Payton Pritchard

The X Factor, the Commander and the King: Hot Ducks advance in the Dance

The X Factor, the Commander and the King: Hot Ducks advance in the Dance

The madness and drama continues for Oregon into late March. The No.12 seed Oregon Ducks upset No.5 seed Wisconsin, 72-54, extending their nine-game winning streak and advancing to the round of 32.

I guess what happens in Las Vegas doesn’t always stay in Las Vegas. Oregon is now 6-0 in first round NCAA Tournament games under coach Dana Altman. Once hoping for an NIT Tournament invite, improbably, the Ducks possess a shot at the Sweet 16 after securing the conference’s automatic NCAA bid by winning four-straight games in the Pac-12 Tournament.

"You know, we just weren’t on the same page,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said of Oregon’s recent surge. “And how quickly it changed.”

Once again, Oregon’s defensive prowess disrupted the opponent’s best player. The Ducks crowded, trapped and double-teamed Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, making it extremely difficult for the Badgers to get the ball to the four-year starting All-American. Oregon held Happ, maybe one of the best players in the entire tournament, to only four points on 1-of-3 shooting in the first half and 12 total points, eight rebounds, zero assists and five turnovers.

“I thought our guys really were aware of (Happ),” Altman said. “And then Kenny (Wooten) got a couple of his shots, and I think that helped us, put a thought in his mind.”

The first 20 minutes of Oregon’s first round NCAA Tournament game versus Wisconsin was as advertised; a tenacious defensive war, resulting in a 25-25 tie going into halftime.

Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player Payton Pritchard brought his hot streak into the NCAA Tournament. The junior put on a show and etched his name into Oregon history books; rising to fourth in UO career assists and in the Top 20 for career scoring.

Pritchard took command, impacting both sides of the floor; fearlessly driving to the basket, sinking three-pointers while also forcing turnovers and fighting for 50-50 balls. He led all scorers with 19 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds.

Pritchard and freshman Louis King had 19 of the team's 25 first half points.

Enter perfect Paul White and X-factor Kenny Wooten.

After hurting his shoulder in a collision in the first half, Wooten started the second half in a big way; a vicious put-back dunk followed by another nasty dunk. It was only the beginning for the 6-foot-9 sophomore’s first NCAA Tournament game; his alley-oops and posturizing blocks changed the game.  Wooten finished with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, six rebounds and four recorded blocks (but I think it was five).

"I better see him on SportsCenter," senior White said of Wooten’s performance.

White had an uncharacteristic zero point first half before heating up in the second to score 14 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting.

King finished with 17 points and provided huge bursts of momentum with his 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc.

Oregon executed its game plan, forcing 13 Wisconsin turnovers (entered the game averaging 9.5) and scoring 12 points off those turnovers. Not to be overlooked, the Badgers shot an atrocious 20 percent from beyond the arc, going 6-of-30 for the game.

Oregon will get a shot at its seventh trip to the Sweet 16. The 13-seeded UC Irvine Anteaters are the only thing that stand in the Ducks way. UC Irvine is also fresh off an upset victory (over No. 4 seed Kansas State) and on its own winning streak (17 games).

“We really jump on people,” Pritchard said. “I know (UC Irvine) is hot…We are going to be ready to play.“

Oregon most bet on team in the NCAA Tournament: Should you take the gamble?

Oregon most bet on team in the NCAA Tournament: Should you take the gamble?

The NCAA Tournament announcement comes with the excitement of filling out your bracket and maybe placing some bets.

Every year, March is a little mad, which causes fans to study and search for their Cinderella(s) and sure bets. Will Saint Mary’s pull the upset over Villanova? Are you picking UC Irvine to be the next UMBC? What about the Ducks?

No. 12 seed Oregon will play No. 5 seed Wisconsin in the first round of the South Region. The latest line has Wisconsin as a 1-point favorite and a 118 total point over/under (lowest of any first-round game in the NCAA Tournament). Turns out, the matchup has become the most bet on game in the NCAA Tournament. 

What should you do?  A look at recent history shows that putting money down for the Ducks has paid out. Oregon has made a drastic change in the last three weeks and are riding an eight-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament, including four victories to become Pac-12 Tournament champions. Oregon won six of those eight games by double-digits.

Most importantly (for your wallet) in each of those wins, Oregon has covered the spread.

3/16/19 Oregon vs. UW: The Ducks were 1.5-point favorites and beat the Huskies by 20 points.

3/15/19 Oregon vs. ASU: The Ducks were 2-point favorites and beat the Sun Devils by 4 points.

3/14/19 Oregon vs. Utah: The Ducks were 4.5-point favorites and beat the Utes by 12 points.

3/13/19 Oregon vs. WSU: The Ducks were 11.5-point favorites and beat the Cougars by 33 points.

3/9/19 Oregon at UW: The Ducks were 6-point under dogs and beat the Huskies by 8 points.

3/6/19 Oregon at WSU: The Ducks were 7-point favorites and beat the Cougars by 11 points.

3/2/19 Oregon vs. Arizona: The Ducks were 4.5-point favorites and beat the Wildcats by 26 points.

2/28/19 Oregon vs. ASU: The Ducks were 1.5-point favorites and beat the Sun Devils by 28 points.

 

Another note (for your wallet)… Every game has gone under, except the overtime win against Arizona State in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

3/16/19 Oregon vs. UW over/under 119.5 total points: Result: 116 points, under

3/15/19 Oregon vs. ASU over/under 134 total points: Result: 154 points, over

3/14/19 Oregon vs. Utah over/under 137 total points: Result: 120 points, under

3/13/19 Oregon vs. WSU over/under 137 total points: Result: 135 points, under

3/9/19 Oregon at UW over/under 124.5 total points: Result: 102 points, under

3/6/19 Oregon at WSU over/under 142.5 total points: Result: 133 points, under

3/2/19 Oregon vs. Arizona over/under 130 total points: Result: 120 points, under

2/28/19 Oregon vs. ASU over/under 138 total points: Result: 130 points, under

(All odds via Bovada)

Oregon’s defensive prowess has become highly entertaining to watch. But can the Ducks slow down Wisconsin’s top offensive player and four-year starter, Ethan Happ? Don’t come pounding on my door if Oregon loses or it goes over, but I had to point out the trend. If you’ve been betting the Ducks and the under, you’ve been making some major money.

Let the dance begin: Oregon Ducks named No.12 seed in south region

Let the dance begin: Oregon Ducks named No.12 seed in south region

Are you itching to get your March Madness bracket started? Just announced, the Oregon Ducks get an extra day and play close to home.

After crushing the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies to take the Pac-12 Tournament crown and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, Oregon (23-12) is the No. 12 seed in the South Region and will open the tournament against No. 5 seed Wisconsin (23-10).  The first round of the NCAA Tournament will be played on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif..

"The way this team has fought, it’s been special," junior guard Payton Pritchard said. "We’re just ready to make something happen". 

The Ducks have caught fire and are riding on a dangerous eight-game winning streak. Oregon reached the big dance for the sixth time in seven years after becoming the first team in Pac-12 Tournament history to defeat the top three seeds on the way to winning the title. 

During the CBS Selection Sunaday broadcast, Seth Davis called Oregon "maybe the hottest team in the country right now" and picked the Ducks to beat the Badgers. 

If Oregon wins, it will face the winner of the No. 4 seed Kansas State and No. 13 seed UC-Irvine on Sunday. 

Three Pac-12 teams landed in the NCAA Tournament; Oregon, Washington and Arizona State. Washington is the No. 9 seed in the midwest region playing No. 8 seed Utah State (26-8) in Columbus, Ohio on Friday. The winner will play No. 1 seed North Carolina or No. 16 seed Iona. Arizona State will play a First Four game vs. St. John's in the West region.

All hail Oregon Ducks coach Dana Altman, the basketball sorcerer

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USA Today

All hail Oregon Ducks coach Dana Altman, the basketball sorcerer

Oregon coach Dana Altman long ago cemented his status as a great coach but what he has done this season should be remembered among his greatest accomplishments.

There is really no earthly reason why this Ducks team should have won the Pac-12 Tournament, as it did tonight with a 68-48 destruction of Washington, the conference's best team during the regular season in Las Vegas, Nev., let alone reach the NCAA Tournament, which is now a certainty. 

Yet, here sits Oregon ( 23-12), headed to March Madness with a serious opportunity to steal a win or two and there is only one person to point to as the main reason for this reality, and that's Altman, who successfully poked and prodded his team for months while transforming them into a defensive force that has reduced opposing offenses to mush during an eight-game winning streak. 

“I think we grew up a lot as a team," Altman told reporters following Saturday night's win over the Huskies. "Everybody kind of gave themselves to the team. Everyone of them gave up a little bit of what they wanted to do for what the team needed them to do."

Getting this team to buy in was no easy task. 

It became clear early on this season that the Ducks' offense was suspect. Junior guard Payton Pritchard hadn't taken the next step. Five-star recruit Louis King began the season on the sideline injured and got off to a slow start on offense when he hit the court. Only fellow five-star recruit, Bol Bol provided consistent firepower early on. But he went down for good with a foot injury before conference play began.

The Ducks began conference play with losses to Oregon State and UCLA ,and so began an up-and-down trek through the Pac-12 that had Oregon stuck around .500 before sinking into a quagmire with a messy three-game losing streak to Oregon State, USC and UCLA. 

That stretch seemed to doom Oregon's chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament even if the Ducks' managed to win 20-plus games given how mediocre the conference has been all season. The only logical path would be to win the conference tournament and how could that have been viewed as a possibility for a team with what turned out to be the 10th best offense in the conference and a defense that during that three-game losing streak had allowed 228 points?

Then, something clicked on defense. During the team's current eight-game winning streak, which includes two wins over Washington (26-8), the Ducks held their opponents to 54.3 points per game. To put that number into perspective, consider that Washington, which used to have the top scoring defense in the conference, was allowing a full 10 points more per game at 64.3. Oregon surpassed them for the conference lead, entering tonight allowing 63.4.

“We had a lot of ups and downs all of us were frustrated,” Altman said. “The coaches, the players. But the resolve they showed to fight back and rally become a team and fight for each other, it was really neat to see.”

The turnaround began with a 79-51 win at home against Arizona State followed by a 73-47 win over Arizona. Those two games, Atlman said, convinced the team of what playing great defense could do for them.

“The guys really realized that we can guard like this game-in and game-out regardless of if the ball is going in, or not,” Altman said.

We'd seen this scenario play out many times before. It's become rather routine to watch Altman teams peak at the end of the season, save for last year when they missed the NCAA Tournament following losing four players to the NBA from a Final Four team. 

The 2015-2016 team managed a similar rise from nowhere to reach the Elite Eight. But that team had considerably more talent than this season's team and was much better on offense. This season's team is certainly talented but is extremely offensively challenged in the half court. 

So, while Altman got the 2016 team to buy in on defense, the offense came easier. This team, for the most part, remains an offensive mess but has overcome that by cranking up the defense to ridiculous levels. That has allowed the Ducks to generate offense off of turnovers and opponent's missed shots while taking pressure off of their half-court offense.  

It's a lot easier to win while often struggling to score when you hold your opponents to 54 points per game.  

This accomplishment occurred thanks to the team's great length and athleticism, of course, but meshing it all together in order to become a consistent force at that end of the court took time, patience and a willingness to grind at a rate that most wouldn't have the heart to endure. While it's tough to say this was Altman's greatest coaching achievement, it's certainly in the discussion. But, of course, he credits the players. 

“I’ve never seen a team make that drastic of a change in a three week period,” Altman said.

Leading the charge has been Pritchard, who has taken his game to another level the past couple of weeks, especially on defense. Tonight he had 21 points and seven assists with four steals. Kenny Wooten had four blocked shots. 

Who knows how much longer this joy ride will last. It might only be one more game. But that doesn't matter, at this point. What matters is that this team thrilled while simply earning the right to continue on in the NCAA Tournament.

“I’m really looking forward to continuing to play,” Altman said.

Oregon fans should be looking forward to watching this team grind on, as well. 

Impeccable timing; Hot Ducks one step closer to Pac-12 Tournament crown

Impeccable timing; Hot Ducks one step closer to Pac-12 Tournament crown

LAS VEGAS – Hours before tipoff of Oregon’s Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal, Oregon announced the extension of coach Dana Altman’s contract. Oregon’s contract with Altman, one of six active head coaches in Division I with a current streak of at least 22 consecutive winning seasons, runs through the 2025-26 season.

Good timing for the announcement, it seemed. Turns out, it was great timing.

With Phil and Penny Knight watching court side and big dance hopes on the line, the Ducks advanced to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal game for the sixth time out of eight seasons. Oregon upset third-seeded Utah, 66-54, and is now 5-0 against Utah in the Pac-12 tournament.

The victory is Altman’s 17th Pac-12 Tournament win, tying Arizona’s Sean Miller for the most. The Ducks (21-12, 10-8 Pac-12) are riding a six-game winning streak and advance to play second-seeded Arizona State on Friday at 8:30pm.

"I'm excited, my family is excited, we've enjoyed our nine years at Oregon" Altman said. " We want to build something special.... it's a special place".

Before mounting their comeback, the Ducks fell to a six-point halftime deficit. Oregon could not get organized on offense, lacked ball movement and shot 27.6 percent from the field.

On a hot streak of holding the last six opponents to less than 62 points, the Ducks’ aggressive defensive play continued. Oregon held Utah, the top shooting team in the conference, to 34 percent from the field and outscored them in the paint, 36 to 30.

Despite the physical game, Oregon did not attempt a free throw the entire first half. 

A huge part of Oregon’s lock down defense came from Francis Okoro, who tied the tournament record with six blocked shots in a game. Payton Pritchard and Louis King sparked the Ducks’ comeback on offense, each scoring 20 points.

The Ducks got off to a great second half start. Oregon forced a few turnovers, baffling the Utes with the press and Pritchard grabbed the momentum with back-to-back layups to tie the game. Oregon outscored Utah, 48-30 in the second half.

"Obviously this team is capable of a lot, which we showed in the second half," Pritchard said. "That's how we gotta bring it (against ASU), starting from the tip".

As the Ducks heated up, so did Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, who received a technical foul for slapping a cup off the scorer’s table after a foul call

Utah’s 16 free throw points kept it in the game, but could not overcome going 2-of-23 from beyond the arc.

Next up, Arizona State (22-9, 12-6). Oregon lost to ASU in Tempe in January but then crushed the Sun Devils at home, a month later. ASU is coming off of a 83-72 victory over UCLA.

Altman is five wins away from becoming Oregon’s all-time winningest head basketball coach. He has a chance to take one step closer to that honor, the Pac-12 Tournament crown and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

Oregon beats WSU with a deep tournament run recipe

Oregon beats WSU with a deep tournament run recipe

LAS VEGAS - Former Oregon basketball star and current Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks sat courtside with Oregon fans surrounding him, laughing at the Duck mascot, analyzing the game and clapping when former teammate Payton Pritchard scored a bucket.

The Oregon men’s basketball team looks a lot different from the 2016-17 season, when Brooks and UO made it to the Final Four. However, the two teams share one important similarity; The Ducks won and will advance in the Pac-12 Tournament.

Oregon crushed Washington State 84-51 in the first round and will face third-seeded Utah in the quarterfinals on Thursday night. The Ducks extended their winning streak to five games and will need to win three more in as many days to be crowned as Pac-12 Tournament champions, which earns the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Winning four games in four days is a tall task that’s only been accomplished in the conference tournament once when Colorado claimed the crown as the sixth seed in 2012.

The Ducks beat the Cougars with a recipe that could prove vital for a deep tournament run; stout defense and dependable bench play.

UO’s defense continued to be excellent. The Ducks forced 20 turnovers, with 26 points off those turnovers and outrebounded the Cougars 41-33. The victory also marked the first time in the shot clock era (1985-86 to present) that Oregon has held five-consecutive opponents to less than 62 points.

Oregon held the conference's leading scorer, WSU senior Robert Franks, to only eight points. Franks was coming off a career-high 37 points against Oregon State on senior night. 

Pritchard's three steals moved him to third in UO career steals with 156 total.

"The guys are being real active," coach Dana Altman said. "There is a lot more communication. They are a lot more connected, covering up mistakes for each other. I always thought we had the potential to be a good defensive team.”

UO’s bench play was outstanding, scoring 46 points. Yes, you read that correctly.

Oregon reserves lead the team; Ehab Amin scored 17 points, Will Richardson scored 10 points and Miles Norris added a career-high 14 points.

With only nine scholarship players, Oregon couldn’t fully rest its starters, but was able to limit its minutes; Not a single Duck played over 24 minutes.

Oregon’s confidence is soaring and the team is as healthy as it has been, but blowing out Washington State falls short of the Ducks' goal.

"We have to focus on Utah," senior Paul White said. "We don't get a tournament bid or anything from beating Washington State by 33. So I think right now it's about leaving this game behind us and applying it to Utah".

With postseason hopes on the line, the question remains; Will there be enough in the tank tomorrow vs. Utah and then for two more days after that? Can the Ducks repeat as Pac-12 Tournament champions for the first time since the 2015-16 season? 

Oregon basketball's season finale: A perfect time to peak

Oregon basketball's season finale: A perfect time to peak

Oregon basketball’s regular season finale just became more interesting. On a three-game winning streak, the Ducks (18-12, 9-8 Pac-12) are putting it together just in time and are currently in the running for a first round Pac-12 Tournament bye. Oregon has one final test on their regular season schedule: at Washington.

The Ducks are tied for fifth place in the Pac-12 standings with third and fourth place still wide open. Oregon will need to keep cooking to beat first place Washington (24-6, 15-2) on Saturday night in Seattle.

The recipe for Oregon’s 72-61 road victory over 11th place Washington State on Wednesday night? Upperclassmen Paul White and Payton Pritchard helping Oregon find offensive momentum from the jump, forcing 17 turnovers, scoring 30 points off WSU’s turnovers, shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc, monstrous Kenny Wooten block and 31 bench points.

White scored a career-high 21 points with four three-pointers and a team-high six rebounds.

Oregon’s momentum continues to build with visible improvement of defensive intensity, 50-50 ball fight and sharing the ball on offense.

If Oregon continues this fight, I don’t see why they aren’t contenders in the Pac-12 Tournament, which begins next Wednesday in Las Vegas. The top-four seeds advance to the quarterfinal and only have to win three games to be champions.

The first round bye is historically crucial to victory. Since 2014, the Pac-12 tournament winner has been the one or two seed. The only team to win four games to become champion was Colorado in 2012, as a six seed.

“We don’t have control over it, so we just got to go play. If it happens, it happens but it doesn’t happen if we don’t win on Saturday,” Altman said. “All we need to be focused on is playing well at Washington and find a way to win.”

The Pac-12 standings are a mess and Oregon doesn’t have full control over its destiny but a win on Saturday in Seattle is still up for grabs.

Oregon's momentum surges: Ducks beat Arizona on senior night

Oregon's momentum surges: Ducks beat Arizona on senior night

Oregon’s defense kept them in the game against Arizona (17-13, 8-9 Pac-12) in a fight for Pac-12 Conference standings and momentum ahead of the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Ducks held the Wildcats to their lowest point total of the season and 31 percent shooting from the field.

Oregon (17-12, 8-8) seniors Ehab Amin and Paul White drew loud ovations from 11,339 fans in their Matthew Knight Arena finale. Both White (five points, five rebounds) and Amin (six points, two rebounds) had solid performances in the 73-47 victory.

"Coach has been telling me just to stay positive, just be ready whenever you're called," Amin said. "That's all I can control, is staying ready."

On senior night, the Ducks’ young lineup had incredible success in a game plagued with streaks. After falling behind 9-0, the Ducks blazed forward and strung together a 5:23 stretch with four freshman in the lineup (Will Richardson, Louis King, Miles Norri, Francis Okoro, plus Amin,) in a 13-0 run to get back in the game. Arizona closed the half on a 17-6 run to tie the game at 31-31.

Oregon went on a 10-0 run to start the second half and never lost the lead.

King once again led the Ducks with 14 points and seven rebounds. The freshman has now scored double-figures in 15 of 16 Pac-12 games this season.

Also notable, junior guard Payton Pritchard passed Terik Brown (1,152/1995-99) for 28th in Oregon career scoring. Pritchard scored 12 vs. ASU and currently has 1,159 career points.

Coming off a home stand victory over Arizona State, the Ducks showed fight, added to their positive momentum and halted Arizona’s four game winning streak.

By the way, Oregon football head coach Mario Cristobal was in attendance for senior night.

The victory moves Oregon into a tie for fifth in the conference and one game out of fourth place, which provides a first round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament. Could you make a case for Oregon to get hot and win the tournament?

Oregon makes a stand, blows out Arizona State

Oregon makes a stand, blows out Arizona State

Oregon opened its final Pac-12 Conference home stand with energy, high intensity and a 79-51 victory over Arizona State.

The Sun Devils (19-8, 10-5) were second in Pac-12 standings and have never won at Matthew Knight Arena (0-6).

Freshman Louis King led UO with 19 points. The 6-foot-9 guard has scored in double-figures in 14 of 15 Pac-12 games this season.

Junior Payton Pritchard (18 points) and redshirt senior Ehab Amin (11 points) made big offensive contributions. Freshman Francis Okoro also had a solid game, finishing with seven points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

The Ducks (16-12, 7-8) gained valuable experience and confidence by gutting out a win at home to snap a three game losing streak, once again proving that anyone can beat anyone in the conference.

Earlier in the week senior Paul White told reporters that he felt his team has not reached its full potential yet, “I am hoping we can work toward that and everyone will be clicking on the same page.”

Arizona State did not score in the first six minutes of the second half. The Sun Devils struggled from beyond the arc, going 3-of-23. Oregon outrebounded ASU, 44-26.

Off the bench, Ehab Amin (11 points) and Will Richardson (7 points) combined to give help give Oregon an edge in bench points, 24-to-10.

Oregon showed great ball movement, 50-50 ball fight and excellent rebounding. Most of all, the Ducks showed fight with the Pac-12 Tournament looming. The Ducks host Arizona on Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m.

Oregon basketball at USC: A glimmer of hope

Oregon basketball at USC: A glimmer of hope

Records: Oregon (15-10, 6-5 Pac-12), USC (14-12, 7-6)

Why watch? I know it may feel like a chore to watch this men’s basketball team at times. The Civil War loss hurt Oregon’s standings in the Pac-12 Conference, pushing the Ducks further away from securing a top four spot, which provides a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The loss also wilted Oregon’s slim chances of securing an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

If you need some hope, here it is; Trust in Oregon coach Dana Altman. Altman, who just moved into the NCAA’s top 30 all-time Division I coaches with 635 victories, historically leads the Ducks to more wins in the latter half of Pac-12  play. Under Altman, Oregon has a 53-22 record (.706) during the second half of Pac-12 play. Only Arizona, with 54, has won more games than Oregon in the back half of conference play during that span.

“We are 15-10 and we were hoping to be better at this stage, but we are not,” Altman said. “We need to focus in on the next six games and try to get better. Four of them are on the road, so that will not be an easy task.”

Washington sits atop the standings but there hasn’t been a Pac-12 team to prove domination thus far. Since any team can get hot in the Pac-12 tournament… Why not the Ducks?

High Flying Ducks

Freshman forward Louis King leads the Ducks in scoring with a 12.9 average this season, 16 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in Pac-12 play. He’s scored in double figures during 11 of 12 conference games.

However, the 6-foot-9 forward suffered a hand injury in Oregon’s loss to Oregon State. According to reporters present, King’s index and middle fingers on his right hand were taped when shot with that hand before Tuesday’s practice.

King sat out of Monday and Tuesday practice in hopes to rest and be ready for Wednesday’s practice, according to Altman.

If King can’t play against USC, the Ducks would again be down to eight scholarship players.

Junior guard Payton Pritchard is on record watch. With four more assists (421 current career assists), he will pass Luke Jackson (424 assists, 2000-04) for sixth in UO career assists.

Freshman Miles Norris is coming off a solid performance. He added a boost from the bench, scoring seven points and setting career highs in rebounds (5), blocks (3) and minutes (17).

Trojans to keep an eye on

Bennie Boatwright is coming off a record game in USC’s win at California. The 6-10 senior made a USC record 10 three-pointers and tied the Pac-12 single-game mark.

Wooten will have his hands full with 6-foot-11 Nick Rakocevic, the Pac-12’s leader in double-doubles. Along with his 13 double-doubles, he also has five games with 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds, leading all Pac-12 players.

USC freshman Kevin Porter, who was suspended for the earlier meeting with the Ducks, is averaging 9.3 points per game off the bench.

Shut down the arc

Oregon’s three-point defense must be on point against the Trojans. USC is shooting 38.7 percent from three-point range this season which leads all Pac-12 teams and ranks 20th in the country.

Number to know: The last five years, Oregon is 25-4 after Valentine’s Day in Pac-12 Conference games, according to UO game notes.

How and where to watch

Time: Thursday, Feb. 21, 6:05 p.m

Where: Galen Center, Los Angeles, California

TV: ESPN

More Ducks:

It’s Juwan Johnson’s opportunity to grasp or waste

New flock on the block: Mario Cristobal makes it official for three new coaches

Justin Timberlake rocks Oregon Ducks shoes for concert in Portland

Leavitt didn’t fit Cristobal’s vision; A decade in the making