Eugene, OR – The Oregon Ducks returned just one starter and three players from last season’s Final Four team. It showed in their season opening 70-54 win over Coppin State. Their second half ball movement was not good, they settled too often for three-point shots and their defense clearly needs more effort and improvement. Even so, with senior first-time starter Roman Sorkin having a career night, Oregon’s performance was good enough for a win against an over-matched opponent.
The 6-10 Sorkin bettered his career high of 15 points by halftime with 18 first half points. He picked up two quick fouls early in the second half which limited his time for the rest of the game. Even so, Sorkin finished with 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-5 from deep in 24 minutes of action. He also added seven rebounds, two assists and a block. He was squared up and ready to shoot on his 3’s and rolled to the hoop a few times for dunks. It’s just one game but if Oregon can decent production from Sorkin this season it will really help a team lacking in size.
Troy Brown showed why most experts feel he may only be in Eugene for a year. The 6-7 Brown worked as a secondary point guard and took the reins of the offense when Payton Pritchard was out of the game. Brown is unselfish, sees the court extremely well, knows how to use his athleticism and has a sturdy body. Brown finished with 18 points, five rebounds and two assists. He shot 2-of-7 on three-pointers which is an area of his game he needs to work on.
The 6-2 Pritchard had a solid game with ten points, a team-high eight rebounds and four assists vs. only one turnover. If anything he needs to be somewhat more assertive on offense as he only took seven shots in this game. The two graduate transfers, Elijah Brown and MiKyle McIntosh both had off games. They shot a combined 5-of-21 including 0-of-9 from deep. Not including Sorkin, the Ducks shot 4-of-24 on three-pointers. 6-9 transfer Paul White was held out of the game due to a minor foot injury. 6-10 M.J. Cage, who left the team for awhile to contemplate his future and returned to practice last week, did not see any action.
Led by Sorkin, Oregon ran out to a 42-14 halftime lead highlighted by 25 points in the last six minutes and a 15-point run. Coppin State shot 4-of-25 in the half. Oregon’s offense then went stagnant through much of the second half enabling Coppin State to get within ten points with about three minutes to play. Oregon closed it out helped by a nice block and basket by McIntosh.
Oregon opens the season with four, what should be easy games, before heading to the PK80 event in Portland over Thanksgiving weekend. Next up will be Prairie View A&M on Monday night. Prairie View is coming off an 83-62 loss to Utah.
We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout certification program. For information contact us and forward your resume.