Oregon basketball

Payton Pritchard may not be a starter in the NBA, but he will help teams win

Payton Pritchard may not be a starter in the NBA, but he will help teams win

And just like that, Payton Pritchard’s career as an Oregon Duck is in the books, or rather record books.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year and four-year starter joins UO Hall of Famers Ron Lee and Luke Jackson as the only players in program history with 1,000 career points, 400 career rebounds and 400 career assists and has recorded 109 consecutive starts.

His collegiate career is certainly noteworthy. Pritchard averaged 20.5 points, 5.5 assits and 4.3 rebounds in his senior season with the Ducks.

On the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast, co-host Channing Frye breaks down Pritchard’s basketball career at Oregon and analyzes what kind of future the kid from West Linn has in the NBA.

I’ve seen him every day, working out, getting better and better. Worked out with him last summer, seen him develop at Oregon and become the player he is. Do I think he’s a starting guard in the NBA? No. But do I think he’s a 10-year pro, a great NBA player, do I think he’s going to help teams win? One hundred percent. 

I think his work ethic, his attitude towards the game and just his ability to win, he’s going to be a pro for a long time. He’s a good, good, good player. — Channing Frye

Here is where Pritchard stands in current 2020 NBA mock drafts:

No. 46 to the Brooklyn Nets (NBAdraftnet.com)

No. 59 to the Los Angeles Lakers (draftsite.com)

(Undrafted according to Bleacher Report and NBA Draft Room)

You can listen to the full Talkin’ Blazers Podcast below:

Chris Duarte out for Pac-12 Tournament; Will Richardson questionable vs. CAL

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NBCSNW

Chris Duarte out for Pac-12 Tournament; Will Richardson questionable vs. CAL

Just one more weekend left on the Pac-12 men's regular season conference schedule.

Oregon head coach Dana Altman met with members of the media on Wednesday ahead of the Ducks' weekend series hosting the Bay Are schools starting with the Cal Golden Bears on Thursday. Altman gave an injury update to Chris Duarte along with sophomore Will Richardson:

The Ducks starting guard Duarte had a procedure on a broken finger on his shooting hand last Thursday, February 27 ahead of part two of the Civil War series. He originally injured the finger in practice the week of the Oregon State game back on February 8.

Without Duarte in the lineup, redshirt senior Anthony Mathis has stepped back into the starting role after starting the first 18 games for the Ducks.

[RELATED]: Chris Duarte out; N’Faly Dante in: What this means for the Ducks moving forward?

As for Will Richardson, this would be a huge loss as well. While the Oregon men's team were tossing out t-shirts during an Oregon women's game last week, Richardson was seen wearing a boot. It looked like he landed on his opponents foot against Oregon State last Thursday. He left the game limping but checked back into the game.

Richardson is a game-time decision as of Wednesday. If he was also ruled out against Cal, that leaves Payton Pritchard and Anthony Mathis as guards on Oregon's roster who have seen consistent minutes this season. Possible we'll see more of Eddy Ionescu or Luke Osborn in this one?

Richardson is averaging 10.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this season for the Ducks.

The Ducks have an opportunity to close out regular season play with wins vs. Cal and Stanford. Earlier this season on the road in the Bay Area was a challenge for Oregon: a 77-72 win in Berkeley followed by a 70-60 loss in Palo Alto to the Cardinal. This time, a rematch in Eugene and a chance to become the Pac-12 conference outright champions.

Chris Duarte out; N’Faly Dante in: What this means for the Ducks moving forward?

Chris Duarte out; N’Faly Dante in: What this means for the Ducks moving forward?

EUGENE, Oregon - Less than one hour prior to tip-off in chapter two of the 2020 Civil War series vs. the Oregon State Beavers, the Oregon Ducks announced that starting guard Chris Duarte would not be available to play due to an injury.

[RELATED]: Oregon Ducks guard Chris Duarte has procedure on broken finger

30 minutes later, Duarte was in street clothes and sporting a new cast on his right hand. His shooting hand.

Replacing Duarte in the starters role was Anthony Mathis, the 6-foot-4 redshirt senior who has started the first 18 games of the season. 

Just try and play a lot of defense. He’s our second-leading rebounder, so I’m trying to pick up on defense, rebounding. Pretty much just helping in any way I can. We’re so deep on offense, I’m not necessarily worried about scoring. I’m just trying to do other things to help the team get wins. — Anthony Mathis

Mathis finished with 13 points hitting 3-of-7 from three-point range, three rebounds and two assists. No. 14 Oregon (22-7, 11-5 Pac-12) snapped the three-game losing streak to rival Oregon State (15-13, 5-11 Pac-12) with a 69-54 win in Matthew Knight Arena.

Replacing Duarte is not easy. He lives big shoes out there on both ends of the court. Oregon head coach Dana Altman has no timetable for return and it’s “up to the doctors”, he told reporters following the game.

As a team, the Ducks defense really stepped up in Duarte’s absence holding their opponent, Oregon State, to a season-low 54 total points. Oregon also committed a season-low four turnovers. 

While one presence will surely be missed, the Ducks welcomed back one player who has a high ceiling and a long career ahead: N’Faly Dante.

The 6-foot-11 freshman center is coming off knee tendinitis. The last time he suited up for the Ducks was back on January 18 at the Washington Huskies up in Seattle. 

In his first game back, he jogged onto the court with a limited minutes restriction and a warm cheer from the Oregon faithful. Although Dante finished with zero points and two rebounds in five minutes played, he sheer presence alone on the court draws eyes inwards and leave shooters open on the perimeter.

You see him double teamed, teams really playing him hard. Dante is really skilled at that. Cause troubles offensively and defensively. We lose one, we get another one, it’s okay. — Francis Okoro said with a big smile on his face

We got him four, five minutes and that was all I planned on. He wanted to play more, but he hadn’t practiced much. Just wanted to get him started, get him back on the floor. Hopefully he’ll have a good week here. — Dana Altman

This one game weekend comes at an optimal time for Oregon. 

Not only do the Ducks have two days off (according to Dana Altman who “threatened” the team if they lost to have them practice the next few days), but they have an entire week to rest and recover and finish on a strong note. In their final regular season series, Oregon will host Cal (12-16, 6-9 Pac-12) and Stanford (19-9, 8-7 Pac-12) both middle tier teams in the Pac-12 conference. 

Dante will be needed against both the Bears and Cardinal who took advantage of Oregon’s smaller forwards the last time these teams met. Having Duarte back would be huge too, if the doctors say so.

Although Dante played just five minutes against Oregon State on Thursday night, he’s just getting his feet wet.

Ducks, Dana Altman hopeful for N'Faly Dante's return vs. Oregon State on Thursday

Ducks, Dana Altman hopeful for N'Faly Dante's return vs. Oregon State on Thursday

Good news coming out of Eugene on Tuesday that Ducks fans have been waiting to hear: Oregon men’s basketball center N’Faly Dante is eyeing his return to the court.

His return could come as soon as Thursday against visiting Oregon State in chapter two of this season's Civil War series.

Oregon head coach Dana Altman and senior point guard Payton Pritchard met with members of the media on Tuesday at Matthew Knight Arena: 

Dante was seen moving around and in warm up gear before tipping off against the Arizona Wildcats last Saturday. Dante did not play in the game.

The 6-foot-11 center from Bamako, Mali has been battling knee tendinitis. The last game he played for Oregon was back on Jan. 8 against the University of Washington up in Seattle, WA. In the nine appearances for the Ducks, he averaged 6.2 points and 2.7 rebounds and totaled six blocks. While those numbers seem small, the big man just needs time and minutes. 

He is very athletic.

In their first Civil War meeting, the Ducks had trouble getting into the paint from any position on the court: guards, bigs, anything. Pritchard talked about it after the game. Oregon State's Kylor Kelley, the 7-foot senior forward, recorded 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Having Dante on the court, with his sheer size and athleticism alone, would be a dominating presence for the Ducks.

Did Payton Pritchard just lock up the Pac-12 Player of the Year award?

Did Payton Pritchard just lock up the Pac-12 Player of the Year award?

Payton Pritchard is on another level this season.

The Portland-native from West Linn High School is averaging 20.1 points 5.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds in his senior season for the Ducks.

On Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats, Pritchard carried the Ducks in regulation dropping a new career-high 38 points in Tucson. He shot 12-for-27 from the field, 6-for-14 from 3-PT range, a perfect 8-for-8 from the FT line as well as dishing out six assists and grabbing four rebounds.

It was a miraculous performance.

But it begged the question: did this performance lock Pritchard in for the Pac-12 Player of the Year award?

Many on social media think so...

Another name in Pac-12 POY contention is Arizona State's Remy Martin, who is averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds this season for the first place Sun Devils. 

The conference awards are released before the Pac-12 Tournament. 

Instant Analysis: Payton Pritchard drops new career-high in OT win vs. Arizona

Instant Analysis: Payton Pritchard drops new career-high in OT win vs. Arizona

It is a tight race at the top of the Pac-12 standings with four teams tied for first and the Oregon Ducks just half a game out of first. Coming off a loss at Arizona State on Thursday night, the Ducks were going to need every bit of offense and a valiant effort on defense against the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson on Saturday.

Well, the offense was there, but only from Payton Pritchard, who dropped a new career-high 38 points. 

Arizona’s Josh Green missed two free throws with five seconds left and this game was headed for overtime (the second time this season these two teams needed overtime to determine a winner).

In overtime, all nine points came from Shakur Juiston. That took immense pressure off of Pritchard on the offensive end. An offensive rebound from Will Richardson and drive to his left drew two Arizona players leaving Juiston open under the basket for a layup that put Oregon up by one with 1.4 seconds left. Game over.

No. 14 Oregon (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12) survives in OT over No. 24 Arizona (19-8, 9-5 Pac-12) and moves into a tie for second in the Pac-12 conference standings with UCLA and No. 18 Colorado.

FINAL SCORE (OT): Oregon 73, Arizona 72 

Here are three quick takeaways from the game:

1. BIG TIME PRITCHARD

Payton Pritchard opened up the game with a three-pointer, and then scored the next four points for Oregon. He scored 10 of Oregon’s first 13 points.

“It’s like having Steph Curry on your team,” said Bill Walton on the call.

Well, maybe not exactly but Pritchard was feeling it tonight. He pored in a new career high 38 points hitting 12-of-27 from the field and 6-of-14 from 3-PT range.

He scored just under half of Oregon’s total points.

Pritchard is averaging 19.4 points, 5.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game in his senior season.

2. ANTHONY MATHIS

Head coach Dana Altman has a big weapon in Anthony Mathis coming off the bench. Mathis has the ability to hit the outside shot and when he does, feed him the ball. Against Arizona, he and Pritchard kept Oregon in the game early hitting 3-of-5 from 3-PT range in the first half and finished with 11 points.

Mathis Pritchard were the only two Ducks to finish in double figures in regulation time. 

3. OVERTIME JUISTON

Redshirt senior Shakur Juiston just needed an overtime period to get it going on the offensive end. Before overtime, he recorded just five points, but score all of Oregon’s points in overtime (9) and finished with 14.

Arizona went 10-for-21 from the free throw line, including missing two late in regulation and missing two with one second left in overtime.

UP NEXT: It’s Civil War part two against rival Oregon State (15-12, 5-10 Pac-12) on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. (PT) at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball a perfect home record for full calendar year

Oregon football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball a perfect home record for full calendar year

Eugene, Oregon. A place that is quiet, surrounded by lush trees and roaring rivers, where you can find weird donuts and plenty of lumber.

It's also a place where opposing teams come to lose.

Autzen Stadium, home of Oregon football, is one of the loudest if not THE loudest stadium in the Pac-12 featuring sold out after sold out crowds. The stadium seats 54,000 which doesn’t include staying room tickets sold.

The last time Oregon football lost at home was vs. Stanford on September 22, 2018 (38-31 in OT).

Across the river is Matthew Knight Arena, home to Oregon men’s and women’s basketball. The arena seats 12,364. 

The last time Oregon men’s basketball lost at home was vs. Washington in Pac-12 conference play on January 24, 2019 (61-56).

The last time Oregon women’s basketball lost at home was exactly one year ago to UCLA on February 22 (74-69).

These three programs are a combined 39-0 in the past calendar year.

Home court/field advantage is for real and especially in Eugene.

Oregon fans love their Ducks!

Instant Analysis: No. 14 Oregon falls in the desert to Arizona State

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USATI

Instant Analysis: No. 14 Oregon falls in the desert to Arizona State

A slow start in the desert left the No. 14 Oregon Ducks fighting and clawing back throughout this contest. Arizona State’s largest lead of 12 points slowing dwindled down at the hand of Payton Pritchard in the second half. Pritchard finished with 18 points, 16 in the second half, but unfortunately fouled out with 2:15 to go in the game and the Ducks down five.

Oregon (20-7, 9-5 Pac-12) dropped a game and a spot in the Pac-12 conference standings with a loss in Tempe to the Arizona State Sun Devils (18-8, 9-4). 

The Ducks fall behind No. 18 Colorado (10-4), No. 24 Arizona (9-4) and Arizona State (9-4) in the conference standings.

FINAL SCORE: Oregon 72, Arizona State 77

Here are three quick takeaways from the game:

1. MORE TURNOVERS THAN BASKETS

At the end of the first half, the Ducks had more turnovers (11) than baskets (10). Not an ideal start at all especially on the road in a hostile environment such as Tempe, Arizona. 

2. SECOND HALF PRITCHARD

Payton Pritchard had two points in the first half, 1-for 4 from the field and 0-for-2 from three-point range. He picked up two fouls in the first half and never really found his groove. But like he’s been doing all season, you knew that cold streak wasn’t going to last. 

The senior guard hit back-to-back three-pointers midway through the second half. After his third, he hit the Oregon bench with a little shimmy. Pritchard hit four three-pointers since the 8-minute mark left in the game.

Unfortunately, the hot-handed Pritchard fouled out with 2:15 left in the game and the Ducks down 66-61.

3. FULL COURT PRESSURE

The Oregon full court press can cause many problems for the opposing team, and it did so tonight against Arizona State. During an important 11-0 Ducks run midway through the second half, Oregon forced ASU into a 10-second backcourt violation. It was momentum swinging and the Arizona State lead was gone.

But the comeback would fall just short.

UP NEXT: Oregon remains on the road to face the Arizona Wildcats (19-7, 9-4 Pac-12) on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. (PT) in Tucson, Arizona.

Oregon Ducks men's basketball moves up in latest AP Poll

Oregon Ducks men's basketball moves up in latest AP Poll

The Oregon Ducks men's basketball team picked up two clutch wins over the weekend to remain at the top in a tight race for the Pac-12 crown.

In the latest AP Poll rankings, Oregon has moved up three spots from No. 17 to No. 14 this week.

It started with a huge comeback victory over then No. 16 Colorado on Thursday night. With Bill Walton, Dave Pasch and guest announcer Mark Jackson calling the game, the Ducks came from behind in a 14-point deficit to defeat the Buffs 68-60 at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. 

[RELATED]: Payton Pritchard gets his 100th career win in an Oregon uniform

On Sunday, the Ducks handled the visiting Utah Utes led by the sharp-shooting of sophomore Will Richardson, who finished a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range, and senior Payton Pritchard, who led all Oregon scores with 25 points and sinking five three-pointers in the first half. The Ducks built a 10+ point lead in the first half shooting 66.7% as a team from behind the arc and used the cushion the rest of the way.

Coming up next for Oregon is a road trip this upcoming weekend in the desert followed by three home games against unranked opponents: Oregon State (5-8 in Pac-12); Cal (4-8 Pac-12); and Stanford (5-7 Pac-12).

Instant Analysis: Richardson, Pritchard heat up from deep; Ducks complete sweep over Utah

Instant Analysis: Richardson, Pritchard heat up from deep; Ducks complete sweep over Utah

It is fitting that on the same night as the 2020 NBA All-Star game, which features nothing but dunks and three-pointers, the No. 17 Oregon Ducks would light it up from downtown.

A combined 10-for-15 from behind the arc in the first half, gave the Ducks a nice 10+ point cushion over the visiting Utah Utes (14-11, 5-8 Pac-12). 

No. 17 Oregon (20-6, 9-4 Pac-12) picks up another win to remain at the top in the Pac-12 conference standings.

FINAL SCORE: Utah 62, Oregon 80

Here are three quick takeaways from the game:

1. DUCKS LIGHT IT UP FROM DEEP

The first half was looking a lot like the 2020 NBA All-Star game, well on one side. The Ducks lit it up from three-point range, hitting 10-of-15 (66.7%) as a team in the first half alone which helped create a 14-point lead going into halftime.

Sophomore Will Richardson got it started early hitting 3-for-3 and senior Payton Pritchard hit 5-for-6 in the first half.

2. THE GUARD-PLAY OF WILL RICHARDSON, PYATON PRITCHARD

The dynamic duo was at it again.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound sophomore guard, Will Richardson, is sneaky quick and can shift his way into the paint, which he did so often against the Utes. He sliced-and-diced his way in and dished the ball off to a cutting defender. 

Richardson finished with 18 points, hitting 4-for-4 from three-point range, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists. It was an all-around performance from Richardson.

Pritchard, who is in National Player of the Year conversations, added 25 points off 5-for-9 from 3-PT range.

3. PATTERSON A SPARK OFF THE BENCH

Athleticism isn’t an issue when it comes to Addison Patterson.

The 6-foot-6 freshman is a four-star recruit who reclassified into the class of 2019 to play for Dana Altman and the Ducks this season. Against Utah, he was impressive on both ends of the court with ridiculous blocks on one end followed by powerful dunks on the other. He finished with 10 points, three assists and two rebounds off the bench.

UP NEXT: The Ducks hit the road for the desert to face Arizona State on Thursday, Feb. 20, tip-off at 6 p.m. (PT) in Tempe, Arizona.