Eugene, OR – Both Oregon and Stanford looked to break two game conference losing streaks when they met this afternoon before 8,852 fans in Eugene. Stanford was the team ending their losing streak with a hard-fought 82-80 win. Anthony Brown (24) and Chasson Randle (23) combined for 47 points to lead the Cardinal. Mike Moser led the Ducks with 24 points and six rebounds.
The first half was fairly evenly played, the main difference was Oregon’s eleven turnovers compared to three for the Cardinal. Stanford led 41-37 at the half as their starting backcourt of Randle and Brown combined for 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting including 3-of-4 on three-pointers. The Cardinal was ahead despite only three points from their starting frontcourt.
The Cardinal extended their lead to nine (59-50) early in the second half before Jason Calliste and Mike Moser each drained two three-pointers to bring the Ducks to within two points (64-62) at the under 12-minute time out. Stanford maintained a single-digit lead through most of the second stanza. The game was close late when a Dominic Artis three-pointer, after an Elgin Cook block, cut Stanford’s lead to 81-80 with 21.4 second left. Stanford’s Brown was then fouled with 14.7 seconds remaining and converted one-of-two. Oregon had a chance to tie but Johnathan Loyd’s jumper was short. Stanford still couldn’t close it out as Randle missed two free throws with seven seconds left. Artis then drove the full court and missed a lay-in at the buzzer.
We’ve pointed out Oregon’s need for improvement in defense and rebounding. The other issue is their lack of inside scoring and relying on their outside shooting and ability to draw fouls to generate their points. That’s fine when their outside shots are falling, when they aren’t it’s a problem. In this game the Ducks shot 12-of-22 on three-pointers and shot 52.2 percent from the field to stay in the game despite committing eight more turnovers than Stanford. Perimeter defense has been an issue ad that theme continues. After Cal’s Jordan Matthews (32 points) had a career night the Cardinal starting backcourt scored 47 points.
Stanford’s Dwight Powell has been on our radar since his freshmen season. The 6’10” Canadian has elite athleticism for his size with a solid skill set. He’s put on some weight over the past 1-2 years an appears stronger. He’s a solid rebounder and an excellent passer. His solid passing ability plays into his downside; which is that he is not as aggressive as he can be offensively and seems to want to settle into a complementary mode rather than being the go-to player.
In this game Powell was fairly invisible during his 14 minutes of first half play. He had three assists, two rebounds and was 0-of-3 from the field. In the second half he was much more active offensively especially was he was playing in the post in place of Stefan Nastic. It seems that when Nastic is in the game Powell steps out and tries to find opportunities for Nastic inside. Powell finished the game with a solid line of 14 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Powell has very narrow shoulders and long arms, the type of body that may not lend itself well to gaining much more weight. He runs the court very well with good speed for his size and is an explosive leaper. He’s a mediocre mid-range shooter (shot one 18-foot air ball off the dribble) and hasn’t developed any long distance touch (4-of-17 on three’s this season). He gets to the foul line almost five times per game and is shooting only 58.8 percent from the charity stripe. He definitely needs to work on his shooting and his range. But that was the case several seasons ago as well.
Powell likes working the right block. Has a good idea of where to go with the ball. He has a drop step and a jump hook shot. The main issue is that as soon as he gets the ball, he puts the ball on the floor which leads to turnovers (over three per game). He needs to be more patient. It is of note that when he does wait he does find cutters open to the basket. He won’t back down in post. He does get pushed around some but he keeps at it, he seems to like contact. He has fairly good ball handling skills for his size. He will be used to break full court pressure.
Powell has improved as a defender but despite his explosive vertical, he is not a shot-blocker (1.2 pg). His long arms help with deflections, but other than that his help-side defense can improve. At one point we thought Powell would have NBA potential but we haven’t seen the improvement that we’d like to have seen in several facets of his game. He’ll still do well in Europe.