What kind of performance can we expect in Oregon on Thursday night? A really slow start cost Steve Alford his job, with a blowout home loss to Liberty acting as the final straw. Sophomore Kris Wilkes is the guy to watch for the Bruins, leading the team in scoring Fellow sophomore guard Jaylen Hands is a solid contributor and distributor The Bruins topped 90 points against most California schools after some abysmal performances 58 against Liberty and 64 in a blowout loss at Cincinnati.
The team ranks just inside the top 70 in defensive efficiency but will have a slightly harder challenge in their first conference road game. Without Bol Bol While their efficiency rankings are pretty solid 45th overall in KenPom, 78th in offense, 31st in defense , this Oregon team is clearly overvalued without Bol on the team anymore.
The loss to Oregon State shows that the Ducks have a long way to go and this team is going to need to grind to get Pac wins, even in winnable games at home.
On paper, this looks like a pretty even match-up. His Achilles heel is from the free throw line If the Ducks can limit Wilkes, then the Bruins will be forced to lean heavily on less proven scorers.
Fortunately, the game is in Eugene and even without Bol, Oregon has a slight advantage. I expect UCLA to struggle initially on the road, but this should be a tight game throughout.