Scouting report: Oregon
Game info: 8 p.m. Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000 capacity).
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Rob Stone and Corey Williams).
Radio: KJR 950 AM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Coach: Dana Altman is 86-41 (.677) in his fourth season with the Ducks, 469-284 (.622) as a Division I head coach and 619-308 (.668) overall. Altman is the first Oregon coach to post three straight 20-win seasons since Howard Hobson led the legendary ‘Tall Firs’ to four consecutive 20-win seasons from 1935-39. Prior to joining Oregon on April 26, 2010, Altman spent 16 seasons at Creighton where he became the school’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 327-176 (.650). He led the Blue Jays to 13 consecutive postseason appearances and 11 straight seasons with 20-plus wins. In four seasons (1990-94) at Kansas State, Altman amassed a 68-54 (.557) record. He also had a 15-13 (.536) record in one season (1989-90) at Marshall.
Prediction: Picked to finish fourth in a preseason poll in the Pac-12 by media who cover the conference.
Series: Oregon has a three-game winning streak and has won four of the past give games against Washington. However, the Huskies lead 187-108 in a series that began in 1904. Tonight’s game will be the 296th meeting between the teams, the second longest rivalry in the Pac-12. UW coach Lorenzo Romar is 15-11 against Oregon, including 10-2 at Alaska Airlines Arena. Altman is 5-4 against the Huskies.
Last meeting: Oregon defeated Washington 80-77 in overtime in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. The Huskies led 58-52 with 6:24 left, but they never really had control of the game, which included seven lead changes and the score was tied 14 times. With the score knotted at 64-64 on the final possession in regulation, C.J. Wilcox (19 points) had the ball in his hands with a chance at a game-winner. However, he never got off a shot as the ball was poked away. In the extra period, Arlan Kazemi took over scoring 11 of his 14 points. The Ducks outpaced UW 16-13 in overtime to secure the three-game season sweep.
Previous game: Oregon lost 80-72 at Oregon State on Sunday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Joseph Young was an early leading Pac-12 MVP candidate after a brilliant nonconference season in which he averaged 20.2 points. The 6-2 junior guard who transferred from Houston has tapered off during Pac-12 play where he averages 12.8 points in five games. He’s been held to fewer than 10 points in three of the past four games, including five-point outings in each of the past two games.
Still, Young is a deadly threat the Huskies must account for. He put 29 points on California two weeks ago. He’s also scored 36 points, which is tied for the second most points this season by a Pac-12 player. He’s averaging 18.0 points, which ranks fifth in the Pac-12. Young is a sensational scorer and lights-out shooter. He shoots 50.3 percent from the field, 85.9 percent on free throws and 41.7 percent on three-pointers.
Young is one of 25 players on the Wooden Award midseason watch list. He averaged 18 points last year at Houston. His father is Michael Young, a member of Houston’s legendary Phi Slama Jama team that lost to North Carolina State in the 1983 NCAA championship game.
— Add Mike Moser to the long list of Washington prospects who got away. Last year, the former UNLV standout and Portland native considered transferring to UW before settling on Oregon. The 6-8 senior forward would have helped the undersized Huskies tremendously. He’s been one of the consistent and productive players for the Ducks.
Moser has started all 17 games. He leads the team in rebounds (7.8 per game) and is second in points (14.2) and minutes (29.9). He’s scored in double figures in 12 games. His season scoring high is 26 points and he’s had at least 20 points in four games. Moser also averages 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks.
—Oregon hast lost four straight games after starting the season 13-0 and being ranked 10th in the Associated Press poll. The Ducks are 10th in the Pac-12 standings and in real danger of falling out of contention for the regular-season title or securing a bye to the conference tournament, which goes to the league’s top four teams.
— The Ducks lost three starters and eight letterwinners from last season when they finished 28-9 and reached the NCAA tournament Sweet 16. Since Altman arrived, Oregon has become the hot spot for transfers. The Ducks added seven transfers and two high-school prospects last year. Nine newcomers have played this season.
— Damyean Dotson had a sensational freshman year when he averaged 11.4 points and 3.5 rebounds. The 6-5 sophomore shooting guard has taken a backseat to Young and started slowly this season. However, before Sunday he scored in double figures 10 straight games.
— Senior guard Johnathan Loyd took over the point guard duties early last season and he hasn’t relinquished the job. He was the Pac-12 Tournament MVP last year. This season, he ranks fourth in the conference and 21st nationally in assists per game (5.9).
— Sophomore Dominic Artis was slated to be the starring point guard, but he missed nine games with a foot injury last season and he was suspended for the first nine games this season for selling shoes.
— Transfer Jason Calliste is the top reserve who averages 11.4 points off the bench.
— The Ducks lead the Pac-12 and is third nationally scoring 87.4 points per game. They’re also among the national leaders in field goal percentage (.484, third), free throw percentage (.769, sixth) and three-point percentage (.402, 19th).
— It’s unwise to foul Oregon because the Ducks have three of the top six free throw shooters in the Pac-12. Calliste (.881) is third, Loyd (.865) fifth and Young (.859) sixth. Dotson shoots 81 percent and Artis 80 percent.
— The trouble with Oregon is its defense. The Ducks allow 77.8 points per game, which ranks last in the Pac-12.
— Oregon is 9-0 when it outrebounds opponents and 3-4 when being out-rebounded.
— The Ducks have used three lineups this season. Waverly Austin, a 6-11 senior center, has made 11 starts, but he didn’t play Sunday. Altman was vague on if the big man would play Thursday.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
F – Mike Moser, 6-8, 211, Sr., 14.2 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 1.6 apg., 1.2 spg., 1.0 bpg.
F – Elgin Cook, 6-6, 206, So., 7.9, 4.2, 56.3 FG%
G – Damyean Dotson, 6-5, 209, So., 11.2, 3.9, 1.3 apg., 81.0 FT%
G – Joseph Young, 6-2, 185, Jr., 18.0, 3.5, 1.9 apg. 1.2 spg., 50.3 FG%, 85.9 FT%
G – Johnathan Loyd, 5-8, 163, Sr., 8.7, 1.6, 5.9 agp., 86.5 FT%