Don't look now, War is back
(The Register-Guard) After Oregon's 80-72 loss at Oregon State last month, coach Dana Altman told his team not to watch film of the game.
As the teams prepare for a rematch today, most of the Ducks have still avoided reviewing the game, in which they shot 37.9 percent from the field, including a season-worst 21.1 percent on three-pointers, and were outrebounded 42-34.
"I didn't watch it, but I know it's pretty bad," junior guard Joseph Young said.
Senior guard Johnathan Loyd couldn't stop himself from putting the tape in recently.
"As a team we didn't watch it, but I watched a couple days ago to see what happened, what we did," he said. "We took some bad shots on the offensive end, we didn't rebound well and defensively, we let them do what they wanted to do. We didn't stay true to the scouting report, and that is something we'll focus on this game."
Altman and his staff watched the film and saw plenty to correct.
"Multiple things went wrong there," assistant coach Tony Stubblefield said. "We fouled too much, I think they shot 33 free throws. Their big guys hurt us, we didn't convert.
"We made silly plays down the stretch, and they took advantage of that."
The rematch comes today when Oregon (15-8, 3-8) hosts Oregon State (13-10, 5-6) at noon.
"We're coming out with a different mentality," Young said. "Last time we played them, I felt like we were a team, but not like we are now. We are putting the work in and taking steps."
Today, Oregon begins the final stretch of the regular season with five of seven games at home. Four of those home games are against teams that beat the Ducks by eight points or fewer on the road this season.
"It's going to be a big game for us," Loyd said of OSU. "It's the homestretch, and we've got a couple games at home. We can't let them get us at our house."
Oregon's only lead against OSU was 2-0, and the Ducks never got closer than five points in the second half.
That was the last game in which Oregon did not give itself a realistic chance to win in the final minute.
Its four losses since then have been by a combined 10 points, but those close games haven't been enough to stop the Ducks from falling into 10th place in the Pac-12.
"When you lose, you either take the next step or bow down," Young said. "The last few games we have lost by two points, and I like our intensity and effort. I still think we can turn this season around."
OSU is two games and one spot in the standings ahead of Oregon, and the Beavers are trying to get back to .500 in conference play after two straight losses in Arizona last weekend.
The Ducks and Beavers have contrasting looks. Oregon State starts 6-foot-10 forwards Eric Moreland and Angus Brandt, and 6-8 Devon Collier comes off the bench. The Ducks normally start two 6-8 forwards with three guards.
Oregon State's size bothered the Ducks in the first meeting. Moreland had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Brandt had 14 points.
Senior guard Roberto Nelson led the the Beavers with 22 points.
"They have good bigs inside, good guards," Stubblefield said. "They have good size and length."
Oregon has hinted that it might use its smaller line-up to apply a fullcourt press against the Beavers.
"We have to use our quickness," Stubblefield said. "Our guards have to play well. That is the strength of our team, and we have to use that against them."
Oregon had a season-low six assists against the Beavers, one of only two times all year that the Ducks finished with fewer than 10 in a game.
"This time I think we will share the ball more," Young said. "The last time, everybody tried to get their own. In the last week of practice, we've all been finding each other."
Oregon's past five losses, beginning with the game at Corvallis, all came against teams that the Ducks still have on the schedule as they take one last shot at turning around their season.
"We're a different team," Loyd said. "Even though we haven't really shown it as much yet, we are a different team. This will be a completely different game than it was last time."
Click here to visit our news partner.