Eugene, OR – Oregon has gotten off to poor starts in recent games and today was no exception as they fell behind 18-10 midway through the first half to a 3-9 Florida A&M squad. They turned it around quickly helped by two Kenny Wooten Jr. blocks and 14 first half points by Victor Bailey Jr. The Ducks ran off 18 straight points over five minutes, outscored the Rattlers 28-5 the remainder of the half and coasted to a 71-64 win this afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena. Florida A&M scored 13 straight points in the last two minutes to make the final score closer than it really was. Bailey Jr. led Oregon with 16 points, Paul White added 13 and Payton Pritchard contributed 10.
Coach Dana Altman gave all nine scholarship players significant action with everyone playing at least 15 minutes and Bailey Jr. playing the most with 33 minutes. Freshman Louis King, Francis Okoro and Miles Norris Jr. received their most extensive action of the year. King, a 5-star recruit, made his first start and is just about at full strength. He’s still getting his shot together but his form and range are solid. He’s long and continues to take up a lot of space on defense and is active on both ends of the boards. Today he scored nine points on 4-of-12 shooting and pulled down six rebounds over 24 minutes.
Okoro, the strongest Duck at 6-9 and a solid 235 pounds, was efficient with seven points and six rebounds over 19 minutes. He continues to look more comfortable on offense while taking up space in the post on defense. Okoro had a nice dunk on a pass from Pritchard. He’ll provide help inside the rest of the season. Norris Jr., recently pulled off a potential redshirt year, provides Oregon with another tall (6-10), skilled player who can play multiple positions. Today he logged 15 minutes, scored four points and grabbed four rebounds. He had a nice dunk off an offensive rebound and made a nice floater. He’ll provide more depth inside and on the wing moving forward.
Oregon had a 40-24 edge in rebounding with a +10 edge on the offensive boards. They had a +12 edge in points in the paint. Next up for Oregon (8-3) is a trip to Waco, Texas to face Baylor on Friday at 6pm in an ESPN2 game.