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Talkin’ Tall Firs: Ducks Flying to the Rocky Mountains

Oregon Travels to Utah/Colorado to Take on Utes/Buffaloes

Utah Utes

Utah is riding a four-game winning streak in PAC-12 play and are tied for second in the conference with USC. The Utes struggle on the defensive-end, giving up 72.8 points per game which is 222nd worst in the nation.

Wins - Maine, Mississippi Valley State, Grand Canyon, Tulsa, Florida A&M, Northern Arizona, @ Arizona State, Washington State, Colorado, @ Stanford, @ California

Losses - @ Minnesota, Hawaii, Northwestern, BYU, @ #19 Kentucky, #6 Nevada, @ Arizona, Washington

KenPom Ranking - #121

Game Time:

Oregon (12-8, 3-4) @ Utah (11-8, 5-2) 9:00 PM ET, FS1 on Thursday, January 31st

Key Numbers:

  • 75.3 Points Per Game
  • 35.8 Rebounds Per Game
  • 14.5 Assists Per Game
  • 4.5 Steals Per Game
  • 2.4 Blocks Per Game
  • 72.8 Points Allowed Per Game
  • 47.3 Field Goal Percentage

Player to Watch For:

Sedrick Barefield, Senior - 16.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.7 APG

The guard came up clutch against Stanford, hitting four-straight free throws in the last minute of the game to beat the Cardinals. Sedrick tested the NBA Draft process but ultimately decided to come back for his senior year which was a good choice. He looks like a late first-round pick in the upcoming draft and could be a successful backup guard in the league.

Score Prediction: 78-71, Utes over Ducks

Utah is going to live or die by the three-point line. I’m going with living as the Utes are ranked 31st in the nation for three-point field goal percentage at .382%. That is where they will hurt the Ducks the most.

Colorado Buffaloes

A squad that came into league play with a 10-4 overall record but have seemed to take a huge step backwards against PAC-12 competition. Be aware of Tyler Bey (12.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG) though. He is a 6’7” guard who is third in the league for rebounds per game and has an automatic mid-range jumper.

Wins - Drake, Omaha, @ Air Force, Portland, Colorado State, South Dakota, UIC, @ New Mexico, Charlotte, Washington State, @ California

Losses - @ San Diego, Indiana State, Hawaii, @ Arizona, @ Arizona State, Washington, @ Utah, @ Stanford

KenPom Ranking - #96

Game Time:

Oregon (12-8, 3-4) @ Colorado (11-8, 2-5) 9:30 PM ET, PAC-12 on Saturday, February 2nd

Key Numbers:

  • 75.5 Points Per Game
  • 37.2 Rebounds Per Game
  • 13.0 Assists Per Game
  • 5.6 Steals Per Game
  • 3.5 Blocks Per Game
  • 69.3 Points Allowed Per Game
  • 45.4 Field Goal Percentage

Player to Watch For:

McKinley Wright IV, Sophomore - 12.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.4 SPG

He is a top-3 guard in the PAC-12. He will take you off-the-dribble with his lightning fast quickness and loves finishing against contact around the rim.

Score Prediction: 82-73, Ducks over Buffaloes

The Ducks got one in the Arizona road trip. I feel as if they will at least grab another one during this road trip. I hope.

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