The Washington State Cougars are coming off a tough weekend in the Bay Area and things don’t get any easier as the No. 8 Oregon Ducks visit them Pullman on Thursday night. Oregon is 14-3 on the season, and has won its last three conference games after dropping the opener at Colorado.
If you want to follow the game, the Washington State basketball Twitter account has you covered with game time, TV, radio, stream, and stats information (note that the game is on Fox Sports 1, not Pac-12 Network):
| 18 |— WSU Men's Basketball (@WSUCougarMBB) January 16, 2020
| 6 pm
| Beasley Coliseum
| https://t.co/oT2ssKYyLa#GoCougs | #CougsVsEverybody pic.twitter.com/JEsrfxKsMJ
Oregon’s success is largely driven by its offense, which is ranked fifth nationally in adjusted efficiency. The Ducks are one of the country’s best shooting teams, ranking seventh in effective field goal percentage and 3-point shooting percentage.
Senior Payton Pritchard runs the show at point guard, and despite shooting the most shots on the team he still leads Oregon in effective field goal percentage. Pritchard has knocked down 55 percent of his 2s and 40 percent of his 3s. When he isn’t shooting, he also assists on his teammates’ makes at the 55th-best rate nationally.
Chris Duarte, Anthony Mathis, and Will Richardson are all formidable outside threats. There’s a good chance that at least three of Oregon’s four shooters will be on the court at any point, making them tough to defend.
On the chance that Oregon does miss its shots, it’s also a very good offensive rebounding team. Combine that with limiting turnovers and it’s likely the Ducks will get plenty of shots for their shooters to get going.
When WSU has the ball, the Ducks will make shooting tough again. Oregon has a handful of solid shot blockers, including 6’11 freshman N’Faly Dante and 6’9 sophomore Francis Okoro. The Cougs have struggled to get good looks inside in Pac-12 play, and that will be an issue again.
There are two good things going for Wazzu in this matchup—Oregon doesn’t force many turnovers and they allow a high number of offensive rebounds. So, much like when the Ducks have the ball, the opportunities for the offense should be maximized.
Unfortunately, Oregon is a much better shooting team that is likely to do much better with those opportunities. That’s the Ducks are highly ranked, and the Cougs are still struggling.