Photo by Allan Johnstone
Oregon Basketball

Preview: Oregon State

January 3, 2019

Oregon basketball fans got the news on Thursday that they were afraid was coming: Bol Bol’s left foot injury is severe enough to sideline him for the rest of the season. 

It’s obviously a huge loss for the Ducks as they enter conference play against the Beavers on Saturday.

Duck fans also got the news this week that sophomore forward Abu Kigab was electing to transfer mid-season. Now I’m not saying that Kigab and Bol had the same impact on the court, but Kigab electing to transfer now does hurt the Ducks more than it would have if Bol was coming back. And with Kenny Wooten sidelined for another couple of weeks at least, the Ducks only have eight active players on scholarship. 

All that said, let’s get a better look at the Beavers before the Ducks play them this Saturday at 5 PM PST. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 network.

Oregon State’s record: 8-4

The Beavers and Ducks have played an NCAA-record 350 men's basketball games, and OSU holds a 187-163 advantage. While the Ducks might not have the overall advantage, they do have the clear edge when they play at home.

The last time that the Beavers came into Eugene and left with a win was all the way back in 2012, and since then there have been a lot of blowout losses. On top of that, the Beavers haven’t won a Pac-12 opener on the road since 1993. Saturday will no doubt be the Beavers best chance to break both of those streaks..  

The biggest reason that the Beavers were able to beat the Ducks in Corvallis last year was because of their defense, and that is going to need to happen again on Saturday. Also crucial: solid point production, especially from Tres Tinkle, Stephen Thompson Jr. and Ethan Thompson.  

Helping the Beavers on defense is 7-0 junior forward Kylor Kelley, a newcomer from Lane Community College be and Northwest Christian University who leads the NCAA in blocked shots at 4.1 per game. Making matters worse for the Ducks, the Beavers get 6-11 senior Gligorije Rakocevic back after a 4-game absence.

With Rakocevic in the lineup, the Beavers were 6-1 before going 2-3 with him on the bench. While he doesn’t provide a ton of production on offense, he makes up for it on the defensive end, securing the paint and allowing other players to guard the wings.

In a game without Bol and Wooten, the missing headliners of the Ducks "block party," there is a strong possibility that the Ducks get out-blocked against the Beavers.  

On offense, Tinkle leads the Beavers in every major offensive category, averaging 19.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists. The offense clearly runs through him, so when he excels the whole team does well, and when he does poorly the whole team suffers.

Ethan Thompson has had a real improvement in his shooting in the last eight games, hitting 48 percent from behind the arc.

A lot of the games that Oregon State has lost have been by small margins, so I’m expecting this to be a close game. With Oregon as depleted as it is, I think that this game is going to be too close for comfort for both sets of fans. 

Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.