Everything seemed to be going the way of the Oregon Ducks early in February, but as the final stretch of the year took its course, their opportunity to claim a Pac-12 Conference regular season title quickly slipped away.
Now the Ducks must prepare for the Pac-12 Conference Tournament having lost back-to-back and three of their last five overall. Oregon has lost some of their momentum down the stretch following losses to both Colorado and Utah last week, backing their way into a tournament that should provide tons of excitement for west coast fans.
At 23-8 overall, Oregon has gone above and beyond preseason expectations, emerging as a legitimate threat out west this season. However, the catalyst in their most recent losses has been their offense, or lack thereof.
A 2-3 record over the course of the last five games pretty much tells the story. In their victories, Oregon averaged 81 points per game, but in the three losses, their offensive numbers were well down by comparison. The Ducks managed just 53.7 points per game in those defeats.
No, Oregon does not have standout scorer, but that’s been their game all season long. The Ducks do not have to rely on one or even two guys to carry them on the offensive end, they have won games this year based on a balanced approach. In order for Oregon to make some noise this postseason, they need to find their niche down the closing stretch.
Oregon has the capability to win the Pac-12 Tournament, but they will need to control the tempo and pace their sets in the half court in order to accomplish that goal.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS