Oregon Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Oregon Ducks
Pac-12 (26-8, 12-6)

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The Oregon Ducks are making basketball news this season for something other than their gym floor. (I’ve been told it is supposed to be a forest of trees even if it looks more like a pile of sawdust.) This is probably the first time Oregon has been a basketball story since Aaron Brooks and Tajuan Porter were balling together half a dozen years ago. The Ducks are being talked about because they made it into the top 25 rankings this season on the back of three big-time wins and a team that has reestablished what it means to share the load. Knocked a bit off course by three straight losses at the end of January and beginning of February, Oregon was able to right the ship and get themselves back into the Pac-12 Conference discussion. With the likes of Arizona, UCLA and perennial basketball powers, it is amazing Oregon was able to put together such a successful season. Maybe they aren’t just a football school anymore.

Big Wins: 11/23 at UNLV (83-79), 1/10 Arizona (70-66), 1/19 at UCLA (76-67)
Bad Losses: 12/19 at UTEP (84-91), 1/30 at Stanford (52-76), 3/09 at Utah (62-72)
Coach: Dana Altman (3 seasons at Oregon)

Why They Can Surprise:
When opposing coaches create a game plan to stop the team they will face, oftentimes they focus on a player or two who can generate the most trouble for them. A defense will be adjusted to take away what these threats can do. I’m not exactly sure how an opposing coach goes about preparing to play Oregon. Perhaps they start by going through a list of Ducks players their guys will NOT have to worry about. That list is shorter. As it stands, Oregon plays nine men double-figure minutes per game. Seven of those nine tabulate over 20 minutes per game. And their top six scorers all average between 8 and 12 points per contest. Good luck trying to figure out who to focus on. Along with a well-rounded scoring punch, Oregon also has some specialists that can do damage. Arsalan Kazemi, the senior forward from Iran who played his first three years at Rice University, is one of the Ducks who garners 20+ minutes per game. In those minutes, he makes a habit of collecting a double-double. Through the latter quarter of the season, his minutes have picked up and his production has come up with it. Although he doesn’t block shots like you would expect from a team’s leading rebounder, he actually led the Ducks in steals instead, nabbing more than two per ballgame. All of this was accomplished while shooting just a shade under 60 percent from the floor for the season. And he is Oregon’s sixth option!

Why They Can Disappoint:
Without a game-changing scorer on offense, Oregon can be prone to the pitiful performance. Here are their point totals from some of their Pac-12 conference losses: 54, 52, 47, 46. Sharing the load can be a godsend. Take Oregon’s December 19 triple overtime loss at UTEP for example. E.J. Singler, the team’s top scorer, managed only two points on four attempts. However, Oregon had five other players score in double figures that game. But in many of their other games, the opposite has happened. Oregon can’t rely on anyone for buckets. They scraped together just 20 second half points in their loss to Cal. They scored only 19 in the second half of the Colorado loss. All teams have certain games where the scoring doesn’t come so perhaps the more pertinent number is Oregon’s season shooting percentages. As a team, they are dismal from three point land and something worse from the floor overall. A fair number of Oregon’s rotation guys shoot well individually. It is a shame then that those specific players can’t get more shots since the rest of the roster struggles to make the ball in the basket. It remains to be seen whether a down Pac-12 conference was more responsible for Oregon’s nice season than anything the Ducks did.

Probable Starters:
Johnathan Loyd, Junior, Guard, 4.9 ppg, 2.8 apg
Damyean Dotson, Freshman, Guard, 10.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg
E.J. Singler, Senior, Forward, 11.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 apg
Arsalan Kazemi, Senior, Forward, 9.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.1 spg
Tony Woods, Senior, Center, 9.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Dominic Artis, Freshman, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 3.4 apg
Carlos Emory, Senior, Forward, 11.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Ben Carter, Freshman, Forward, 2.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Waverley Austin, Junior, Center, 3.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.5 (79th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.6 (104, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (96, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (105, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.9 (296, 10)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: n/a
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.5 (136, 6)
Rebound Margin: 6.3 (21, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (152, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.1 (298, 12)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NIT        Second Round win over Iowa
2012    NIT        Quarterfinal loss to Washington
2011    CBI        First Round win over Weber State
2011    CBI        Second Round win over Duquesne
2011    CBI        Semifinal win over Boise State
2011    CBI        Final loss to Creighton
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Mississippi State
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Miami-Ohio
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Winthrop
2007    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over UNLV
2007    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Florida
2004    NIT        First round win over Colorado
2004    NIT        Second round win over George Mason
2004    NIT        Quarterfinal win over Notre Dame
2004    NIT        Semifinal loss to Michigan

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules