Eugene, OR – Things will get progressively more difficult for the Oregon Ducks this week with all games part of the Progressive Legends Classic. Tonight’s game against Detroit will be followed by a tough Toledo team on Friday afternoon. then it’s off to Brooklyn for games against No. 24 Michigan and then either No. 12 Villanova or No. 15 VCU. After the week is complete we’ll have a pretty good idea what to expect from this team. Clearly they are limited in height and with only eight scholarship players available the bench is very thin.
Tonight Oregon faced a Detroit team predicted to finish near the middle of the Horizon League. Clearly this was a game a Pac-12 team should win fairly handily at home. It was a little tougher than that but Oregon pulled away in the second half en route to a 83-66 victory. Joseph Young had an off-shooting night (1-of-12 on 3’s, 7-of-23 overall) scoring an inefficient 22 points, 18 in the second half. It was 6’6 frosh Dillon Brooks (14 points) and Jalil Abdul-Bassit (17 points on 6-of-8 FG) who picked up the slack to help the Ducks to the win. 6’8 frosh Jordan Bell was also active for Oregon finishing with six points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Brooks and Abdul-Bassit led a run in the middle of the second half that propelled the Ducks to a 11-point lead. Detroit didn’t show much offensive continuity, mostly settling for long jumpers or shots off isolation. Oregon picked up their defense late and closed strongly.
The first half went back and forth and ended in a 35-all tie. The Ducks need Young to score consistently to be able to compete against the better teams on the schedule. Young was off during the first half shooting 0-of-6 and scoring only four points. The teams battled evenly, not only on the scoreboard, but also on the boards (21-21), turnovers (Oregon (9) Detroit (8), assists 6-6 and field goals (13-13). Jalil Abdul-Bassit led Oregon at the half with eight points while 6’5 Anton Wilson had 11 for Detroit, hitting all three of his three-pointers.
Things will get tougher for Oregon now with a likely NCAA tournament team in Toledo in town for a 4pm match-up on Friday. Toledo returns five of their top six players from a 27-win year.
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