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Who needs a Zion when you have a Bol?

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NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament - USC vs Oregon
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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Bol Bol showcases his diverse skill-set in Friday night’s victory over Eastern Washington, 81-47.

Thinking more about the Bol/Kristaps Porzingis comparison the more it fits. There isn’t a part of the court he can’t score from and at 7’2”, there’s no one else like Bol besides the Knicks All-Star.

Oregon’s 23-0 run in the first half set them on cruise-control going into the second half. The fast-paced transition offense facilitated by Payton Pritchard caused too many problems for the Eagles early on. One thing is certain, the connection between Pritchard and Bol is real and they [just one sec, climbing on their back] could possibly be the best guard/big combo in the nation.

Oregon

*Payton Pritchard: (28 Min) 10 PTS - 8 AST - 4 REB - 2 STL

*Bol Bol: (29 Min) 23 PTS - 12 REB - 4 BLK

*Kenny Wooten: (24 Min) 6 PTS - 9 REB - 1 AST

*Ehab Amin: (21 Min) 13 PTS - 3 REB - 2 AST

*Paul White: (24 Min) 11 PTS - 6 REB - 1 AST

Victor Bailey Jr: (22 Min) 7 PTS - 5 REB - 2 AST

Will Richardson: (12 Min) 5 PTS - 2 AST - 1 REB

Francis Okoro: (18 MIn) 4 PTS - 5 REB

Eastern Washington

Cody Benzel: 16 PTS - 2 REB - 1 AST

Jesse Hunt: 9 PTS - 7 REB - 1 AST

Luca Vulikic: 3 PTS - 8 REB - 6 AST - 4 TO

Jack Perry: 6 PTS - 1 AST

Kim Aiken Jr.: 2 PTS - 5 REB - 1 AST

Tanner Groves: 6 PTS - 1 REB

Elijah Jackson: 5 PTS - 2 REB

Just one more Bol...

Bol’s contributions may have been the key highlight to the game, but there are several more positive takeaways from Friday’s efforts.

Amin Bounces Back:

  • The grad transfer from Texas A&M Corpus Cristi missed out on the 2017-18 season due to a hip injury. After sitting out and making the decision to transfer, it was Amin’s first regular season games in nearly two years. Safe to say he was shaking off a little bit of rust. After finishing with 4 points on 2-6 shooting against Portland State, Amin went 3-8 behind the arch finishing with 13 points in his second game. It was a big turn-around for the upper-classman and his outside shooting can be game-changing if he’s hitting from deep.

Converting Defense to Offense:

  • Another major component to the win was Oregon’s ability to turn defense into offense. As a team they only allowed 23.1% shooting and forced the Eagles to go 13-45 from behind the arch. Bol, Wooten and Okoro made every drive to the rim for Eastern Washington tough with 6 blocks and 38 defensive boards; totaling 50 rebounds as a team. The Duck’s defense allowed themselves to get into transition and use their elite athleticism to finish plays helping them to their 23-0 run in the first.

Freshmen Look Poised to Begin Season:

  • Both Richardson and Okoro have had solid efforts in their first two games to begin the season. Even with the lack of guard depth, Richardson has the ability to be a solid floor-general and give Pritchard the rest he may need later on in the season; especially if Altman continues to play him as much as he has through the first two games.
  • Okoro looks built for college basketball and potentially the pro game. His ability to bang down low and be a glass-eater in short minutes is huge for the Duck’s second team and will be crucial when Bol isn’t on the floor. He’s playing himself into more and more time on the court, giving Altman a lot of tools at his disposal.

The 2K Empire Classic coming up next week should be a nice test for the Ducks facing Iowa to open up. Assuming they come out of Madison Square Garden with a win on Thursday against the Hawkeyes, Oregon will likely play Syracuse. We’ll see what Altman has in store for Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone and how the team will react under real pressure.