It's not entirely clear what's wrong with this Oregon team as a whole. Their biggest problem though, they still can't defend for anything more than short stretches at a time. It hasn't been more apparent in this four game losing streak than it was against the Beavers Sunday night at Gill Coliseum.
"Our ball movement was not very good. We took a lot of bad shots," said Coach Dana Altman
Oregon State jumped all over the Ducks early on and were able to keep consistent pressure en route to an 80-72 decision.
Oregon's typical scoring trio of Mike Moser, Damyean Dotson and Joseph Young combined for a 7-33 performance as the offense stagnated. Oregon continuously settled for jumpers instead of getting inside and when Moser was able to get inside he found himself on the wrong end of a shot blocks.
"We just didn't shoot it well. A little bit of that was pressure. Guys just trying to get it going, we're a better basketball team and we're going to have to bounce back, it's going to be difficult" said Altman
Despite their shortcomings on both ends of the floor, Oregon was never really out of this game. With just under two minutes remaining the Ducks trailed by only 5 and the Beavers threw the ball into the back court.
Dotson hustled to get an open lay in but came together with Eric Moreland and the ball squirted out of bounds, giving the possession back to OSU. Dotson getting free could have cut the Beaver lead to three but instead a backdoor cut and a dunk put the Beavers up 7 and put the Ducks down for the count.
This team has entered full blown tail spin mode and life doesn't get any easier as they have to go up to Washington to play the Huskies and the Cougars.
"Our schedule isn't helping us. We have five of our first seven on the road and we didn't handle our road games... I don't like all the Sunday games, but right now that just sounds like whining."
The loss drops Oregon to 1-4 in conference play. Their last win and national ranking seems like a distant memory at this point. The loss also marks the first loss in Gill Coliseum since Ernie Kent was the coach.
"We're not doing the little things," said Johnathan Loyd, "we got away with it for a little while. Not paying attention to tendencies and letting people do what they want to do."
The Ducks are massively underachieving to this point in the year and it really comes down to the defense. No one doubts that this team can score, but tonight may be a devastating harbinger for them if Oregon struggles to score moving forward.