That Oregon lost to Washington State isn't surprising. Oregon was hot early, and with Washington State completely unfocused, and an aggressive 2-3 zone causing the Cougs confusion, Oregon had a completely unexpected nine point lead. However, the Cougs, one of the best shooting teams in the country, finally realize that you can shoot jumpers all day in a 2-3 zone if you can make them, then they clamped down on the defensive end for a 16-2 run that all but ended the game. Oregon, because they hustle and never give up, was able to ugly the game up and get enough cheap buckets to make this one not look like a total blowout but, make no mistake, the Ducks were never in this game for the last thirty minutes. That in and of itself isn't a big deal, as we knew few wins would be had this season, and nobody would have picked at Washington State to be one of them. That said, injury developments in this game threaten to put even those extremely modest goals in doubt, and put a damper on the next game, which is the opening contest in Matthew Knight Arena.
Malcolm Armstead didn't even suit up for this game with a nagging knee injury. And both of Oregon's bigs--leading scorer Joevan Catron, and Jeremy Jacob, didn't play in the second half. Catron never came out of the locker room with what was being described as a lower leg injury (and not coming out of the locker room is never a good sign). Jacob sat the second half on the bench with ice packs on both legs. There was a point in the first half where Martin Seiferth, Nicholas Fearn, and Matt Losli were all on the court (thats two walkons, and a scholarship player who is so raw he hasn't seen the court in six games on this team).
I can't not watch this team, I love how hard they work regardless of the score. I love the style of play. I want them to be rewarded for allt the work they are putting in. But even just four games into the league schedule, I'm starting to have grave concerns. This team hasn't shot at a 40% clip since we played Jacksonville State seven games ago. If Catron is out for any extended period of time, does our shot of winning a league game go out with him?
Maybe I'm just being overly pessimistic right now. And maybe I shouldn't even be worrying about it seeing as our football team will be playing for the national freaking championship in less than 48 hours. But I remember the Beavers going 0-fer in the Pac-10 a few years back. The thought of that is definitely more than I can bear.
E.J. Singler: Not a good game for EJ at all. Started off strong, hitting his first three shots, but missed his last four. Got in early foul trouble and fouled out in 19 minutes.
Garrett Sim: Overcame a terrible first half (0-5 from the field) to hit 5-9 in the second half including 3 three pointers. Also had four rebounds and four assists. The second nice game in a row for him, and its nice to see him picking his game up.
Tyrone Nared: Played a lot more than usual due to the injuries to Catron and Jacob. Really shouldn't be shooting as many outside jumpers as he does, but finished with seven points and seven boards, including two put back dunks that were the highlights of the game for Oregon.
Johnathan Loyd: Another bad shooting night at 4-13 (and he's shooting only 30% on the season. He has to learn to finish, which he has done a poor job of during this losing streak.
Teondre Williams: 4-9 from the field and hit two threes (did you know he leads the Pac-10 in 3 point field goal percentage? Start the man already!) and threw down a nice alley oop late. But in 30 minutes, was a complete non factor on the boards with only one rebound.
Martin Seiferth: Saw his first action since the Jacksonville State game. Made a couple of nice plays, but also got abused at times by DeAngelo Casto. Seiferth is really thin, and didn't get to Oregon until just days before fall term started. He shows flashes of having some talent, but the biggest key for him after the season is going to be spending some time in the weight room so that he can hold his own physically.
The Ducks take on USC on Thursday at 7:30 for the opening game at Matthew Knight Arena. The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.