Oregon Ducks (9-3) vs Washington State Cougars (8-4)
The Oregon Ducks are one of several impostor teams across the nation that have posted impressive records by gobbling up easy victories in the early part of their schedule.
Thursday December 29
Wallis Beasley Performing Arts Center
Moneyline: Washington State -260, Oregon +220
Spread: Washington State -7
It may look better on paper but this team has lost all three of its games against major competition – all by double digits. Many thought the Ducks could be a sleeper in the PAC 12 this year but I am not sure why. They have a couple of nice players but have already lost their top frosh to a transfer. Nike may be a hoops power but Oregon is not…yet.
The best thing going for the Ducks right now is the play of transfer guard Devoe Joseph. Since joining the lineup he has been averaging a team best 14ppg and has scored in double figures in every contest. The senior from Canada gives the Ducks another perimeter threat but doesn’t address the fact that this team is woefully thin up front. They don’t have a single player averaging even 5 boards a game and fellow Canadian transfer Olu Ashaolu (from Louisiana Tech) has so far been a bust.
The Washington State Cougars are a lot like the Ducks in that they have been amassing wins without really being tested. So much so that their best game to date might have been an 8 point loss to in-state mid major power Gonzaga, who was ranked 23rd at the time. That was their first game of the season so you would hope that they didn’t peak too early. They were able to compete because they received balanced scoring with 5 players reaching double figures.
Washington State has had a week off since beating Pepperdine and has a chance to get off to a good start as they host Oregon and then Oregon State to open conference play. The duo of guard Faisal Aden and forward Brock Motum has been solid but now they need other players to step up. If they are going to make any noise in a pretty meek PAC 12 they need point guard Reggie Moore to step up. His assists are up this year but his scoring has declined since his freshman season. They need him to be aggressive and become a reliable source of ten or more points.
Spread Pick: Washington State -7
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Washington State 75 – Oregon 68