Basketball

Washington vs. Oregon Men’s Basketball: Game Preview and How to Watch

Washington vs. Oregon Men's Basketball: Game Preview and How to Watch

How to watch (and bet)

Dated: Thursday 3/3/22

Tip time: 7:00 p.m. PT

TV: Pac-12 networks

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Radio: Huskies Gameday App and KJR Sports Radio

Location: Seattle, Washington

DraftKings betting line: Washington Huskies +3.5

Oregon Ducks 2021-22 stats:

Disk: 18-11 (11-7)

Points for per game: 72.1 points per game (123rd)

Points against per game: 68.6 points per game (146th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 111.3 (51st)

Adjusted defensive efficiency: 99.6 (94th)

Calendar strength: 49th

Oregon Key Players:

G-Will Richardson, Sr. 6’5, 180: 14.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.6 apg, 45.8% FG, 39.0% 3pt, 77.2% FT

Richardson isn’t a true playmaker, but he fills the Ducks’ local leader role quite well. There is no doubt that he is a sniper and has made almost 40% of his 3-point attempts in his career. Unlike a lot of guys who shoot that kind of percentage, he takes more shots from inside the arc, so he has a bit more variety in his game.

1st game against UW: 21 pts, 3 reb, 4 aces, 8/11 FG

G-De’Vion Harmon, Jr. 6’2, 200: 10.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, 41.0% FG, 36.7% 3pt, 77.1% FT

After playing for an Oklahoma team that made the tournament last year, Harmon has taken on a slightly reduced role for Oregon. Last year he shot nearly 57% from 2s and it’s dropped to 43% this year in a new offense that doesn’t give him as many easy looks at the basket. Still, he’s a reliable shooter and has been a perfectly usable shooting guard option who’s scored in double figures in 12 of his last 16 games.

1st game against UW: 9 pts, 3 reb, 5 aces

G- Jacob Young, Sr. 6’3. 190: 11.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 41.9% FG, 28.0% 3pt, 65.3% FT

After a breakout season for Rutgers last year, Young also demoted to Oregon. He’s averaging 3 fewer points and 1 fewer assists than last year while shooting nearly 10% off the 3-point line. It’s no surprise since he was Rutgers’ main guard and was often the 3rd option on offense for the Ducks. He played 4 straight single-digit games before regaining his score in Oregon’s last 3 games.

1st game against UW: 12 pts, 3 ast, 3 stl

F- Quincy Warrior, Jr. 6’8. 220: 9.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 42.3% FG, 31.7% 3pt, 65.7% FT

I really wanted Syracuse Warrior but he was probably the most disappointing transfer. His efficiency stats aren’t that different from playing under Boeheim, but he’s averaging 7 minutes less per game at Oregon, making the drop in his per-game stats very noticeable (13.7 and 8, 4 to 8.1 and 5.2). The other big difference is that at Syracuse he only took about 25% of his shots from the outside and at Oregon it’s 50%. For an average shooter, that’s not good for the Ducks.

1st game against UW: 12 pts, 4 reb, 4/7 FG, 2/3 3pt

C- N’Faly Dante, Jr. 6’11, 230: 8.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 67.1% FG, 57.6% FT

Last season, Dante tore his ACL in the first game against Washington. He naturally faded into the season, but at times he looked like a dominating force. It’s basically what Roberts would look like if Nate lost 30 pounds and was able to catch a tough pass and dunk it. The rim protection is only average, but the rebound is elite as it had 15 against Arizona 2 weeks ago.

1st game against UW: 6 pts, 1 reb, 3 TO

Perspectives

Game 1 against Oregon was an abomination and there’s really no other way to put it. The Huskies were outscored 48-13 in the first half in what has to be the most depressing opener in a UW basketball game I’ve ever seen. Washington won the 2nd half, but in the end Oregon shot 19% better on 2, 30% better on 3, and 6% better from the free throw line while committing 10 fewer turnovers. Ass. Kick.

It’s unlikely to happen again if for no other reason you hardly ever see him except in games where a top 25 team plays a major midfielder. And Oregon is not so good and UW is not so bad.

That being said, the Ducks are a bit of an enigma. They had a 3-game streak that included a narrow home win over Stanford, a 14-point loss to Cal, and a 24-point road loss to Arizona State. When you factor in the quality of the opponent involved, this has to be one of the worst 3-game streaks in the conference this year. They turned around immediately after that with 3 consecutive games decided by 5 points or less against the top 3 teams in the Pac-12. If we get Oregon’s latest it’s a 20-point blast. If it’s the first, the Dawgs have a great chance.

Part of what makes this matchup tough for the Dawgs is the size Oregon is able to put on Terrell Brown Jr. Oregon always has at least 4 guys on the court taller than Brown and is often able to stick a 6’5 or 6’6 defender on him who can cause problems. Brown had the worst game of his Husky career the first time shooting 3/16 from the floor with 6 turnovers. He absolutely needs to find distance to have an effective night scoring the ball for UW to have a shot.

It gets even tougher with Daejon Davis’ new shoulder injury. In the win over Washington State over the weekend, the Huskies were able to create quick break opportunities through Daejon’s defense and also moved the ball better with a secondary ball handler who can create a shot for others. Against UCLA, once Davis was injured, the UW offense once again turned to iso ball with 4 total assists as Coach Hopkins began to empty the bench.

There isn’t really an individual aspect of the Oregon team that scares you. They don’t rank better than 90th in virtually every major offensive metric, but they also don’t rank much worse than 150th. If you are slightly above average in all areas, that means you are a little better than average overall. The Ducks are 4th in the Pac-12 game in offensive efficiency and have been 2nd with 51.5% of their 2-point shots. Nate Roberts will have his hands full tonight.

The defense was a little more suspicious, but Oregon actually overtook Washington in forcing turnovers during Pac-12 play after UW minus Daejon Davis slowed. Duck’s all-court press plagued the Huskies in the Hopkins days and I would expect it to cause a few turnovers again tonight with Brown and Fuller as the only 2 primary guards.

A win over Oregon would destroy any last hope the Ducks had of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament as an all-around team. It’s an Oregon team that often loses focus, but given the rivalry and because of that, they’ll be ready to give UW their best shot. Meanwhile, a Husky victory would increase the odds of getting the 6th seed in the conference standings to around 90%. There’s still a chance of that happening with a loss as long as the Huskies take care of business against Oregon State, but it would be a lot nicer for all but to win it tonight.

If Davis was fully available and the Huskies had played a little closer to UCLA on Monday night, I might be willing to go into home run mode and pick a UW win. But Oregon at its ceiling is playing like a top-25 team even if it can’t do it consistently. I don’t expect them to take their foot off the pedal tonight and Washington has shown they just don’t have the horsepower to compete with the conference’s upper crust this year.

Prediction

washington huskies– 61, Oregon Ducks – 74