The 10-8 (1-4 Pac-12) Washington State Cougars will hit the road this week and take on the Oregon schools. Tonight the Cougars will face off against one of the most surprising teams in the conference; the Oregon Ducks.
The Ducks come into this game ranked as the No. 16 team in the country and are undefeated in Pac-12 play and hold a 16-2 overall record. Some notable wins for the Ducks this season are they’ve defeated UNLV, Arizona and UCLA.
This will be very tough game for the Cougars to win, especially since it’s on the road. If the game was at Beasley Coliseum then I would say the Cougars have a shot at winning, but it’ll be hard to win in that type of enviornment in Eugene. Remember though this WSU basketball team almost upset a top-10 team in the Gonzaga Bulldogs back in early December. Which WSU team will show up tonight? That is the main question.
Oregon is very balanced team with 5 players averaging double-figure points per game and the team averages around 76 points per game. One of the Ducks’ best players is E.J. Singler who averages around 10 points per game, but does more than just score. He creates opportunities for his team to succeed. WSU must contain Singler, and also can not allow 5 players to score in double figures or else it’s game over for the Cougars. WSU only averages 63 points per game, which is very low.
In order for the Cougars to come out with a victory in Eugene, besides containing Singler, WSU must score. This has been a problem for this team, they just don’t seem to have a groove on offense. It can’t just be Brock Motum taking all the shots. DeVonte Lacy will need to put on a performance like he did against Gonzaga for WSU to have a chance. Plus Royce Woolridge needs to run the point more efficiently, and also be way more aggressive; take more shots and drive to the hoop multiple times. If the Cougars can execute this game plan, watch out. It’s still going to be a very hard game to win, but it’s college basketball; anything can happen.
Some history behind this series:
Oregon leads the series 160-123
Oregon has won the last three meetings against WSU.
Ken Bone is 1-6 against Oregon as WSU basketball coach.
–Evan Baron (Follow Me on Twitter: @BaselineBaron09)