The Oregon Ducks men’s basketball team moved to 4-0 on the season after defeating Jacksonville State handily 67-45. Overall, the game was sloppy as the two teams combined for 41 turnovers. The Ducks allowed a season low 45 points to the Gamecocks, and forced a season high 23 turnovers.
Ducks center Tony Woods set career highs with 17 points and 8 field goals. Woods also tied a career high with 5 blocks. The Ducks had three players in double figures with E.J. Singler‘s 11 points, Dominic Artis‘ 10 points and Woods 17 points. And, for the second straight game, the Ducks held their opponent to 20 points at half, under 50 points in the game and under 40 percent from the field.
The Gamecocks were atrocious offensively, finishing below 40 percent in all major shooting categories. Overall Jacksonville State finished shooting 38 percent from the field, 30 percent from the three-point line and 30.8 percent from the free throw line. But even with the Gamecocks’ low shooting totals, Woods knows there are still things the Ducks can improve on defense.
“Communication is big. Just having a present mind and being aware and being into the game every play. That’s just something that we’ve gotta get better at,” Woods said.
After being up 17 at halftime, the Ducks extended their lead to 25 before winning by a final margin of 22 points. Oregon had their highest totals of points off turnovers and second chance points with 27 and 18, respectively. Singler, Oregon’s senior leader, said the Ducks need that type of effort every game.
“That’s pretty good. We need to do that with our pressure defense. We need to score off their turnovers,” Singler said.
On his career performance, Woods looked at the Gamecock’s lack of size as reason for success. The Gamecocks’ biggest starter is 6’7″ Rinaldo Mafra.
“They lacked size inside tonight so we’re able to take advantage of that. I was able to have a good game offensively as well as help my team defensively.” Woods said.
Overall, head coach Dana Altman thought his team did well, but said there will places to improve.
“You see some really good signs at times and other times you’re really disappointed because you make some bad mistakes. We’ve still got a few ways to go and I’ve said that from day one.”
Every Duck saw time on the court during the game, including 10 players seeing action midway through the first half. Altman said there were some problems with playing so many players.
“At some point in time we gotta start making eliminating mistakes or just play fewer guys. We just can’t put guys out there and have them make mistake after mistake,” Altman said. “But in saying that you look at the turnovers and everyone was making them.”
For the second straight game transfer Arsalan Kazemi led the Ducks in rebounding with eight.
“He’s a good player, his instincts are really good. He’s physical on the boards and defensively he anticipates pretty well,” Altman said.
With Kazemi and Woods manning the Ducks backline, they play well off each other. Kazemi’s rebounding and instincts aids Woods to try and use his athleticism to block shots. On the combination of Kazemi and Woods Altman said:
“I think he and Tony together will be a good 1-2 punch.”
With the Ducks going on the road Friday to take on the No. 18 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels in Las Vegas, Singler knows the Ducks have a lot to do to take on the Rebels.
“We’ll still got a lot of do this week to get ready for possibly two top-20 teams.”
In injury news, center Waverly Austin missed the game with a wrist injury but should ready to go Friday. Forward Carlos Emory went out late in the second half after an apparent knee injury. Altman said Emory would be a game-time decision for Friday’s game.