On Thursday at 8:00 PM PT on ESPN2, Stanford menâs basketball will welcome the Oregon Ducks to The Farm. Stanford comes in at 12-13 overall and 7-8 in the Pac-12 while Oregon comes in at 17-8 overall and 9-5 in the Pac-12.
Last time out: On Saturday, Stanford fell to Washington State by a final score of 72-59 in Pullman. Stanford led with around 10 minutes left, but then faded away.
RECAP: Stanford MBB fades at Wazzu
On Oregon: The Ducks are having a solid season, hoping to get in position for an NCAA tournament berth. They have a bit of work to do, but theyâre still in the mix. Theyâve been really strong at home, going 11-2 while struggling away from Eugene with a 6-6 record in road/neutral site games combined. Most recently, they defeated Oregon State on the road by a final score of 60-58.
The Ducks have gotten a big boon from the return of senior big man NâFaly Dante, who is averaging 15.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Senior guard Jermaine Couisnard (14.8 points & 4.5 rebounds) and freshman guard Jackson Shelstad (12.1 points) are also scoring in double figures, doing a nice job of taking the pressure off Dante.
As a team, the Ducks average 76.3 points per game on 45.6% shooting from the field, 35.6% shooting from 3-point range, and 70.5% shooting from the foul line. They average 34.7 rebounds, 14.0 assists, 7.2 steals, 3.6 blocks, and 10.6 turnovers per game. They also average a +1.0 rebound margin and a +2.0 turnover margin per game. Their opponents average 71.9 points per game on 45.1% shooting from the field, 34.0% shooting from 3-point range, and 71.8% shooting from the foul line.
Keys to the game: For Stanford, the first thing they need to do is contain Dante. Heâs one of the best big men in the league and is very physical inside. This is a game where Stanford big man Maxime Raynaud needs to play big inside, get rebounds, and not get pushed around. A good dose of James Keefe would be nice for Stanford as heâs the most physical post player on the team.
The second thing Stanford needs to do is avoid offensive lulls. What often does Stanford in is having a scoring drought of 4+ minutes. If Stanford can avoid those and stay in a good offensive flow all night, that will help them a ton. In short, this just means they need to make sure they get a bucket when they really need to get a bucket.
Finally, Stanford needs to do make sure they defend the perimeter. Teams too often are able to make threes on Stanford in key moments. They need to make sure they defend the perimeter well and donât give away easy looks. If they play tight defense on the perimeter, theyâll have a good chance to win this game.
Prediction: This is a toss-up game. I could see this one going either way. Iâll give the edge to Stanford because they are at home and I also think theyâll be extra fired up since they lost their last two games. Theyâre really not going to want to drop this one. Stanford 80 Oregon 78 is how I see this one ending.
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