Skip to content

No. 21 Oregon moves into first in the Pac-12 with win at No. 24 UCLA

Jan 19, 2013, 7:44 PM EDT

Tony Woods, Travis Wear

It’s time for us to start taking Oregon seriously.

That much is obvious now that the Ducks have handed both Arizona and UCLA their only losses in the Pac-12 this season. On Saturday, Dana Altman’s team went into Pauley Pavilion and knocked off the Bruins 76-67 behind 18 points from Tony Woods and 12 points and 11 boards from Arsalan Kazemi.

And while it’s simple mathematics to say that Oregon is the best team in the Pac-12 — they’re in first place, they don’t have a loss in league play, and they have now handed Arizona their first loss of the season and beaten UCLA in Pauley — there is more to it than that.

The Ducks are the most balanced team in the conference, with five guys averaging between 10.1 points and 11.8 points. Their sixth-leading scorer, Arsalan Kazemi at 8.6 points-per-game, is also their leading rebounder, averaging 9.5 boards. They have the Pac-12’s deepest and most versatile front line, and a pair of freshmen guards in Damyeon Dotson and Dominic Artis that are as underrated as any back court in the country.

But was most impressive about their win over UCLA was the way Oregon was able to gain control by grinding it out defensively.

Much has been made of UCLA’s transition to a team that thrives in, well, transition. Ben Howland has embraced the talent level and lack of defensive desire of the players on his roster, opting to allow his blue-chip recruits to get out and run the floor at will. And in the second half, Oregon took the lead when they held the Bruin’s scoreless for more than six minutes during the second half. UCLA shot just 37.9% from the floor in the second half.

And they also happened to expose a potentially fatal flaw for the Bruins: the interior. Woods and Kazemi combined to shoot 13-16 from the field. The Wears, who played 53 minutes combined, had all of five rebounds, just two of which came on the offensive end of the floor. We knew that UCLA had some question marks with the defections in their front court. On Saturday, we got a glimpse of just how that can be exploited.

The Ducks are for real this year, and it looks like they will be here to stay.

Latest Posts
  1. Wyoming adds another Florida product to its 2015 recruiting class

    Sep 14, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT

    Wyoming v UNLV Getty Images

    Of Wyoming’s five 2015 verbal commitments, three have come from Florida natives.

  2. 6-foot-8 power forward verbally commits to Fordham

    Sep 14, 2014, 10:08 PM EDT

    Tom Pecora Tom Pecora

    The Tabor Academy forward picked Fordham over offers from Duquesne, Quinnipiac and Saint Joseph’s.

  3. Boise State successfully keeps three-star guard home

    Sep 14, 2014, 8:47 PM EDT

    Leon Rice AP

    With Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks both being seniors, this is an important addition for the Broncos.

  4. Three-star power forward to announce college choice Friday

    Sep 14, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

    Scott Stuart/Rivals Scott Stuart/Rivals

    The Roselle Catholic (New Jersey) product is expected pick from Rhode Island, Seton Hall and South Carolina.

  5. Summer exhibitions provided Kansas big man with needed playing time

    Sep 14, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT

    Hunter Mickelson, Andrew Young AP

    Playing with an all-star team this summer helped the Arkansas transfer shake off the rust accumulated during his season on the sidelines.

  6. Former Oregon point guard scored his first college touchdown Saturday

    Sep 14, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Johnathan Loyd Johnathan Loyd

    Before this season Johnathan Loyd hadn’t played football since high school, and on Saturday he scored his first college touchdown.

  7. Florida Gulf Coast using unique on-campus medical practices used by Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady

    Sep 14, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Bernard Thompson celebrates the Eagles win over the Georgetown Hoyas in their second round NCAA tournament game in Philadelphia Reuters

    Dunk City is using platelet-enriched plasma injections to help heal its athletes.

  8. DePaul gets commitment from three-star 2015 power forward

    Sep 14, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    (Under Armour) (Under Armour)

    DePaul picked up its first 2015 pledge on Sunday.

  9. Houston lands commitment from junior college forward

    Sep 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwexmja4zju3njzknzg5mziznzyxotuyytg3otu5yjzj AP

    Houston picked up a commitment from a junior college forward.

  10. Arizona lands four-star center to potential No. 1 recruiting class in 2015

    Sep 14, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    (Kelly Kline/Under Armour) (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

    Arizona added a four-star big man to its three five-star perimeter threats.

  11. Allen Iverson, Georgetown legends return to campus for new John Thompson practice facility

    Sep 14, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    John Thompson

    Allen Iverson made a rare trip back to Georgetown’s campus and shared some cool moments with former coach John Thompson.

  12. Three-star forward down to two Big Ten schools

    Sep 14, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    (Nike) (Nike)

    A three-star stretch forward is down to two Big Ten schools.

  13. Mixtape of 2015 point guard Jawun Evans (VIDEO)

    Sep 14, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

    Kelly Kline/Under Armor Kelly Kline/Under Armor

    A summer mixtape of 2015 point guard Jawun Evans.

  14. In-state power forward verbally commits to UConn

    Sep 13, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT

    Kevin Ollie Kevin Ollie

    The 6-foot-10 power forward grew up a UConn fan, and his commitment came as no surprise.

  15. Move east a breath of fresh air for UConn freshman

    Sep 13, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT

    hamilton AP

    After going through a difficult senior season at the high school level, Daniel Hamilton’s move to UConn has been a beneficial one thus far.

  16. Kansas State adds size with fourth 2015 commitment

    Sep 13, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    Bruce Weber AP

    Kansas State landed a commitment from a 6-foot-10 Texan on Saturday.

  17. Boston College lands third verbal commitment in less than a week

    Sep 13, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    Jon Lopez/Nike Jon Lopez/Nike

    Boston College has reeled in its third commitment in less than a week.

  18. Arizona State commit arrested for allegedly shoplifting less than $20 in DVDs from Walmart

    Sep 13, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    jordan washington

    An Arizona State commit is in trouble for allegedly shoplifting some DVDs.