Photo by Allan Johnstone
Oregon Basketball

Good, Bad, Ugly

January 10, 2019
1,789

UCLA - 87  Oregon - 84 OT


 

This is a tough recap to write. The score of this game is extremely deceiving and if I told you that Oregon was up 9 points with only 45.8 seconds remaining and still lost, would you believe me? I can barely believe myself as I sit here and write that sentence. With 2:35 left in the 2nd half, Oregon had a 99.3% chance of winning and was beating UCLA by 13 points. Oregon lost this basketball game. There’s not much I can say after that, but, I’ll try. For those of you who have not read my recaps before, I bring up players, stats and events that transpired during the game and label them under, “good,” “bad,” or “ugly.” It’s a simple format but, it gets the job done. So, tonight, we start with the good after such an ugly end.

 

Good:

 

Surprisingly, there were some good things that came out of tonight’s contest. We’ll start with a pretty obvious one here, but, Louis King played really well tonight. King finished with 22 points on the night, doing it in an efficient 9-18 from the floor, including 4-9 from downtown. King was all over the floor tonight, and really looked comfortable on both sides of the ball. Before the game, it felt like Oregon was going to need King to step up and have a great game if we had any chance of winning, and he stepped up in a big way. To go along with his 22 points, King finished with 10 rebounds, which led the Ducks. Five of those rebounds were on the offensive glass, as he used his athletic ability to sky high above those around him. King played his tail off tonight, and it’s quite clear that with the more playing time he receives, the better he will become.

Another player who had a great game was Victor Bailey Jr. Bailey finished with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. It was an overall really good game for Victor, as he was able to switch up his play style as the game went on. Bailey’s perimeter shot wasn’t falling for most of the night, going just 2-10 from beyond the arc, but on his two point attempts, Bailey was 5-8. Bailey came up with some key free throws and moments in general during the game, stopping any Bruin momentum that had been going on. With the absence of Bol Bol, Oregon needs to find some scorers, and I think King and Bailey can become just that.

Will Richardson had a really good tonight. His stats aren’t the most telling, only having 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 assists, but during a lot of the game, he looked like the calmest one there. Richardson, only a freshman, down the stretch was the key decision maker, taking the torch from Pritchard. This move, which is surprising to most, took a lot of gaul from Coach Altman, but turned out to be the right move. Pritchard had an off night, but we’ll get to that later, and Richardson stepped up in a big way. As the first body off the bench, Richardson ended up playing 35 minutes tonight and only finishing with a +- of -1, which was the best on the team of anyone who played above 22 minutes. Ehab Amin was +6 during his 21 minutes of action. I wouldn’t be surprised if Richardson began to start for this team in the next couple of games.

Two more bench players showed a lot of value tonight in Ehab Amin and Miles Norris. The two only amounted to 6 total points, but both were really vital in Oregon’s lead and momentum during the game. Amin finished the game with 3 points and 4 steals, which led to Oregon’s 32 points off turnovers. Amin played hard for every single second he was on the court, and it’s something Oregon needs. As for Norris, he finished with 3 points, and a block. No really, that’s what he finished with. But, for the 16 minutes he played, Norris was as active as can be. He looked natural on the court, popping to the free throw line for a jumper, and rotating over on defense whenever applicable. In this Dana Altman system, I think Norris can really help this team.

 

Bad:

 

Oregon took 17 more shots tonight than UCLA and both teams made 31 field goals. We all know this was a game that Oregon should have won, so I won’t stay long in these next two sections. The Ducks had as many chances as you could comprehend to win this game, but they never took advantage of it. Those 17 more shots resulted in zero extra points. Zero. Just unexcusable really.

The Ducks were outrebounded 51-37, and that’s just ridiculous. I’m a big proponent of defense and rebounding win games, and this one stings down to the bones. Now, being realistic, I blame this on Oregon not having that much size with Bol and Kenny out, and that during the game, Oregon’s best lineup was Norris or Paul White at the center position. But! This one still stings.

 

Ugly:

 

Sometimes the truth hurts sometimes, and Payton Pritchard was just terrible tonight. Pritchard played 42 of the 45 total minutes tonight, and finished with 4 points, 0-6 from the field, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. His only points of the game were from the free throw line. Pritchard is our “senior leader” and as one, he should be attempting more than 6 shots a game, and scoring more than 4 points in a game against UCLA. It was really a tough game to watch Pritchard play tonight, and we have to hope he rebounds against USC this weekend.

There were some questionable decisions in this game, but to me, there was no more questionable decision than having Paul White in the game to rebound at the end of the game. Coach Altman is a phenomenal coach, but you gotta scratch your head at that decision, especially with Norris and Okoro sitting on the bench. If just one of those guys gets a rebound, this is Oregon’s win. Okoro may not be the best rebounder, but to me, he’s a better matchup than White against Moses Brown. Brown struggles with size, and Okoro is about as big of a body on Oregon’s roster. Now, you can blame the refs for the lack of an over the back call, but, it comes down to just the wrong choice here. Have to put Okoro or Norris in there.

The last 3 minutes of the game were just insufferable. Over the last 3:40 of the second half, UCLA went on a 33-18 run. They scored 33 points, in just under 4 minutes. UCLA scored 39 points, in the first half. Of the 48 total second half points UCLA scored, 33 of them came in the final 4 minutes. Absolutely unacceptable. Sure, UCLA hit some crazy shots, but, this just cannot happen.

 

The Ducks continue their LA run here in Eugene when USC comes to town on Sunday at 5 P.M. PT. That game will be covered live on ESPNU and on WatchEspn. This was a tough game to swallow, but, let’s hope the Ducks can rebound come Sunday.

 
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