There is more on the line for No. 6 Oregon than just another Civil War victory, but the Ducks are not looking beyond simply defeating the Beavers. A win tomorrow for Oregon would share a conference title with Arizona heading into the Pac-12 conference tournament next week in Las Vegas, Nev.
However, Oregon (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12) will have to first take care of Beavers' sophomore forward Drew Eubanks and an Oregon State squad with nothing to lose when the 348th Civil War basketball game tips off at 3 p.m. in Corvallis.
“Wayne [Tinkle] has done a tremendous job keeping them focuses and keeping them playing hard,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said of Oregon State’s tough season. “Their last two home efforts against Colorado and Utah were outstanding. With a big win over Utah and played Colorado in a tight score with two minutes to go, they've continued to play hard and they’ve been tough at home.”
It has been a building year to say the least for the Beavers (5-25, 1-16 Pac-12). Star guard Tres Tinkle has missed most of the season due to injury. But time is on their side with most of the team seeing valuable playing time as freshmen and sophomores.
Oregon can in no way afford to take a game off, especially the Civil War when the Beavers will look to do anything they can to upset Oregon with the conference tournament around the corner.
“I think we’re just taking every game as it is,” said UO senior guard Dylan Ennis. “Playing hard, playing together, playing smart. Playing an OSU team that definitely is going to go out there you know and want to win the last season game like we do. So we just got to be prepared for them.”
One area in which the Ducks can be better prepared against any team is rebounding. Oregon has struggled to be consistent in this area throughout the season and will have another test with Eubanks tomorrow. He is averaging 14.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Oregon senior forward Chris Boucher said regarding the rebounding issue: “It’s not only tomorrow, it’s yesterday and the day before, always trying to work on rebounding. Teams are out-rebounding us right now and it’s been an issue since before the Cal trip. So we’re trying to get better at it, we work on rebounding everyday, and we’ll get better, I’m sure, before March Madness.”
A quick look at the game:
No. 6 Oregon at Oregon State
Where: Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR
When: 3:05 p.m.
Records: Ducks (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12), Beavers (5-25, 1-16 Pac-12).
Last outings: Oregon rounded out just its second time since 1976 sweeping the Bay Area schools with a 75-73 win at Stanford last Saturday. Oregon State lost at California 76-46 last Friday.
Coaches: UO's Dana Altman (180-68 at Oregon, 590-311 Division I). Oregon State’s Wayne Tinkle (41-52 at Oregon State, 199-143 overall).
Key Ducks: G Tyler Dorsey, 6-4, So., (12.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg), G Dylan Ennis, 6-2, Sr., (11.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg), G Payton Pritchard, 6-2, Fr., (8.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg), F Jordan Bell, 6-9, Jr., (10.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.1 bpg), F Dillon Brooks, 6-7, Jr., (15.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, .432 3PT%), F Chris Boucher, 6-10, Sr., (12.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.7 bpg).
Key Beavers: G Jaquori McLaughlin, 6-4, Fr., (10.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg), G Stephen Thompson Jr, 6-4, So., (8.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg), F Drew Eubanks, 6-10, So., (14.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg), G Kendall Manuel, 6-4, Fr., (5.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg).
Notes: With a win Saturday, Oregon would claim the league title for sixth time in program history…Over the last four seasons, Oregon is undefeated after Valentine’s Day (21-0) in Pac-12 Conference games…Last Saturday at Stanford, Altman tied W.J. Reinhart (1923-35) for third in UO career coaching wins with 180…The Ducks are second nationally at 6.8 blocks per game, and lead the nation in total blocks with 203.