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Arizona 76, Oregon 57: We all knew it would be a lot like this

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Its hard to win if you can't shoot.  And not being able to shoot is obviously an epidemic for this team right now.  Its why they were down 20 to Mizzou at the half and eventually lost that game.  Its why they lost to Virginia, Idaho, and now Arizona.  The numbers are mind boggling.  1-17 from three.  35% from the field.  59% from the line.  Ten missed layins.  We are barely 40% for the season.  29% from three.  A mediocre offensive performance would be an improvement.  This team is just horrible offensively.  And its not necessairly stuff that they are doing wrong.  They are shooting the right shots.  They are just bad shooters.  You don't miss ten layups and go 1-17 for three otherwise.  You can quickly fix bad decision making.  But becoming a good shooter takes a lot of practice time, so much so that you usually don't see the effect of your efforts until the next season.  So get used to these offensive performances.  They're going to be around all season.

That said, lets not obscure the things that Oregon did well in this game.  It was another good defensive performance by the Ducks.  Don't let Arizona's 56% field goal percentage fool you into thinking that Oregon didn't play well on that end.  The Ducks forced 19 turnovers (and took care of the ball well, only giving up 10 TOs on their end).  However, three major things contributed to Arizona's percentage:  they hit a high number of tough shots, and Oregon's missed shots allowed Arizona many chances to score in transition.  Tip your cap to Arizona, who had a very efficient offensive performance.  The Ducks actually did a pretty good job on Derrick Williams, limiting him to only three field goal attempts and 12 points.  However, other players stepped up in a big way, especially Kevin Parram, who was 8-9 from the field and hit four threes for 20 points.  Despite being outrebounded by Arizona 40-25, Oregon got 21 more shots than Arizona, yet hit three less.  To Oregon's credit, the defense kept them within a run's reach of getting back in the game rather than letting the Wildcats run away with it but, deep down, you knew that run was never coming because this team is incapable of shooting the ball well enough to put together a sustained run. 

INDIVIDUAL OBSERVATIONS:

Jeremy Jacob:  Jacob was the one Duck who could put together consistent offense, going 7-13 from the field for 17 points.  It was his best game in an injury filled season.  He hit a number of face up jumpers and had a couple of strong post moves.  However, in the second half, the Wildcats started to double Jacob, shutting down his opportunities, and no other Duck was able to make any shots to capitalize on that.  When they doubled Jacob, our offense died.

Joevan CatronFor as good as Catron has been at times in non-conference play, this game showed off all his limitations playing with the big boys.  At 6'6", he's simply not going to be able to physically dominate guys like he did against North Dakota State and Denver.  Catron fouled out in eleven minutes of play, simply too slow to guard the quicker athletes of equal or greater size that Pac-10 teams possess.

EJ Singler:  While usually dependable, EJ caught the I-can't-shoot-itis, going 2-9 from the field and missing five wide open threes.  He still filled the rest of the stat sheet:  four boards, four assists, two blocks, and excellent defense, but a team that is this poor offensively cannot afford for its best player to have a poor game from the field.

Malcolm Armstead:  Armstead has been disappointing all year, but this game was especially bad.  1-7 from the field, two missed point blank layins, three turnovers, bad defense, and fouled out.  He is the one guy on the team who is playing at a much lower level this season than last, and this game was his worst out of a bunch of bad ones.

Johnathan Loyd:  2-10 from the field, including four missed layins.  He had the quick fist step, but couldn't finish anything. 

Next Up:  Oregon hosts Arizona State Saturday, in the final game ever at Mac Court.  ASU was run out of Gill Coliseum tonight by the Beavers however, they feature a match-up zone and will challenge Oregon to shoot them out of it.  There is no reason in the world to expect the Ducks to be able to do so.