The Ducks take their two game winning steak to Lincoln tonight to face the undefeated Cornhuskers. Oregon has a couple of question marks going into this game with the departure of Jabari Brown and the status of Tony Woods. Woods traveled to Lincoln, and is questionable for tonights game. This could have huge implications, as Nebraska has a trio of 6'10" posts who receive heavy minutes. Oregon is coming off by far its best game in a blowout of SE Missouri State. Nebraska also beat two creampuffs, but has a 2OT win on the road at USC.
Nebraska's top scorer is guard Bo Spencer. Spencer has a history of putting up big numbers, and is averaging 17 a game this season, but he's also the classic definition of a bulk shooter, putting up a lot of shots with low shooting percentages. This holds up from three as well, where in his last season before sitting out due to transfer, he only shot 28% despite jacking up 215 threes. Guard Caleb Walker also averages double digits, and is a much better shooter. Dylan Talley also offers double digits off the bench, and Brandon Richardson comes close to that. That group of guards combines with three really big centers in the middle, in Andre Almeida, Jorge Brian Diaz, and Brandon Ubel. Most of the players on the roster are juniors and seniors, so this is an experienced group hungry for an NCAA Tournament berth.
FOUR FACTORS PREVIEW:
eFG%: UO 53.1, NU 54.0
Turnover %: UO 22.6, NU 24.3
OReb%: UO 30.6, NU 34.2
FT rate: UO: 54.1, NU 33.5
Nebraska hold the slight edge in eFG%, while Oregon, despite its troubles, still holds a slight edge in turnover %. However, the advantage in OReb% for Nebraska is huge, as they get back almost 35% of their missed shots, and will be playing an Oregon team that has had massive troubles giving up offensive rebounds at this point. If Tony Woods is indeed out, it will be a huge challenge for Oregon to contain that large Nebraska front line on the glass. Oregon has an enormous lead in free throw rate as well, and if playmakers can get in the key and get those bigs in foul trouble, it will prove huge. That said, its still early, and these stats still have some regression. The foul fest against SEMS is really propping up Oregon's free throw rate right now, and I don't think it will remain this high.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Rebound, rebound, rebound: Nebraska is the best rebounding team we've faced. If they control Oregon on the boards the way Vandy and EWU did, Oregon is toast.
Press, press, press: Nebraska has been massively turnover prone the first three games. The full court press could give them more issues and provide Oregon with some extra possessions.
No foul trouble: If Tony Woods is out, Oregon is going to have massive problems inside. If any of our bigs get into foul trouble, its going to be that much worse.