A win is a win is a win. And out of conference road wins loom large in March.
Oregon blew a 15 point second half lead, but made their free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win in Lincoln. The game was back and forth for much of the first half, with both teams shooting lights out from the field, but Oregon went on a 9-0 run to close the first half. Oregon would keep that momentum going into the second half behind Garrett Sim, Jeremy Jacob, and Olu Ashaolu and stretch that lead to 15. However, just when we thought it was all but over, Nebraska came storming back. Oregon went stone cold from the floor as, isolation taking over the offense as Oregon panicked. Meanwhile, Nebraska started hitting every shot, getting to the line numerous times on generous foul calls to boot. Nebraska would eventually tie it up with just over a minute to go, but Cornhusker fouls in the last minute allowed Oregon to ice on the free throw line.
I was fairly distracted while watching the game, so my observations may not be as in-depth as usual. My apologies.
- Matt Daddy mentioned it in the thread, but it bears repeating--a major problem that this team is going to have is that when Oregon reaches a point where it absolutely must have a bucket, who do they go to? There is no guy capable of putting the team on his back for any stretch of time. Maybe somebody can develop into that, but we don't have it now. When Nebraska was making their big run, multiple guys tried. Garrett Sim and Johnathan Loyd both tried, and weren't even close to accomplishing that goal. EJ Singler finally got the big jumper Oregon needed, but only after a couple of turnovers on possessions previous. If anyone is capable of turning into that guy, its Singler, but he still has a ways to go to get there.
- I cannot understand Nebraska's strategy. Despite having all the size advantage, Nebraska chose to double down on our posts every time they got the ball. Oregon made them pay, hitting eight three-pointers. It also didn't really slow our big men, as Ashaolu, Jacob, Woods, and Nared combined for 38 points.
- Oregon did a lot of switching defenses in this game, from man to zone and different kinds of presses. It confused Nebraska in the middle part of the game, and I expect Altman to continue to experiment with this in the future.
- It seems like our opponents have scored a lot of points on baseline out of bounds plays this season. I wish somebody kept stats on this, but it seems like we need to defend it better.
- Remember in the four factors preview how the Huskers had been using their size to dominate teams on the offensive glass, getting offensive rebounds on 35% of their misses? They got three. On 27 misses. Oregon got seven. Meanwhile, Oregon turned the ball over less, shot for a higher percentage, and went to the line more. The Ducks won all four factors.
- Olu Ashaolu -- This is the Olu we were expecting to see offensively. He had two great drives from the high post, including a powerful slam where he absolutely posterized Dyllan Talley. He's slowly getting more comfortable with this team. I'm a lilttle worried about his rebounding, though. Again, only three in 24 minutes.
- Garrett Sim -- Sim had an efficient 20 points--4-6 from three and 8-8 from the line. He didn't try to force anything our there, just hit those open threes on kick outs from the doubled down posts.
- Tony Woods -- Woods looked good coming off his ankle injury. I really think he'll develop into a very good player for the Ducks, and he's got a solid repertoire of post moves. He needs to be a more consistent presence offensively and start rebounding the ball better.
- EJ Singler -- Tough shooting night at 3-9 and not a lot of open looks, but came though in the clutch with a big jumper and iced the game at the line.
- Johnathan Loyd -- He's becoming much more comfortable with his jumper, but its still not there yet. He's so quick to blow by guys, and will be deadly if he can figure out how to consistently finish at the rim.
- Tyrone Nared -- Nared's effort in the rebounding game looked a lot better, with solid box outs the entire game. He finished with nine boards.
- Jeremy Jacob -- Finally was able to consistenly hit his jumper. With a healthy Jacob, we have four posts that are legitimate Pac-12 starters.
Nice road win for the Ducks. Next game is home against UTEP next Tuesday at 7 PT on CSNNW.