Finally, the games count now. We got a sneak preview in the Western Oregon game of what to expect from Bol Bol this season. The 7’2 unicorn should shine in the first two games while shooting impossible threes and dunks using his insane 7’8 wingspan. I’m predicting a 2-0 start for the Ducks against the Big Sky opponents.
Portland State @ Oregon (11 PM ET, PAC-12 Network) on Tuesday, November 6th
Portland State KenPom Ranking: #231
Player to Watch For:
Holland Woods, Sophomore
The Big Sky Freshman of the Year was second in scoring on the team with 10.5 PPG and led the conference in assists with 5.6 APG. The 6 foot guard also likes to pick his opponent’s pockets as he had 50 steals on the season.
81-65, Ducks over Vikings
Portland State is coming off its first 20-win season since 2008-2009. The Vikings had a 10-6 road record while beating both Stanford and California. Barret Peery, the second-year head coach, has the program going towards the right direction. The Ducks did beat this team last season with a score of 96-84.
Eastern Washington @ Oregon (9 PM ET, PAC-12 Network) on Friday, November 9th
Eastern Washington KenPom Ranking: #185
Player to Watch For:
Mason Peatling, Junior
With the loss of star player and Big Sky Conference MVP, Bogdan Bilznyuk, look for Mason Peatling to pick up the slack for the Eagles in this matchup. Peatling is a 6’8 forward who averaged 7.7 PPG and 6.5 RPG last season. Mason also was on the Big Sky All-Conference Honorable Mention team.
The Eagles are returning four starters who averaged less than double-figures. EWU also have guard Steven Beo who is a transfer from BYU and will be eligible this season. Another guard for a team that has a lot of experience and versatility in that position.
78-58, Ducks over Eagles
Eastern Washington is coming off an impressive 20-win season and an appearance in the Big Sky tournament championship. The eagles do start off with a tough road trip as they travel to #14 Syracuse on Tuesday and then turn around to Eugene on Friday. I expect the Eagles to hang with the Ducks in the first half but then some halftime adjustments by Altman will push the Ducks ahead in the second half.
I would like to make the point that with all the strength on the Oregon roster, the Ducks should breeze through their relatively weak preseason schedule. I see the Ducks finishing around 12-2 before the regular season starts with losses at Houston and the possible matchup with Syracuse in the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden. Hold me to that.
*Arden Cravalho is a senior at Gonzaga University... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho