Well, what a difference a week can make, as things have quickly turned south for the Ducks with back-to-back losses. Following a blow out defeat on the road at Stanford on Thursday, Oregon fell yet again on Saturday, this time to the California Golden Bears.
The common theme that is blossoming amongst the Ducks’ back-to-back losses however, has been their turnovers. The loss of freshman point guard Dominic Artis did not affect Oregon from a securing a win back on Jan. 26, but it has become obvious that the Ducks were indeed missing his production and control this past week.
Since Artis’ injury, Oregon is 1-2 overall, dipping on Saturday to 18-4 overall and 7-2 within the conference. The back-to-back losses come on a week in which the Ducks had poll vaulted all the way up to No. 10 in the rankings. That will obviously change come Monday afternoon.
As for that common theme since the loss of Artis, the Ducks averaged 21 turnovers per game this week, resulting in those back-to-back losses. In addition to that, the team’s turnover-to-assist ratio has not been pretty. In the blow out loss to Stanford, the Ducks turned the ball over 20 times, while recording only four assists. On Saturday, things were a little bit better in terms of their ratio, but 22 turnovers was more than costly. The Ducks recorded 14 assists in their 58-54 loss to Cal.
It’s obvious that Oregon needs Artis back and the health of the freshman guard may ultimately hold the key to the Ducks’ postseason potential and success.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS