to the Baylor Bears in Waco.

The first half started off horribly for the Ducks, who barely managed to get into double digits. And unfortunately, the Ducks weren’t able to complete the second half comeback they have pulled off in recent games.

Here are just a few of the issues plaguing the Ducks:

1. No chemistry

The biggest issue for this Ducks is that they have no chemistry.

Dana Altman made a reputation for himself by being able to craft great teams from under-recruited players and the chemistry that came with playing with the same people for multiple seasons. The perfect example was the Oregon team two seasons ago that made it all the way to the Final Four. Those players were under-recruited and really had time to develop at Oregon under Altman’s coaching.

Largely because of that success, the Ducks have been able to recruit such elite players as Troy Brown, Bol Bol and Louis King. The problem that has emerged is that Dana’s usual style of play isn’t working, because the players aren’t used to playing with each other.

I’m not sure what the solution is here, but something is going to have to give if the Ducks want to turn this season around.

2. No true shooter

The Ducks are in desperate need of a consistent outside shooter. Payton Pritchard and Victor Bailey Jr. both have their moments, but neither is consistent. Opposing teams have taken notice and run defenses that tempt the Ducks into shooting a three. The result is that teams can clog up the middle, which makes it harder for Oregon's big men to score.

Baylor started the game running a zone that was begging for the Ducks to shoot threes, but the Ducks didn’t. Instead, they ran a pass-heavy offense that couldn’t penetrate into the paint. A dead-eye shooter would force defenses to expand to the arc and give the Ducks more opportunities inside the paint.

The Ducks are really missing a player like Dillon Brooks, someone who not only brings his infectious energy to every game but also has the ability to score one on one.

3. Turnovers

The Ducks turned the ball over a lot against Baylor, and it’s hard to win a game when you turn the ball over 17 times.

Oregon's slow pace on offense continued to cause problems; at least two turnovers were shot clock violations. King showed his youth today, leading the team with 5 turnovers. King is still getting used to collegiate play and can be seen forcing the game at certain points. I still think that King will be a great player for the Ducks, but the game against Baylor just showed that he still needs time to adjust.

The team has a break before going to Idaho to play Boise State on December 29.

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