This afternoon, the UCLA Bruins are in Eugene, Oregon for a matinee against the Oregon Ducks. It’s a little surprising that this game is not being played in primetime given that the Bruins and the Ducks are considered the teams to beat in the Pac-12 this season, but I guess ESPN wanted to put it on early for everyone who might take off from work early. Let’s look at the Ducks.
Today’s game is going to be a really tough one for the Bruins. They are facing an experienced Ducks team led by redshirt senior forward Eugene Omoruyi, who is averaging 18.1 points per game. Omoruyi is a reasonable outside threat who is shooting 37% from behind the arc, but he’s more deadly when he shoots, period. He is shooting 48% from the field.
Senior guard Chris Duarte is second on the team with 15.4 points per game. Duarte is a bigger three-point threat that Omoruyi. Not only has he taken more three-point shots than his teammate, but he also makes them at a higher percentage. He is shooting 42.1% from three to go along with his 53.5% overall shooting percentage. The good news is that Duarte has taken few shots attempts than Omoruyi.
The other guy on the Ducks who is averaging in double figures is redshirt junior forward Eric Williams, Jr., who is averaging 12.4 points per game. Williams shoots almost as accurately as Omoruyi, making 36.4% from three and 46.2% from the field. The big difference between them is that Williams takes fewer shots overall. With 7.1 rebounds per game, Williams is one of two Ducks averaging more than 7 rebounds per game.
Rounding out the Ducks’ starters are a pair of senior transfers. Amauri Hardy joined the Ducks this year after spending last year at UNLV while LJ Figueroa comes to the Ducks as a transfer from St. John’s. Figueroa leads the Ducks with 7.2 rebounds per game. Hardy leads the Ducks with 3.9 assists per game.
One Duck who will probably not play today is sophomore center N’Faly Dante.
Meanwhile, the first man off the bench for the Ducks looks to be sophomore forward Chandler Lawson. With a scoring average of 6.1 ppg, Lawson is the only Duck reserve averaging more than 3.0 points per game. So, don’t expect a lot of scoring out of the Ducks’ bench.
While the Bruins lost Saturday’s game against Ohio State, hopefully, it laid the groundwork for the Bruins to bounce back today. Ohio State was a tough team and so is Oregon. So, much like Saturday, I expect this one to come down to the wire and the result may come down to whether or not UCLA head coach Mick Cronin can quickly solve the issues Chris Smith has been having. If the Bruins can have Smith producing, the Ducks could be in trouble, but if his slump continues, the Ducks will probably take today’s game.
The TuneIn player won’t embed here on Substack, but you can open another tab to listen. Today’s game is on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch and Jay Bilas calling the game. If you would prefer to listen to Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray call today’s game instead you can listen to today’s game online.Join your fellow Bruin fans discussing today’s game below.This is your UCLA Bruins at Oregon Ducks game thread.
Opponent: #24/25 Oregon Ducks (6-1, 1-0)
Series Record: UCLA leads, 90-37
When: 12:00 pm PT, Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Where: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR
TV: ESPN2 with Dave Pasch and Jay Bilas
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app
Radio/Audio:AM 570 in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy MurraySatellite Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 373And, of course, here in The Mighty Bruin Game Thread!
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
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