After entering the AP top ten for the first time since 2007 the Oregon Ducks have now lost two straight games to unranked opponents. Their latest loss came Saturday afternoon on the road to the Cal Bears and it made for a winless Bay Area road trip for the Ducks.
The main takeaway from their two losses to Stanford and Cal is the fact that the Ducks sorely miss injured point guard Dominic Artis. At the beginning of their road trip it was announced that Artis would be out indefinitely with a foot injury and would at least miss the Cardinal and Bears games. Now, after losing two straight, it is easy to see exactly what Artis means to Oregon’s success this season.
After the injury the question was how much would Oregon struggle without their point man and now it’s safe to say that the Ducks are lost without him. With Artis in the lineup Oregon is a threat beyond the three point line but without him Oregon’s outside threat is non-existent. Another major cog in the Ducks’ offense is their inside-outside game but as you can imagine that is also severely diminished without Artis.
In today’s game against Cal they played a lot better than they did at Stanford but it still wasn’t enough. So where do the Ducks go from here? Well, Artis still figures to be out for the next game or two so Oregon will have to continue practicing with who’s healthy and try to form a rhythm with those guys. Johnathan Lloyd has played hard filling in for Artis but his inability to shoot has been a weakness that other teams have exposed.
Oregon needs to regroup as their next game comes at home against an angry and hungry Colorado team that lost a tough game to last-place Utah. If Oregon can’t get it together soon, their season can snow ball on them and they could end up in the middle of the pack in the conference.