Coming off a 71-57 win over Fresno State in their season opener, No. 15 Oregon draws another Mountain West Conference opponent at home on Saturday when it faces the Boise State Broncos in Eugene, Ore.
The opponent is a familiar one, as the Ducks won both meetings — home and away — with the Broncos last December. Oregon leads the all-time series 8-2.
Senior guard Payton Pritchard is coming off a 24-point performance in the opener in which he added seven rebounds and as many assists to lead the Ducks to victory. Pritchard has 20 or more points in 14 career games.
Oregon (1-0) made just 1 of 13 3-point shots on Tuesday against the Bulldogs. But the Ducks dominated in rebounding and points in the paint.
“I want to take more 3s than that,” head coach Dana Altman told The Oregonian. “Obviously, we’re going to have to shoot it better if we do take more 3s than that.”
Altman heads into the Saturday’s game as Oregon’s all-time leader in coaching victories with 236.
“I’ve been fortunate. I had a great 16-year run at Creighton. I love that school,” Altman told the Oregon athletics website. “And I’ve spent nine years here and we love it here. You consider yourself fortunate.”
Last year’s national junior college player of the year, Chris Duarte, made an impression in his first game in an Oregon uniform. He had 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Broncos (1-0) were picked by MWC media to finish fifth in the conference, one spot ahead of Fresno State.
Boise State is coming off a 126-49 win over NAIA Life Pacific on Tuesday. The 126 points represent a single-game school record, as is the 77-point margin of victory.
Derrick Alston, who had 25 points on Tuesday, led Boise State with a 16.0 points-per-game average in conference games as a redshirt freshman last season.
Alston is a consensus preseason first team all-Mountain West selection. He was one of the top four scorers for the Broncos last season, and all four are back.
“We’re just taking an underdog role and know we’re going to have to go down there and scrap and play our hardest and make it a game,” Alston told the Idaho Statesman. “It’s going to be fun to go down there. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, so we’re excited.”
Both teams are without a pair of impactful newcomers.
Oregon freshman center N’Faly Dante, a five-star recruit heralded as a potential all-Pac-12 player, is hopeful that the NCAA will clear him to play by Dec. 14.
For Boise State, Arizona transfer Emmanuel Akot is appealing the NCAA’s decision to deny his transfer waiver request.
Boise State head coach Leon Rice was an assistant at Oregon in the early 1990s after getting his Master’s degree at the university. Broncos forward Abu Kigab transferred from Oregon but isn’t eligible to play until the current academic semester ends.
–Field Level Media