NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 11: John Jenkins #23 of the Vanderbilt Commodores defends against Jabari Brown #32 of the Oregon Ducks during their game at Memorial Gymansium on November 11, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt defeated Oregon 78-64.(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
7:00 PT, Matthew Knight Arena
TV: Comcast SportsNet Northwest
Call it the revenge of Martin Seiferth.
For those of you unaware, last year's Human Victory Cigar transferred to Eastern Washington in the offseason, presumably in search of a place where his talents could actually yield some playing time. And, while he'll have to sit this one out due to NCAA transfer rules, not playing in this one will mean that Seiferth has about the same impact that he's had in every Oregon game he's ever been involved with.
Jokes aside, Oregon comes home tonight seeking its first win of the young season. And a win is expected here-even in a bad Pac-12, Oregon letting a Big Sky team come into MKA and push them around would be a bad, bad sign for the future of Oregon's season. The Eagles are no gimme, holding four second half leads againt Gonzaga before taking and eight point loss at Gonzaga, and rebounding with a dominating win over South Dakota in game two. That said, this is a game Oregon should win, and win convincingly.
Eastern Washington's primary scoring threat is 6'6" JC transfer forward Collin Chiverton. He's gone for 25 in both of the Eagles' first two games, and he's the definition of a bulk shooter-getting those 50 points on 45 field goal attempts, with more than half of those coming from three. He's not a huge threat to drive to the bucket or get to the line, but Chiverton from the outside will be a recurring theme of the EWU offense, and a big reason that Oregon needs to continue the man-to-man that we saw in the second half of the Vanderbilt game and ditch the zone.
The other major players on the EWU roster are a pair of Cliffs, senior point guard Cliff Colimon, who went for 17 points and eight assists against Gonzaga, and forward Cliff Ederaine, a 6'7" senior forward who went for 15 points and 14 boards against South Dakota. That 1-2-3 punch gives the Eagles a nice balance-Chiverton the main scoring threat and the outside guy, Colimon the playmaking point guard, and Ederaine the inside post threat. It's the perfect to provide Oregon some nice challenges, while still being one they should win (unless they pull a UCLA).
Look for Oregon to go man defensively in this one-its Altman's preference, and also was much more effective against Vanderbilt. Oregon needs to have EJ Singler draped over Chiverton all night, but also improve on the two things that really cost then against the Commodores: the turnovers, and the rebounding. Woods, Jacob, Ashaolu, and Emory will need to control the glass, as both Ederaine and 6'8" Laron Griffin are outstanding rebounders.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Control Chiverton -- the guy is averaging 25 a game, and can score in buckets if he gets into a rhythm. He'll hang out at the three point line, so he needs to have a man on him with no room to shoot at all times.
Win the battle of the boards -- EWU is a classic bulk shooting team, averaging less than 40% on their field goals this season. Control the boards, and its going to be tough for them to make enough baskets.
Get Brown comfortable --- Against Vanderbilt, Jabari Brown looked like a freshman playing in his first game. Now, with the national spotlight off, its time to settle in and get ready to be a factor in the Pac-12.