After winning their season opener against Army on Friday night in Eugene, the Ducks rose to No. 4 in the AP Top 25 yesterday, their highest ranking in school history. Now, the Ducks will take the show on the road to face the Baylor Bears, tipping off at 12:30 PM PT.
The Ducks are coming off a 91-77 win over Army on Friday to open the season. Oregon led by as much as 20 before easing up and letting the Black Knights make a game of it. When it came to fast break points, Army outscored Oregon 18-8. The Black Knights also scored 19 points off of turnovers. Oregon will look to improve in both of those areas today.
A pleasant surprise off the bench was freshman Payton Pritchard, who scored 15 points with four assists and two blocks in 32 minutes. It’ll be interesting to see how much time he gets today.
Last year, Oregon knocked off Baylor at home with a 74-67 win, setting the tone for their record-breaking season. The Bears were No. 20 at the time, and it was one of Oregon’s signature wins on the season. That was the first time Baylor and Oregon had ever faced each other in basketball.
It was a block party for the Ducks on Friday against Army as Oregon tied the school record with 13 blocks in the game. Jordan Bell had six of those by himself.
Oregon goes into today’s game ranked No. 4 in the nation. It is their best ranking ever in the AP Top 25. The Ducks are also ranked No. 4 in the USA Today Coaches poll, which ties their best ranking ever in that poll.
Baylor opened their season on Friday night with a 76-61 win over Oral Roberts at home. Four Bears hit double figures in scoring, led by junior guard Al Freeman, who had 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.
At No. 4 in the nation, Oregon is the highest ranked team to ever come to Waco to face Baylor. The previous highest ranked opponent at home for Baylor was No. 6 Arizona in 1997 and No. 6 Washington State in 2007.
Baylor has upset top five opponents in the past, but they've lost 41 of their 47 games against teams ranked in the top five of the AP poll. However, they have knocked off 12 ranked opponents in the past two years, so this won't be a game the Ducks can overlook.
Under head coach Scott Drew, the Bears knocked off Kansas in 2012 and 2013 when the Jayhawks were ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in those years. Baylor also defeated No. 3 Kentucky in 2013.
Whereas the Ducks faced an inexperienced Army team on Friday that lost all of their starters, Baylor welcomes back six letter winners from last year’s team. Baylor has just one senior on their roster, but 11 of their players are at least 20 years old.