If there is one difference between Oregon teams under Dana Altman, and Oregon teams under Ernie Kent, they don't fall apart. Today in Tucson, the Ducks saw a 17-point lead slowly evaporate, as they struggled to score, and Arizona hit a number of big 3-pointers. Arizona even took a 2-point lead in the closing minutes.
We have seen this happen too many times in the past few years, and rarely did the Ducks pull out the victory. But against Arizona, the Ducks never gave up. They didn't get out of their gameplan, and they continued to play excellent defense. After Arizona took the lead, E.J. Singler hit a huge shot to tie it up. After a stop, Singler got the ball to Garrett Sim, who hit a tough 3-pointer to make it 59-56.
Sim had a chance to really put the game away, but missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Arizona got a final chance, down only 2. They got three shots on their final possession, but none hit the mark, and the Ducks pulled out the victory.
The Ducks kept us in panic-mode for most of the second half, but they made the big plays when they needed to be made. They now move to 4-2 in conference play. Oregon has done an excellent job this season beating teams they should beat, but Oregon showed that they can compete for an entire game with the best teams in the conference.
After the jump, some individual observations. Leave your comments below, and celebrate a big win for Dana Altman and the Oregon basketball team. GO DUCKS!
- Garrett Sim had an incredibly frustrating game. He hit the three point shot that would give Oregon the lead for good, but he had so many frustrating plays.
- Olu Asholu was key in Oregon's early success. Though he ended up fouling out, he had 13 points in 18 minutes, and early in the game did just about whatever he wanted inside. Unfortunately, the Oregon guards were not able to get him involved late, which led to offensive struggles.
- E.J. Singler does just about everything on the court. He does a decent job creating his own shot, he gets others involved, and he can rebound. When he was working, the Ducks were at their offensive best. He played almost the entire game, got 12 points and 7 assists.
- Devoe Joseph is the only Duck that can truly create his own shot. He hit a number of tough shots one-on-one to score 13.
- Tony Woods had a nice game. He obviously looks for blocks, but when he was in, Arizona had a tough time getting anything going in the middle. Early in the game, he struggled with one-on-one penetration, but he recovered nicely, and was a key factor in holding Arizona to only 57points.
- Jeremy Jacob and Tyrone Nared give Oregon nice depth inside. Unfortunately, niether was a huge factor in the game, combining for 2-7 from the field and 5 points.