Oregon’s rebounding issues could be put to the test in Bahamas – 247Sports

Posted: November 23, 2019 at 12:21 pm

After Friday nights win over Houston, the Ducks find themselves 5-0 on the young season, just before an onslaught of tough opponents.

In Oregons next five games, they will have to take on No. 13 Seton Hall, No. 8 Gonzaga, potentially No. 5 UNC, Hawaii and then take on Michigan in Ann Arbor. This non-conference schedule is one of the hardest in recent memories for the Ducks but this team seems up to the task.

Against those five teams, Oregon will have to showcase a side of their team that has only flashed in spurts. In order to win those games, Oregon is going to have to show the nation that they can rebound and limit second-chance opportunities against their competition.

Against another top tier team in Memphis, Oregon was outrebounded 41-39 but the Tigers had 24 second-chance points to Oregons 14. On Friday night against Houston, Oregon was outrebounded by 12 (38-26) and the Cougars finished with 21 second-chance points compared to Oregons four. Yes, the Ducks won both games handily, but if Oregon could cut their opponents second-chance points in half, the games could be over by halftime.

In the first half, Oregon was outrebounded by nine, including allowing 10 offensive rebounds to the Cougars. The results directly translated as Houston finished the half with 13 second-chance points. Oregon would go on to finish the first half with a lead of five points but Houston was held to just 35% shooting and was just 1-for-11 from deep. Houston scored 16 of their 27 first-half points in the paint, showing Oregons lack of a dominant rebounding presence.

Cut those second-chance points down and Oregon could have blown Houston out earlier in the game. The second half was more of the same story, as Oregon was outrebounded by three (16-13) but allowed seven offensive rebounds and eight second-chance points. Oregon was able to stretch the lead with their terrific perimeter defense and Houstons questionable shot choices but the rebounding trend never left.

In the first four games of the season, Oregons guards were persistent in coming down from the perimeter to help rebound. Tonight, the guards, Payton Pritchard, Anthony Mathis, Chris Duarte, and Will Richardson combined for just 10 rebounds and seven of them came in the second half.

The main thing to look at is Oregon still continues to win against good competition while being out-rebounded and outmanned down low. The team will need to address this in the future and maybe the combination of CJ Walker and Shakur Juiston is the answer.

Both are great athletes who play hard and rely on their athleticism to propel them into good scenarios.

Walker already has an eight-rebound game on the year and Juiston is averaging just under six rebounds a game. Francis Okoro only managed to grab four rebounds against Houston, well below his season average of 8.3, but Oregon will need him to continue to grab those eight rebounds or get that average to trend upwards.

"I thought our defense if we didn't give them the second shots, our first-shot defense was really good," said Altman. "21 second-chance points really take a lot from that. But they are a very good offensive rebounding team. We have to learn to block better, be more physical on the boards.

While its not official, there is hope along the way. Nfaly Dante, the five-star center out of Kansas, is reportedly set to enroll at the start of Winter term at the University of Oregon which starts December 14th. Oregon will be in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that day but Dante could be exactly what the Ducks need. The 6-foot-11 center would immediately become the tallest player on the Ducks roster, besting the 6-foot-9 Okoro.

Im not saying that the rebound issue will be immediately solved if Dante comes aboard but it should help the Ducks regardless. Adding someone with that size and skillset helps any team in the country, especially one who doesnt necessarily have a true center. So for now, Oregon may continue to struggle with rebounding and second-chance opportunities but help could be on the way.

"This year we have the full package," said Okoro. "We have guys that can score, and we also have guys that are willing to play defense...the guys are buying in. Once everybody understood that talking on defense is the key for us, we got more stops."

Despite the rebounding issue, Oregon still finds itself perfect on the season and has the opportunity to make a national statement in the next two weeks.

The rest is here:

Oregon's rebounding issues could be put to the test in Bahamas - 247Sports

Related Post