Eugene, OR – The Oregon Ducks returned home after their big road win over Illinois to face a 3-7 Cal State Northridge team. The game figured to give the Ducks a chance to work out a few kinks prior to the start of Pac-12 play on January 3rd. Oregon (7-3) started off slowly but gradually pulled away for a 79-56 win behind Joseph Young’s 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Michael Chandler (13) and Dillon Brooks (12) also scored in double figures for the Ducks. The freshman Brooks has scored in double-figures in all ten of Oregon’s games. 6’6 senior guard Stephan Hicks, the leader scorer on the year for Northridge (17.7 ppg) impressed with 19 points and seven rebounds. 6’7 Stephen Maxwell fought hard inside, ending the night with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The game marked the first game action for the 6’10 Chandler. Chandler was a top 50 high school player who committed and either de-committed or didn’t qualify academically to three schools (Xavier, Louisville, and UCF) before ending up playing for former Providence College assistant Steve DeMeo at NW Florida State Junior College. He showed up in Eugene with a bad knee and only recently started to practice.
Chandler played very limited minutes (three in the first half and four in the second half) but did show decent mobility and was active on both sides of the ball. In the second half he scored three straight baskets, the last on a nice bank-hook shot in which he was fouled. He showed quick inside moves, a nice touch from the foul line and ran the court well until he got tired. The Ducks can surely use his height and skill when Pac-12 play starts. If Chandler can give them 15-20 minutes by that time it would be a big help.
Young had been in a 10-of-57 three-point shooting slump before shooting before hitting 2-of-4 coming off the bench against Illinois. Tonight he shot the ball well from distance (4-of-7). He was only shooting 26.1 percent on threes coming into the contest. It still appears that Young shoots much better when he is either playing off-the-ball or doesn’t have primary point guard responsibilities. The Ducks likely will be better off as a team as frosh Ahmaad Rorie gets more point minutes, freeing up Young for off-the-ball scoring opportunities. To get any NBA looks however, Young will need to demonstrate solid point guard skill.
Oregon will have an even easier game on Saturday afternoon against a Delaware State team that we saw lose to Rhode Island by 39 points last week. The Ducks finish the non-conference portion of their schedule with slightly tougher competition (UCSB and UC-Irvine on 12/22 and 12/29).
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