Eugene, OR – Oregon returned home from a New York City trip where they lost to Iowa and defeated then-No. 15 ranked Syracuse. The Ducks faced a decent Green Bay squad that came into the game with recent wins over Eastern Washington and Morehead State. The Phoenix had played a common opponent, Iowa, where they put up a good effort in a 93-82 loss. They were no match for Oregon tonight as the Ducks took a nine-point halftime lead and fought back a few Green Bay runs before pulling away for a 83-72 win. Bol Bol led Oregon with 21 points and nine rebounds in a season-high 33 minutes of action.
Green Bay had no one to match up with 7-2 Bol. The Ducks featured Bol throughout the first half, consistently getting the ball into him on the post or letting Bol try a few from outside. Bol scored 15 first half points on an efficient nine shots, connecting on his only three-point attempt and missing an open dunk. He also pulled down six rebounds and blocked a shot.
Early in the second half the Phoenix got to within four on a dunk by ShanQuan Hemphill. But then the Ducks ran off nine straight points with Payton Pritchard connecting on two three-pointers and Bol hitting an inside hook shot to extend their lead to 13 points. Green Bay stayed close, reducing the lead to 66-60 on a JayQuan McCloud three-pointer with six minutes remaining. A Sandy Cohen III three-pointer cut the Ducks’ lead to 74-70 with two minutes left but Oregon reeled off seven points in a row from that point. Pritchard came alive in the second half, making three 3s and scoring 16 of his 18 points.
Will Richardson, a 6-5 freshman point guard from Oak Hill Academy, has been impressive in recent games. He’s steady and under control at all times. He’s shown the ability to get into the lane and draw fouls. With Richardson on the court it helps Oregon free up Pritchard off the ball. Pritchard is the Ducks best three-point shooter (over 40 percent last season) and getting him some off-ball looks will be important for them this season, and especially important until 6-9 freshman Louis King is able to play. Richardson scored ten points in 21 minutes, getting to the foul line ten times and only having one turnover.
Bol has an enticing skill set for someone his size. With a 7-8 wingspan and a 9-7 standing reach he certainly stands out. He had decent shooting skills from mid and long range and is quite efficient around the hoop with a soft 8-10 foot shot facing the basket. It will certainly be interesting watching him this season and getting a feel for his NBA potential. He certainly can guard the rim but his thin legs cause some concern if he matched up against more solid centers at the next level. Oregon is rightly fixated on getting the ball to him in the post, but at the same time must spread the offensive opportunities around somewhat more.
The Ducks need to improve their defensive intensity, must share the ball more effectively and rebound better. Green Bay scored 43 second half points and didn’t have many issues in driving past their man and either getting to the basket or shooting easy jumpers. Oregon only has 11 assists on their 22 made baskets which indicated too much 1-on-1 play. The Ducks out-rebounded Green Bay 40-29 but that mainly reflected rebounding opportunities from Green Bay’s 50 missed shots compared to Oregon’s 34 missed shots. Green Bay’s 85 percent effective rebounding rate bettered Oregon’s 80 percent. Green Bay also had 10 offensive rebounds and Oregon only had four. The Ducks basically won this game at the foul line. They had 24 more free throw attempts than Green Bay, and made 24 more free throws as well.
Oregon returns to the court with a home contest against Texas Southern next Monday night at 8PM.