oregon men's basketball

Oregon hoops leads national rankings

The senior class signings are No. 1 according to ESPN
Staff Report

In spite of all the challenges college athletics have had to handle this year, the prospects of coming seasons have not stopped, and the Oregon men's team has assumed a special place in national respect - it's recruiting class of current high school seniors is ranked No. 1 by ESPN.

Staff writers Jeff Borzello and Adam Finkelstein named the Ducks No. 1 earlier this week, topping all the traditional recruiting powers such as Duke, Louisville and Kentucky.

“Recruiting didn’t skip a beat, despite coaches not being able to see prospects in person and being forced to conduct recruitments entirely via phone and video," the duo wrote. "The 2021 class is still relatively on pace with previous classes, as 70 prospects in the ESPN 100 are already committed. So we have a strong idea of how the top recruiting classes in the country are going to stack up.”

Oregon coach Dana Altman has enticed two of the top centers in the nation - Nathan Bittle and Franck Kepnang, rated No. 2 and 4 among centers. Another signee, Johnathan Lawson, is among the top forwards. All three are rated at 47th or higher in overall Top 100 recruits.

 

Pritchard keeps on winning

Ducks senior named Player of the Year
Staff Report

Payton Pritchard has added again to his mancave of basketball spoils.

After being named a first-team All-American Tuesday, Pritchard was named the recipient of the 2019-20 Lute Olson Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top Division I player, Wednesday by CollegeInsider.com.

Pritchard is the first player from the Pac-12 to win the award.

The 2020 Pac-12 Player of the Year was one of just three players nationally to average at least 20 points, four rebounds and five assists per game and was one of just four players nationally who led his conference in both scoring (20.5 points per game) and assists (5.6 per game).

He joined Gary Payton (Oregon State, 1989-90), Damon Stoudamire (Arizona, 1994-95) and Jason Terry (Arizona, 1998-99) as the only players in conference history to lead the league in both scoring and assists. Like Pritchard, the previous three players to do that were all consensus first team All-Americans and Payton and Terry were National Players of the Year.
Pritchard also led the league with 88 three-pointers, joining Stoudamire (112) as the only players to top all three categories in the same season.

Pritchard helped Oregon to an outright Pac-12 regular season title, the Duck’s third in the last five years. Oregon finished 24-7 overall (13-5 in the conference).

Named Oregon’s first consensus first team All-American in 80 years on Tuesday, Pritchard has been named a first team All-American by nine different organizations this season.

Pritchard is one of five national finalists for both the Naismith Trophy and the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. He is also one of 15 student-athletes on the Wooden Award National Ballot.

Named the national player of the week by three different organizations this season (Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy, NCAA.com) and twice named Pac-12 player of the week, Pritchard led the nation with 140 consecutive starts.

He is the only player in Pac-12 history with 1,900 career points, 600 career assists and 500 career rebounds.

Pritchard finished his career as school record holder in assists (659), wins (105) games played (144) and games started (140). He ranks second in both UO career steals with 211 and three-pointers with 288. His 1,938 career points rank fourth all-time at Oregon.

Pritchard scored at least 20 points against 10 different Pac-12 opponents this season.

He was voted the Pac-12 Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2019, when he led the Ducks to four wins and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, where they reached the Sweet 16.

The award is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.
 
Lute Olson Award Winners
2020 Payton Pritchard, Oregon
2019 Ja Morant, Murray State
2018 Jalen Brunson, Villanova
2017 Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
2016 Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
2015 Cameron Payne, Murray State
2014 Doug McDermott, Creighton
2013 Shane Larkin, Miami
2012 Doug McDermott, Creighton
2011 Kemba Walker, Connecticut
2010 Sherron Collins, Kansas

Oregon finally overcomes

No. 14 Ducks end three-game skid to Oregon State
Staff Report

The Oregon men's basketball team got back on track - in-state anyway - with its drive to own the Pac-12 Conference Thursday by beating Oregon State, 69-54, at Matthew Night Arena in Eugene.

It wasn't a surprise as Oregon entered ranked No. 14, while Oregon State entered just above .500. But, the Beavers had won the past three contests with the Ducks, including a 63-53 decision at Gill Coliseum earlier in the month. Hot shooting in the second half, though, helped Oregon pull away and end that particular skid on the way to moving back atop the conference standings.

Oregon improved to 22-7 overall, 11-5 in conference games, and into a tie with UCLA for the PAc-12 lead. The Ducks have home games with California and Stanford next week to round out the regular season.

Oregon State dropped to 15-13, 5-11 with home games against Stanford and Cal next week.

Senior Payton Pritchard, as he has nearly the entire season, led Oregon with 23 points, including 15 in the second half. Will Richardson added 15 points and Anthony Mathis had 13 for Oregon, which led just 29-25 at the half.

Ethan Thompson and Tres Tinkle combined for 29 points to lead the Beavers, who hit six of 20 3-point shots. Oregon hit 11 of 23 - 5-of-9 by Pritchard.

 

Ducks, Beavers await tournament pairings

4CAST: NCAA women, Oregon men, Blazers, Thorns
Staff report

The Oregon and Oregon State women's basketball programs will get their official NCAA Tournament placements tonight, giving their fans and end to more than a week of waiting.

The Ducks won the Pac-12 Tournament title last weekend for the first time, a day after Oregon State's regular season ended. The Ducks are likely to receive their highest tournament seed in the program's history.

Oregon, 30-4, enters the tournament ranked No. 6 nationally, and with a nine-game win streak. The Ducks were a 10 seed last year, but played into the Elite Eight before losing to Connecticut 90-52.

Oregon State, 23-7, is ranked 13th. The Beavers were a No. 2 seed last year, but got knocked out by Florida State in the Sweet 16.

The women's tournament begins on Thursday.

2. OREGON NIT

The Oregon men's basketball team missed out on the NCAA Tournament - Arizona, UCLA and Arizona State received spots - but did get into the NIT and will play host to Rider on Tuesday night at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon reached the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals and is 22-11 overall. Rider, 22-9, won the regular-season title in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title, but missed out on the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament by not winning the MAAC tournament. It's the first-ever meeting between the schools. Rider is located in Lawrenceville, N.J.

3. BLAZERS MIAMI

Portland, in third place in the Western Conference, will put its nine-game win streak up against Miami, the No. 7 team from the Eastern Conference.

The Blazers are 40-26 and two games ahead of fourth-place New Orleans, Minnesota and Oklahoma City.

Miami is 36-31 and has a two-game win streak.

4. PORTLAND THORNS PRESEASON

The Portland Thorns lost their first of three preseason games Sunday, 1-0, to the Chicago Red Stars at Merlo Field. The team plays again Wednesday and Saturday Merlo Field in preparation for the start of the season, March 24. Wednesday's game is against the U.S. National Under-23 squad.

ALSO

The Portland Winterhawks rebounded from Saturday's loss with a 2-0 victory over Everett at the Moda Center, and have three games remaining in the regular season. The Hawks play again Friday against Seattle at the Moda Center.

 

 

Oregon men beat ASU, Arizona next

Pac-12 men's basketball, women's basketball, Blazers, Timbers
Staff report

The Oregon men's basketball team opened a key weekend with a 75-68 win over Arizona State Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, but now comes the big game: Arizona.

The Ducks take on the Wildcats Saturday night in a nationally-televised game on ESPN in what is effectively a playoff-preview.

Oregon's pair of losses last weekend in Los Angeles dropped it out of contention for second place in the Pac-12 Conference and put the team in a win-or-else situation to reach the NCAA Tournament. Oregon needs to win the conference tournament and Arizona (23-6, 14-1) is atop the conference standings ranked No. 14 in the nation.

Game time is 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

Elijah Brown led the Ducks (18-10, 8-7) Thursday with 19 points and seven rebounds. He hit eight of his 12 field-goal attempts.

Oregon State (13-14, 5-10) lost to Arizona 75-65 in Corvallis Thursday and takes on Arizona State Saturday at 5 p.m.

Both Oregon schools close out their regular season next week with games in Washington.

The conference tournament begins March 7 in Las Vegas.

2. DUCKS SEEK CONFERENCE TITLE

The Oregon women's basketball team, having moved up to No. 8 in the nation, is two wins from taking the conference regular-season title, with only games at Arizona State tonight and Arizona Sunday in the way. Oregon is 25-4, 14-2, and a game ahead of Stanford in the conference standings.

No. 12 Oregon State (21-6, 12-4) takes its five-game win streak to Arizona tonight and Arizona State on Sunday.

3. BLAZERS BACK IN ACTION

Portland's All-Star Game break ends tonight with a game at Utah followed by a game at Phoenix Saturday night. The Blazers enter the weekend two games ahead of the Jazz in the Western Conference standings.

With Oklahoma City winning Thursday night, the Blazers dropped a full game out of fifth place in the Western Conference standings, but the Los Angeles Clippers lost at Golden State and dropped a half-game further behind the Blazers in the race for the eight playoff spots.

4. TIMBERS NAME FINAL PRESEASON OPPONENT

The Portland Timbers will take on Sporting Kansas City Saturday in their final preseason match at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.

Portland's eighth season in Major League Soccer begins March 4 in Los Angeles against the Galaxy.

 

 

Oregon makes another sales pitch

Ducks hand UCLA loss before sellout crowd
Staff report

EUGENE - Oregon got 25 points, including four key free throws, from sophomore point guard Payton Pritchard, and beat UCLA 94-91 Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon, which improved to 13-7 overall, and 3-4 in Pac-12 games, led by as many as 18 points in the second half before the Bruins rallied to within 88-77 with a 10-0 run in the final two minutes, and the game became a free-throw battle.

Oregon made all six of its free throws, while UCLA, 13-7 and 4-4, countered by making all four of its attempts.

The Bruins missed a half-court shot at the buzzer.

Oregon’s win came a year after it beat the Bruins on a last-second 3-pointer, which was part of a stirring run to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four.

This season, the Ducks are essentially a long-shot to make the Tournament for a sixth-straight season.

MiKyle McIntosh and Victor Bailey Jr. had 18 points each for the Ducks Saturday. Troy Brown added 17 points.

The Ducks had three players in double figures by halftime and led 52-38 at the break. They shot 55.6 percent (20 of 36) from the field and had zero first-half turnovers.

Oregon returns to action Saturday with a home game against Oregon State, looking to square the in-state series after the Beavers won the first meeting in Corvallis in December.

 

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