Thursday, December 08, 2016

Sleeping with the Enemy- Oregon Ducks, also Nick King out with sickness

I reached out to Alex Rider of Addicted to Quack to get the Oregon perspective on Sunday's game.  He was kind enough to provide us with the insight below.  If you visit Addicted to Quack, please follow their site rules and be a good representative of the University of Alabama:

Strengths: In the early going this year, Dana Altman has tinkered more with the 
rotation and lineup than perhaps he did at any point last year. I think we’re 
already starting to see some dividends of that. Last year this team with seven, 
eight deep max. Now with a healthy Dillon Brooks this team can bring any combo 
of Casey Benson, Kavell Bigby-Williams, Dylan Ennis, and Keith Smith off the 
bench. Obviously with this Oregon team the strength is the interior shot 
blocking with the combination of Jordan Bell, Chris Boucher and Bigby-Williams. 
The offense finally seems to be coming along, they’re sharing the ball better 
and starting to knock down shots that weren’t being hit in the losses to Baylor 
and Georgetown. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the rebounding numbers in 
the early going as the 43.1 points per game rank 14th in the country. 

Weaknesses: Sure, the interior defense is great but the team is still reeling on 
the exterior defense after the losses of Elgin Cook and Dwayne Benjamin. I’ve 
seen this team play a lot more zone in the early going where it seemed like last 
year they would stick with the matchup zone often. In the losses, the team has 
been heavily isolation focused and it hasn’t worked out well at all. Overall the 
free throw shooting has been good, but in the losses and close games theres a 
serious trend of poor shooting. Turnovers have been the other sticking point in 
the early going. So far this year the team averages right around 15 turnovers 
per game with Jordan Bell leading the way with three per game. 

Matchup: After over a week off I’m going to be curious to see how the Ducks come 
out of the gate in this one. I expect a slow start but the Ducks to get it 
together, similarly to last year’s matchup. Bell and Boucher had big interior 
games last year and I think Altman will look to push that again this year. On 
another note in another sport, I don’t know if I can speak for all Duck fan’s 
but I certainly know I’ll be rooting for the ‘Tide on New Years Eve. 

Hopefully they will come out sluggish and won't have much of a crowd to get them going due to the winter break.  This is obviously a terrible matchup in the post for us.  I suppose I would mix some press in with a 2-3 zone to try to slow them down and force turnovers, and hope we have a couple of players who can get hot from 3 point range.  If they play up to their ability and we continue what we've been doing, this one could get ugly, fast.

More importantly, Nick King is sick will not be making the trip.  According to Coach Johnson, Nick has lost over 10 lbs and is still being diagnosed, so please keep him in your thoughts.

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