It’s still only November, but Oregon Men’s Basketball already appears to be facing an uphill battle this season.
After at least producing a competitive game against one of the highest-ranked teams in the nation, the Ducks were easily routed by the Top 20 UCONN Huskies in their opening contest of the PK85 Invitational 83-59.
Oregon’s only wins so far have been blowouts against clearly inferior opponents outside of their division. In the three games against higher-caliber opponents, Oregon has been completely outplayed, and never even managed to score 60 points.
Thursday was no different as Oregon was dismal offensively, with the only bright spots again being their post players as N’Faly Dante and Kel’el Ware scored, rebounded, and defended well. Unfortunately, the rest of the team seemed to be completely flummoxed on both ends, failing to spread the ball around offensively while UCONN rained three-pointers on the other end.
This was an issue last year as well, as an exceptionally poor start to the season hindered any chance of an NCAA Tournament berth later, even after Oregon began playing much better.
The Ducks face another ranked opponent, Michigan State, tonight and open conference play early with games against Washington State and UCLA next week.
If Oregon can’t figure out some way to produce offensively, they already find themselves in danger of digging themselves too big a hole to climb out of the rest of the season and could miss the big dance for the second year in a row, something that has only happened once during Altman’s tenure as head coach.