No. 14 Oregon continued their undefeated season with three wins this weekend at the Global Sports Hardwood Challenge. The Ducks scored victories over Pacific (85-62), North Dakota (91-76) and Cal Poly (82-61) to advance to 7-0 on the season.
Oregon had little trouble in any of the three games. The only issue was a slow start against Pacific. The Ducks were down by double-digits in the first half and trailed 36-29 at the half. Oregon then outscored the Tigers by 30 points in the second half on the way to their 23-point win.
6’2 Houston transfer Joseph Young continued his solid play. Averaging 23.0 ppg coming into the event Young scored 23, 14 and 13 in the three games. 5’8 point guard Johnathan Loyd has been playing excellent, distributing the ball very well. Lloyd had 13 assists in the Pacific win. Mike Moser (13 points, 15 rebounds) and Elgin Cook (10 points, 10 rebounds) registered double-doubles against North Dakota.
The Ducks guard-oriented offense will be tough for opposing teams to stop this season. However they will need better rebounding and inside presence once the competitive Pac-12 season starts. Moser’s rebounding performance against North Dakota is a start but he needs to be more consistent in his rebounding effort. 6’8 Richard Amardi has shown some flashes of possibly being the inside player Oregon needs. He had season highs of 15 points and eight rebounds in the North Dakota contest and followed that up with 14 points and six rebounds against Cal Poly.
Point guard Dominic Artis and 6’8 Ben Carter return from their nine-game NCAA suspension for the December 17th game against UC-Irvine. It will be interesting to see how Coach Altman integrates them into the rotation. It will be surprising to see Artis in the starting lineup at any point in the season as well as Loyd has been playing.
Of the other three teams Pacific appears to have a good chance of finishing in the top half of the WCC. They are a smart team with good shooters and an all-senior starting lineup. Their rotation goes eight-deep and they had four players averaging in double-figures coming into the weekend. The Tigers went 2-1 over the weekend with wins over North Dakota (93-74) and Cal Poly (73-71).