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Talkin’ Tall Firs: Battle with a Couple of Texas Schools

Ducks Welcome Texas Southern and Travel to Houston

After only one game during Feast Week, the Ducks have two matchups with competitive schools from the state where they do everything bigger, good ol’ Texas. First, the Tigers of Texas Southern look to pull off an upset against the Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena. Don’t let the Tigers’ record fool you. In the last couple of years, Texas Southern played an extremely tough preseason schedule in order to prep themselves for SWAC play. The Tigers have ended up in the NCAA Tournament four out of the last five years, so this could end up being a quality win for Oregon by the end of the season. Plus, a win on the road at Baylor to open the season is pretty impressive for the Tigers.

Wins - @ Baylor

Losses - @ #3 Gonzaga, @ Iowa State, @ San Diego State, @ Evansville

Game Time:

Texas Southern (1-4) @ #18 Oregon (4-1) (11:00 PM ET, PAC-12 Network) on Monday, November 26th

Texas Southern KenPom Ranking - #268

Key Numbers:

  • 67.8 Points Per Game
  • 36 Rebounds Per Game
  • 11.8 Assists Per Game
  • 89.2 Points Allowed Per Game

Player to Watch For:

Trayvon Reed, Senior - 12.0 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 48.1 FG%

The 7’2 center and Bol Bol should be an interesting matchup to keep an eye in this one. I saw Reed earlier this season when the Tigers traveled to Spokane to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs. He finished with a double-double (14 points, 16 rebounds) plus 3 blocks so he is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Trayvon has NBA potential.

Score Prediction: 79-69, Ducks over Tigers

Besides Reed and Jalyn Patterson (15.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.4 APG, Texas Southern doesn’t really have much firepower. The Tigers should keep it close with the Ducks but I can’t see an upset happening Monday night.

The Houston Cougars are riding a 4-game winning streak coming into their matchup with Oregon. UH looks to be among one of the favorites to win the American Athletic Conference this season along with UCF and Cincinnati.

Wins - Alabama A&M, Rice, Northwestern State, @ BYU

Game Time:

#18 Oregon (4-1) @ Houston (4-0) (9:00 PM ET, ESPN2) on Saturday, December 1st

Houston KenPom Ranking - #37

Key Numbers:

  • 84.5 Points Per Game
  • 38.5 Rebounds Per Game
  • 19.3 Assists Per Game
  • 59.8 Points Allowed Per Game (20th in the nation)

Player to Watch For:

Corey Davis Jr., Senior - 19.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 4.3 APG

Coming off a strong performance against BYU (24 points, 9-17 from the field), look for Davis Jr. to play a significant amount of minutes. This 6’1 guard finds most of his buckets coming from behind the arc as he did lead the AAC with about 3 three-pointers per game. Plus, he has got a bit of swagger to him so he could be talking a lot of trash in this one.

Score Prediction: 61-55, Cougars over Ducks

I see this being the toughest road game during the preseason for the Ducks. Houston has a top-notch defense that will prove to be tough for Oregon. Look for this one to be extremely low-scoring. The Cougars also don’t turn the ball over (only 34 through 4 games as a team). They are top 3 in the NCAA for team turnovers per game at 8.5.

*Arden Cravalho is a senior at Gonzaga University... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho