Oregon was playing Seton Hall to open up the Battle 4 Atlantis, and things were not pretty for Oregon most of the night. The Ducks saw themselves down as much as 19. However, the team showed no quit, and they were able to pull out a 71-69 win.
Oregon Stuns Seton Hall
C.J. Walker With a Breakout Game
It has been a tough start to the season for five-stare freshman C.J. Walker. However, in this game, he enjoyed his breakout game.
Overall Walker finished with 12 points and five rebounds. He also knocked down a three-point shot.
Not seen in the box score was Walker’s ability to play the point of the press. His length disrupted Seton Hall when Oregon was able to set up the press. Whether it was with a deflection or just simply forcing the Pirates to slow down and take some time getting into their offense.
He also had a big block on Pirates star Myles Powell in the final minutes.
Overall Walker was very active in this game and it was by far the most comfortable he’s looked. If he is going to play this role for Oregon, it will allow them to go to the next level.
Responding to Adversity
As mentioned, this game was not going Oregon’s way. The Pirates couldn’t miss from the three-point line in the first few minutes of the second half.
It would’ve been easy to fold up shop and move on to a game against Southern Miss tomorrow. However, this team had no interest in doing that.
Dana Altman made a switch to a man-to-man defense, and Payton Pritchard did an excellent job on Powell. The Ducks also did a good job on the glass, especially with the size advantage that the Pirates had.
In fact, offensive rebounding was what largely allowed Oregon to get back into the game. The Ducks pulled in 15 offensive rebounds in the game, and the game-winning lay-up by Shakur Juiston was on an offensive rebound after a missed shot by Pritchard.
This team is clearly not afraid to do the dirty work and isn’t going to panic when things get tough, and those are great qualities for a team to have.
Free-Throw Shooting Remains a Concern
In the win over Houston, Oregon had a much better game from the free-throw line. However, the free-throw issues that existed in the first four games, were present in a big way in this game.
Things got slightly better in the second half, but overall the team was 16/28 in this game from the line.
That’s just not going to be good enough. This team has aspirations of going deep in the NCAA Tournament in March and winning a Pac-12 title. However, it’s going to be hard to do those things if they don’t improve from the line.
What a Performance by Myles Powell
Wow, that was an impressive performance and he deserves a tip of the cap for his performance in this game.
It’s not hard to see why he was a preseason All-American.
Oregon Surprises Seton Hall: Overall Thoughts
Oregon is building quite the resume. They already have two wins over ranked teams, with another quality win over Houston, and UT-Arlington was picked second in the Sun Belt.
Now, they will play Gonzaga on Thursday with a chance to pick up another huge win. And it’s another great opportunity for this team, which seems ahead of schedule for a Dana Altman team, to continue to improve.
Top Photo: Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports