It may not count as an official win, but Oregon’s 77 -58 victory over Western Oregon showed great potential for this young team.
It also showed plenty of room for improvement, namely their 19 turnovers. The Ducks were forced to get creative with their starting lineup, giving them an excellent opportunity to work on their depth and build chemistry.
Two of Oregon’s injuries were known long before this game-Will Richardson (foot), and Louis King (torn meniscus)- but fans were quick to notice the lack of Payton Pritchard (bruised ribs, expected back for PSU) and Paul White (attending funeral).
Needless to say, with the combination of so many missing Ducks and a team still in the getting-to-know-you stage, some growing pains were to be expected. Still, a disappointing 29-27 lead at the half probably earned some pretty harsh words from Dana Altman in the locker room.
*Bol Bol (34 Min) 19 PTS - 8 REB - 2 BLK - 3 TO
Francis Okoro (15 Min) 16 PTS - 10 REB - 1 BLK - 1 TO
*Victory Bailey Jr (37 Min) 13 PTS - 5 REB - 6 TO
*Abu Kigab (28 Min) 11 PTS - 6 REB - 1 TO
*Ehab Amin (38 Min) 11 PTS - 3 REB - 5 TO
*Kenny Wooten (25 Min) 7 PTS - 9 REB
Darius Lubom - 13 PTS
Brandell Evans - 8 PTS
Kaleb Warner - 7 PTS
Jaylyn Richardson - 5 PTS
Riley Hawken - 13 PTS
Bol Bol, Oregon’s highest rated recruit in its history, lived up to his hype by scoring 19 points and forcing the Wolves to gravitate towards him defensively. After a slow start, the 7’2 son of Manute Bol took control of the game and gave those in attendance a glimpse of what they can expect this season.
Francis Okoro had a surprisingly explosive night. With 16 points and 10 rebounds in only 15 minutes the freshman made an early case for playing time. Meanwhile, a couple of Oregon’s returning players picked up right where they left off.
Victor Bailey Jr. was ferocious off the bench last season, and as a starter the sophomore again attacked the rim well. If he can perfect his ability to pass mid attack, Bailey could prove an even better weapon by getting the ball to more open scorers.
No one knows if this team will be able to reach the level of team chemistry that Oregon’s best Altman teams have reached, but it certainly is entertaining to watch Wooten do his best Jordan Bell impression and Bol Bol drain the three like Chris Boucher.
However rough the finished product was, there was a lot of impressive individual play and the Ducks looked much more cohesive in the second half. Let’s hope for a better start and healthy Pritchard next week!