If it walks like a Duck, and quacks like a Duck, it's probably whipping a husky. Here's your Monday quack:
- Saturday was a great day to be a Duck, as the men's basketball team took down the 20th ranked Washington Huskies, 81-76. The Ducks constant defensive pressure led to 9 steals and 15 total UW turnovers. And the Ducks took advantage of their opportunities, scoring 26 points off those turnovers. Washington had lost their previous two games, so they weren't overlooking the Ducks. Oregon shot the ball well, passed the ball exceptionally (getting assists on 75% of their field goals), and didn't allow UW to take over the game down low. Oregon has now won 5 of their last 7 since opening Matthew Knight Arena. The team has fully bought into whatever Coach Altman is selling, and it's very fun to watch.
- The Ducks have been excellent the last 4 weeks, but will it last. The Ducks head to UCLA and USC this weekend, and it should give us a pretty good indicator of where the Ducks are at. Oregon dropped a game to UCLA earlier this season mostly due to poor rebounding, and the Ducks will have to fight hard to keep the game close in that area.
- The Oregon women didn't fare so well in Pullman. They dropped their 4th straight game, as point guard Nia Jackson didn't play, and freshman Deanna Weaver left 3 minutes into the game with an ankle injury.
- George Schroeder's piece yesterday is on Joevan Catron. It focuses on Catron's passion, which is fine I guess. I love that Catron has passion. But talking about how hard he plays obscures the fact that Catron has inexplicably gotten really good. When I thought Catron had graduated last year, I was glad. I groaned when I learned he was coming back. But under Altman, he's becomes much more disciplined, and playing far beyond my wildest expectations, and is one of the main reasons this team is playing beyond my wildest expectations.
- Ashton Eaton is at it again, breaking his own world record in the heptathalon yesterday, scoring 6,568 points at the Tallinn International Indoor Combined Events Meet. And all he can talk about is how he has room to improve.
- With Utah joining the Pac-12 this year, there will be plenty of discussions on how the team will make the jump from the Mountain West. Ted Miller and Andrea Adelson have a blogger debate on how the Utes will fare. Adelson, like the non-AQ homer she is, picks Utah to go 9-3. But that's wildly optimistic. They have to go on the road to USC, Pitt, BYU, Cal, and Arizona, while hosting OSU, ASU, and Washington. While none of these games will be automatic losses, this isn't the Mountain West. Utah won't be significantly favored in any of those games, if they are favored at all. Ted Miller sees a much more realistic 6-6 in their future.
- Lastly, it sounds like Scott Frost won't be heading to Nebraska this offseason, at least according to Rob Moseley's reading of the tea leaves. Word is that Frost wouldn't want to leave Oregon for the same position at Nebraska, and the Bo Pelini isn't going to offer Frost the offensive coordinator position. I hope this holds true, because the longer Frost sticks around Eugene, the better.
After the jump, some highlights from the UW game. If you've got any other quack, leave it below. GO DUCKS!