On Sunday evening, Oregon secured yet another victory, their third such win thus far in conference play.
A close game throughout, the Ducks got some space late in the contest thanks to a near-perfect performance from the free throw line to hang on for a 68-65 victory over Arizona State.
At 14-2 overall and 3-0 within the Pac-12, the expectations surrounding this improving Oregon squad has many fans out west thinking about just how good this team can be. Sure, the cream of the crop in the league will remain along the lines of UCLA and Arizona until proven otherwise, but the Ducks are now looking to make a case of their own in the contention discussion. In fact, an upset win just this past Thursday over Arizona only aided that conversation.
A well-balanced attack, the Ducks feature five guys that average double-digit points offensively. That balance was on display yet again on Sunday as head coach Dana Altman probably realized shortly after that final buzzer sounded. Four players finished with 10+ points in the victory, while their leading scorer was not one or even two individuals, but in fact three contributors who each added 14 points, respectively.
Damyean Dotson, Tony Woods, E.J. Singler, Carlos Emory, and Dominic Artis all averaged between 11.6 and 10.1 points per game on the season. There may not be any better offensive balance than that in the country. In addition, Arsalan Kazemi chips in with 8.3 points per game, while leading the team at 9.7 rebounds.
It’s not yet clear just how good or dangerous this Oregon squad can be and it’s likely that more time will be needed to figure that out, but one thing is become more and more apparent: the Ducks are no joke and the Pac-12 Conference needs to be on watch as the league schedule rolls along.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS