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Justin Phillips

Justin Phillips

News/Sports Reporter for Newsradio 1120 KPNW and Lead Editor for Fansided's AutzenZoo.com - Originally from Philadelphia(Penn State Graduate). I write about Oregon Athletics and Occasionally the Pac 12. Proud to be a voice on EDN!
jp@eugenedailynews.comhttps://www.facebook.com/jus10phillipsJustinPhillips

Ducks Enter Tough Pac 12 Conference – Escape Road Mostly Unscathed

The Oregon Ducks Football team just finished off an 11-2 season with a 30-7 victory over Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Now that their season is complete it’s time to focus on another sport that is worthy of your attention. The Ducks Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs are off to solid starts in 2013 and look to continue into the new year.

photo by Don Olson

photo by Don Olson

Dana Altman has his club undefeated to finish out the year after beating Morgan State on Sunday afternoon, however there is still work to do for this team specifically on defense. Two players who were suspended for the first nine games of the season Dominic Artis and Ben Carter are still looking to find their way back to 100 percent during games and Altman said they will have to pick things up quick in practice and during games. I’m sure he did not think they would necessarily be doing it during the toughest stretch of the season coming up with five of their next six away from Matthew Knight Arena and on the road at Utah and Colorado, who have both started out the season on hot streaks.

The Utes(11-1)rank third in the nation in points per game with just over 87 and have yet to take on a ranked team this season. Colorado has started the year 11-2 and ranks 20th in the Associated Press poll currently. The Buffs two losses came at the hands of Baylor and Oklahoma State, both ranked at the time.

Both teams will look to knock off the Ducks and Oregon needs to get better on defense quickly. Colorado seems to be a thorn in the side for this team. Hopefully they can overcome their recent history with the Buffs to remain among the nation’s elite.

On the other side of the coin the Oregon Women’s team has been impressive. Last season at this time they were 2-9 and irrelevant. This year is a different story. 9-2 to start, including a victory on Sunday evening against Cal State Northridge and another weekly honor, this time for Freshman Chrishae Rowe who ranks 2nd in the Pac 12 in scoring with 24.5 points per game. She had 28 against CSN. It is also the fourth time this season she has received the award.

Drea Toler driving the baseline Photo - Dave Peaks

Drea Toler driving the baseline
Photo – Dave Peaks

Like the Oregon Men they begin conference play on the road, against 11-1 Stanford and 8-3 Cal this week. In his post game press conference on Sunday Oregon Coach Paul Westhead said that the Cardinal was the best team in the conference and the Ducks will go in and play their game.

Sophomore Jillian Alleyne said following the game that with Oregon being picked to finish last in the Conference that the Ducks definitely have something to prove. They have scored over 100 points in seven of their games this season and Westhead’s system is working. The Ducks need to take it to the next level. After having seveal losing seasons now is the time for this team to show what it can do. The upcoming road trip will be a tough test for a young team.

Both teams have post season aspirations come March and this upcoming weekend could certainly tell the tale of how far the Oregon Men and Women could go when the Madness begins.

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