After narrowly dropping each of its previous two games against Stanford and Cal, the Washington men’s basketball team is looking to get back on track in Pac-12 play as they prepare to take on No. 8 Oregon and Oregon State at home.
3 numbers to know
34.7: Only one team in the Pac-12 averages fewer rebounds per game than Oregon State, who secure just 34.7 each contest. The Huskies, ranked ninth in the conference in rebounding, are not much better. When the two face off, whichever team is more effective in controlling the glass will likely end up on top when the final buzzer sounds.
39.4: The Ducks are shooting lights out from beyond the arc. At 39.4%, Oregon leads the Pac-12 in three-point percentage and is ranked 10th nationwide. With three players shooting at a mark of at least 40%, the Ducks pose a great threat to teams unable to guard the three. It will be interesting to see how Mike Hopkins’ patented zone defense fares against this high-octane attack.
11.4: Offensively, the Beavers have been efficient with the ball, turning it over just 11.4 times per game. Contrarily, the Huskies lead the Pac-12 in turnovers, averaging almost four more. Should these trends continue, Oregon State will likely be rewarded with a number of extra possessions which could alter the outcome of the game.
2 players to watch
Payton Pritchard – Oregon guard
After electing to withdraw from last year’s NBA Draft and return to Eugene for his senior season, Pritchard is quickly garnering attention as a College Basketball Player of the Year candidate. The Oregon native is averaging 19.2 points and 5.9 assists per game on a Ducks team seeking to defend their 2019 Pac-12 Tournament championship.
Last month, Pritchard put the entire country on notice in an overtime upset victory over then-No. 5 Michigan, in which he scored 15 of the team’s final 17 points. If the Huskies have any chance of defeating Oregon, they’ll need to find a way to slow Pritchard down, which could prove especially difficult following the loss of sophomore point guard Quade Green.
Tres Tinkle – Oregon State forward
In his final season with the Beavers, Tinkle, the son of OSU head coach Wayne Tinkle, is second in the Pac-12 in scoring with 19.9 points per game while shooting over 51% from the field. The 6-foot-7 forward, who leads the team in points, rebounds, and steals, is quickly closing in on the school’s all-time points record, set 30 years ago by Hall of Famer Gary Payton.
Tinkle, who was named First-Team All-Pac-12 in each of the past two seasons, has scored in double figures in 81 straight contests. His ability to impact games in more ways than one makes him one of the conferences most exciting players.
1 recap of last week
Following a narrow victory over Arizona, Pritchard led the way for Oregon in its matchup against Arizona State, tying a career-high with 29 points in a 78-69 victory. He shot 6-of-9 from beyond the three-point line and made all five of his free throw attempts. Junior guard Chris Duarte added another 20 points as the Ducks were able to maintain their perfect home record.
For Oregon State, it was a tale of two halves in an 82-65 home win against Arizona. After a disappointing loss to Arizona State, the Beavers outscored the Wildcats by 17 points over the game’s final 20 minutes. Tinkle finished with 20 points, while junior guard Ethan Thompson contributed 18 points and 8 assists of his own to finish the weekend with a split.
Reach reporter James Price at email@example.com. Twitter: @_jamesprice_
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