With six games to go in the regular season, the Oregon Ducks hold a game advantage over the field as they travel to Pullman to face the last-place Washington State Cougars. Oregon defeated WSU, 68-61, earlier this season in Eugene.
As they're 2-10 conference record would indicate, Washington State isn't very good. We saw who they were last time they played Oregon--they want to slow the game down. They'll play solid defense (3rd in defensive efficiency) and rebound at a fairly good clip (5th in rebounding percentage). But they cannot score. They rank in the bottom three in the conference in every statistical offensive category. They stayed within shouting distance of Oregon in the last game because they went bonkers from three in the first half. They went 0-11 in the second half as that game returned to normalcy.
Brock Motum is obviously the guy, averaging 18 points and six rebounds a game, while Mike Ladd and DaVonte Lacy are also in double digits. The problem is that that is their offense. They have nobody else that they can count on to score and, more importantly, they don't have an actual point guard. This team ranks second behind Oregon in the conference in turnovers, only they're far less talented than the Ducks.
Dominic Artis is still out for Oregon, and the big question is the health of Johnathan Loyd, who hyperextended his knee against Washington on Wednesday. If Loyd can't go, then the only two true point guards on the roster are out, and that duty falls on a combination of Willie Moore and E.J. Singler.
The Ducks only had nine turnovers against Washington, one of their best marks of the season, and by far their best mark without Artis. If they can stay somewhere in the 10-14 range, they should have little trouble beating the Cougars. The recipe for victory for Washington State is to push those turnover numbers into the 18-20 range, while limiting their own mistakes and again getting hot from three. Even with Oregon's point guard issues, winning this game is a tough row to hoe for the Cougars. But, as we saw last time these two matched up, success is certainly plausible, especially up in Pullman.
Time: 4:00 p.m. PT
TV: Pac-12 Network