EUGENE, Oregon — Victor Bailey Jr. led the Ducks with a game-high 20 points, as Oregon defeated Idaho 81-57 in their first exhibition game on Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena. All proceeds benefited American Red Cross for the Oregon Wildfire Fund.
“This was put together so quickly, I appreciate Idaho coming to play us,” said head coach Dana Altman. “I really do appreciate the fans that came. Really proud of how it came together.”
For the first starting line-up this year, the Ducks had Payton Pritchard, Elijah Brown, Keith Smith, Paul White and MiKyle McIntosh on the floor to start.
“It was a little better than I thought,” said Altman. “We moved the ball well. We hit some 3’s in the second half. Defensively, I like our activity. We made some good decisions that led to turnovers.”
Jordan Bell was in the house and it certainly sparked the Ducks vs Idaho. The former Duck big man spoke with the team before and after the game. Regardless if he’s playing for the Golden State Warriors or watching a game at MKA, Bell is always a welcomed site for the UO faithful.
It was quite the start for Oregon men’s basketball early Saturday morning. Overall, Dana Altman’s new team found their offensive rhythm, as they shot 29-of-58 from the floor (50 percent), including 12-of-28 from downtown.
Obviously this team still has miles to go, but this showcase should give fans hope. This team has an abundance of talent, alongside a deep roster.
Bailey wasted no time acclimating himself to the college game. The true freshman poured in 20 points on 8-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point territory. He was 1-of-3 from the charity stripe and added four fouls and two boards.
“We have some guys that are explosive,” Altman said after the win. “VJ (Bailey) is explosive. He has been shooting the ball well in practice. He has a gear most people don’t know about.”
He was incredible, plain and simple. It’s early yes, but this kid has the goods. He is explosive to the rim, has a pure jumper and a lightning-quick first step. The sky is the limit for the Austin native, as he exhibited on Saturday.
Elijah Brown led the way with a game-high 15 points at the half. The southpaw was incredibly efficient, going 5-of-7 from the field and 4-of-6 from deep. He is an unquestioned leader alongside Pritchard. Brown added five rebounds and three assists.
“Very good shooter,” Altman said in reference to his senior leader. “A lot of things we have seen in practice.”
Troy Brown looked like a man amongst boys. His maturity is years ahead of most freshmen his age. No. 0 scored 11 points, while dishing out two dimes and three rebounds. He made a ridiculous pass in the first half to set-up Elijah for an easy two.
“Obviously, Troy is a special talent,” said Elijah Brown about his true freshman teammate after the game. “There is still that gap between high school and college that you have to learn. You got to adjust to the speed of the game. His attention to detail, he wants to be very good.”
Pritchard controlled the offense, as the catalyst accumulated five points, five dimes and five rebounds. He was 2-of-7 from the floor and shot 25 percent from deep.
Former Georgetown transfer Paul White was solid in his Oregon debut. The Chicago kid amassed 12 points on 4-of-7 from the field, including 50 percent from 3-point territory. He added three boards and an assist.
Veteran returnees Keith Smith and Roman Sorkin drew the start for Altman’s bunch. Smith finished with four points, three rebounds and a dime. Sorkin had two points.
Illinois State transfer MiKyle McIntosh registered five points, five boards and two assists.
Oregon’s next great Canadian Abu Kigab played 17 total minutes. He was active with five points, four boards and an assist. He was 1-of-5 from the floor.
Kenny Wooten was working through some first game jitters. He was the lone Duck with playing time that was held scoreless. He was 0-for-1 from the floor with three turnovers.
“Kenny was nervous, but I thought he had some good moments,” said Altman. “He has tremendous upside. I think our fans realize the similarities between him and Jordan (Bell). Kenny is going to be fine, it’s a long season.”
That’s a winner! Oregon defeats Idaho 81-57 in their first exhibition game of season. Vic Bailey led the way with a game-high 20 points pic.twitter.com/XpLWDrXmWy— Quack Addict (@TheQuackFiend) October 28, 2017
The next 13 days at ATQ will be jam-packed with Oregon basketball prep, including player profiles, predictions, previews, interviews, breakdowns and a few history lessons. Every day, we will have something new as we count you down to opening night.
Ready or not? We’re less than a month away from the 2017-18 season! If you need your Duck basketball fix asap, Oregon returns to action on Monday night against Northwest Christian. You can catch the exhibition contest on the Pac-12 Network at 7:00 p.m. local time.