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Oregon Basketball

Oregon MBB: Report Card Against Portland

December 20, 2020

Oregon nearly doubled Portland’s score in an 80-41 rout Saturday afternoon that moved the Ducks to 6-1 on the season. Let’s check out their report card for their last game before heading into conference play with a game against UCLA on Wednesday.

Position Grades

Guards: Duarte A+ Hardy C-

Chris Duarte is really going to carry the grade for this one. 21 points on 7-11 shooting, 4 threes, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and only 1 turnover. Meanwhile Amauri Hardy had 2 points, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal. Duarte came out ready to go, and I don’t know what vendetta he’s got against Portland, but it worked. Duarte was everywhere tonight on both ends of the floor, easily making the Portland guards uncomfortable enough to turn it over, and then hitting threes on the other end. I really liked what I saw from him, and he’s had games like this this year, he’s just had off nights as well. My goal for him going forward will be to limit as many off nights as possible because he has the opportunity to emerge as Oregon’s star player. He’s got the defensive skill and energy to disrupt opposing offenses, and if he continues shooting like he did in the first half especially, he will really jump onto a lot of NBA exec’s boards quickly. As for Amauri Hardy, he needs to step it up or Dana Altman needs to find a new starting point guard. We’ve already seen signs of that coming closer and closer to fruition, with Jalen Terry checking in for Hardy only five minutes into Saturday’s contest. Oregon has a really strong roster with very talented names, but there’s no question they’re lacking at the point guard position, and that’s going to be clear come March if they don’t handle it now. Hell, I don’t think it’s all that possible to win your conference with a starting point guard who scores 2 points against a terrible Portland team.

Forwards: B

Oregon’s three main forwards Saturday were Eugene Omoruyi, LJ Figueroa, and Eric Williams. Figueroa had 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal. Omoruyi poured in a season-low 10 points on 100% shooting, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and 5 turnovers. Williams only had 4 points, 6 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 5 turnovers. Every player had positive and negative aspects of their stat lines, but I feel each one played their role well, and it showed in the final score. Omoruyi was in a strange position, starting at the 5 spot in place of the injured N’faly Dante. This definitely limited his scoring opportunities, pushing him into the paint with more outside shooters on the floor than normal. Omoruyi’s no stranger to posting up, but he often likes to mix in spotting up on the wing along with it, and that was harder to do with the Ducks’ new spacing sans Dante. We’ll see how he does past this game with Dante still out, but what we can take away is that no matter how many points he had, he did it efficiently. 4-4 from the field is impressive, especially with 2 threes. Figueroa also played his role, following his shot all night and racking up 3 offensive boards in the process. He really needs to improve his shot, though. Normally, I’d say don’t shoot the number of threes he took if he can’t make them, (0-3 from three) but the thing is, at least two if not all of those shots were wide open. I’m not going to tell him not to shoot wide open threes, but he needs to work on it or it will be a liability teams will scout and take advantage of. Finally, I’d like to see more points out of Eric Williams against such a weak team but he still made his presence felt with 6 rebounds and 5 assists, so he wasn’t useless. He’ll be a good scoring option for the team, but he just wasn’t needed on Saturday.

Performance Grades

Scoring: A-

No single players’ scoring total stood out, Duarte was the game’s scoring leader with 21 and that’s definitely a great total, but past that you have Figueroa with 15 and Omoruyi with 10. This was one of those games where you see that Oregon had 80 points, you see those three highest totals are a bit low and wonder how all the totals add to 80. That’s a sure-fire sign of a team win. 11 guys had at least 1 point in Saturday’s game, with some deep bench players getting on the board. Will Johnson had 4 in garbage time, Reichle hit a garbage time 3, Lok Wur got garbage time minutes and totaled 7 points for the game. That’s already 14 points from three guys who don’t get a lot of playing time, and that’s thanks to the early scoring from the starters that created those garbage time minutes. Everyone got some on Saturday, and that’s never a negative.

3-Point Shooting: C+

Shots from deep continued to be Oregon’s kryptonite, and while 38% on the night isn’t a normally horrible efficiency from behind the arc, it doesn’t tell the full story. Omoruyi went 2-2, Duarte went 4-8, Wur went 1-2, and Reichle went 1-1. Past that, every player who attempted a three never hit one. Figueroa 0-3, Williams 0-1, Terry 0-1, Lawson 0-1, Estrada 0-2. That’s 9 players attempting to shoot threes, and the majority didn’t make one. I realize that’s simplifying things, but it’s factual. The worst part is, Portland had a real hard time getting out to get a hand in shooters’ faces. There were a lot of missed threes on Saturday, and that might be something Duck fans are going to have to live with this season. Usually I preach that issues they’re having need to get fixed before they get into more competitive play, but missing open threes is unfortunately an offseason fix, not a midseason one. There are things you can do midseason like focusing on smarter shot selection if you aren’t shooting well, but don’t have high hopes we’ll see these numbers change much until next year, at least.

Rebounding: B-

9 offensive rebounds, 33 defensive to make 42 total rebounds for the Ducks. 9 is solid, but again, Portland is a weak team and following shots for a second-chance bucket wasn’t the most difficult task for the Ducks. I’ve never been one to care about the number of defensive rebounds a team gets, it really just shows how much the opponent missed, and that’s what we have Field Goal Percentages for. What does matter to me is the opponent’s number of offensive boards, because if that’s high, the Ducks might have a problem boxing out. Portland had 11 offensive boards, some of those were inescapable, tipped balls that happen to land back in their hands. Nonetheless, it’s not something to gloss over that the University of Portland Pilots had more offensive rebounds than the Oregon Ducks. One fix would be to have fewer players go for the defensive board and more focus on boxing out, which could help with less tipped loose balls when going for the missed shot that bounce back out to the opponent. Not a great area for the Ducks, but it clearly didn’t affect the final score too much, so I’ll let it slide a bit.

Turnovers: C

Omoruyi and Williams are the clear culprits with 5 turnovers each. I like to hate on Hardy, but for being the starting, ball-handling point guard, 0 turnovers in a game in which he played 23 minutes is very impressive. You are going to see, and are probably already seeing a pattern with this report card. I’m going to be harder on negative stats I see because I really don’t think Portland is all that talented. Call it unfair or call it tough love, I’m doing it. Back to the stats, 19 total turnovers from the Ducks is a tough pill to swallow, and again, 10 of them came from two players so it might be more of a problem for those two players, but simply put, that needs to be lower.

Defense: A

I mentioned this in my grade for the guards, but I really liked what I saw from Chris Duarte. He was energetic like he’s been before this year, disrupting passing lanes and even getting 2 blocks. Williams also did very well to anticipate swing passes and get in the lane to disrupt them. There are a lot of passes Oregon disrupted that went out of bounds and thus didn’t end up as a steal on the sheet, but you noticed if you watched the game. Blocks were also huge for Oregon, with 5 players getting at least one block, and 4 had 2 or more. Last time I’ll say it, this was not a strong team, but I’m actually not going to take that away from the Ducks this time. They played with energy and anticipation, and that’s universal no matter who you play. Also, shout out to Jalen Terry for logging 2 blocks.

I honestly don’t have a lot to say about this game. A super dominant win, and the Ducks absolutely get credit for that. I kind of find myself wishing we never played it, though. I much more prefer the idea of heading into conference play with the win over USF being the last game. Maybe not, but I worry that a win like this might lull the Ducks into mediocrity before going up against UCLA. The Bruins play very fast and the Pilots, they just don’t. USF was a hard-fought win, and it was a great confidence booster considering the Dons had taken down the 4th best team in the nation earlier in the season. We’ll see, but if the Bruins pull out a win on Wednesday, look to this game for why.

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