Oregon Primer

Submitted by mgowill on March 20th, 2017 at 10:41 PM

2016-2017 Oregon Ducks

So this team is difficult to gauge by computer metrics alone.  They are an efficient offense and a pretty stout defense.  Per Kenpom, they are the #16 offense and #23 defense in the country.  They aren’t really old and they aren’t really tall.  They don’t rely on 2’s, 3’s, or FT’s with any sort of regularity.  They steal the ball quite a bit and they don’t turn it over much.  They are good at offensive rebounding but not so good at stopping offensive rebounds.  They also don’t foul much.  So yeah.  These metrics are all based on the fact that they had 6’10” #10 shot blocker, top 300 offensive and defensive rebounder, and their third most efficient player when counting more than 20% usage – Chris Boucher.  So, what do these Oregon Ducks look like without him?  Here’s their last three games.

(18) Arizona 83-80 L

(118) Iona – 93-77 W

(33) Rhode Island – 75-72 W

From March 10th to March 20th, Michigan is #6 in adjusted efficiency.  Oregon is #33 coming in right behind Bucknell.  FWIW Louisville is #36 and Oklahoma State is #23 during the same time span.  The depth chart over the last five games looks like this –

(player number, name, measurements, description, (2PT/3PT/FT))

#3, PG – Peyton Pritchard, 6’2” 200 LB FR, good distributor and decent shooter (46/37/71)

#2, SG I – Casey Benson, 6’3” 185 LB JR, very efficient at scoring and splits almost half the minutes with Dylan Ennis. (50/42/79)

#31, SG II – Dylan Ennis, 6’2” 196 LB SR, moves around from the 1, 2, or 3 spot, not great at any one single thing, has a proclivity to turnovers. (47/37/75)

#5, SF – Tyler Dorsey, 6’4” 195 LB SO, very efficient wing that takes a majority of 3PT shots. (53/40/73)

#24, PF – Dillon Brooks, 6’7” 225 LB JR, very efficient shooter and also leads Oregon in assist rate.  (55/41/73)

#1, C – Jordan Bell, 6’9” 225 LB JR, super efficient at the rim, one of the best offensive and defensive rebounders in the country, blocks well, steals frequently, and doesn’t foul much.  (65/15/70)

Oregon has really only used one other player much the last five games.  He’s a big fella…

#35, C- Kavell Bigby-Williams, 6’11” 230 LB JR, not enough minutes logged to rank him among shot blockers, but he is a threat to do just that.  (48/0/62)

They do move the ball around well from the little bit I’ve watched of them.  Will be interesting to see how Beilein plans for this game.  I’m not an analyst, just a data guy so feel free to educate me on the strengths and weaknesses we will face on Thursday.  Go Blue!



March 20th, 2017 at 11:01 PM ^

Time for Wagner and Wilson to eat down low. Irvin's #1 job this game should be to run Dorsey off the 3 point line. I think Wilson's length will give Brooks fits on both ends of the court. Walton should have a bounce back game scoring wise going against a freshman guard. Oregon had a really tough time stopping URI's dribble penetration and without their big time shot blocker no one on the back end to protect the rim. MAAR could have a lot of success taking the ball to the hoop.


March 21st, 2017 at 10:34 AM ^

Michigan should be able to take advantage of the height inside and outside, as Oregon will have to play Michigan shooters tighter to take away the outside shooting. This will open up the inside game a lot.  I imagine Wagner and Walton having great nights with screen switches, where size match ups are really going to show up. Wilson could have a big night as well as he might be able to take advantage of the height mismatch the most. 

This was a great analysis.  It looks like Michigan will be playing a team very similar to themselves. I expect another high scoring affair. 


March 20th, 2017 at 11:04 PM ^

So take with grain of salt. But here's their new list:

West Virginia
S. Carolina

More and more people are seeing us as a threat.  Heard an Oregon fan at the airport today say that "Michigan is scary right now,"  A little surprised Wisconsin is 3 and Purdue is 15.  Again, ESPN list.



March 20th, 2017 at 11:44 PM ^

We used to have boxing tournaments in high school. Really stupid stuff where people would actually hurt each other and end friendships. Anyway, there's tough guy who fights anyone and everyone. He's the favorite. He goes up against regular dude who's just kinda in it to say he did it. Everyone thinks regular dude is gonna get creamed, and he does for the first few seconds. But even regular dude didn't realize that every punch he takes just pisses him off more and more, and pretty soon tough guy gets his ass kicked.

Michigan is regular dude right now. They're kinda playing beyond their talent and their athleticism. They've got something weird going on; i don't know if it was just the "white collar" thing, or the northwestern and Minnesota losses, or the plane crash, but they've got this, "aww hell no. Ain't our day to lose." thing happening, where they take every punch in the mouth and just dish it right back. It's fun as hell to watch.

I'm not saying they're a final four team yet, but i don't think there's a team in the country that Michigan doesn't make just a little bit nervous.

The Fan in Fargo

March 20th, 2017 at 11:59 PM ^

Nervous? I'd have to say yeah to that one. Michigan is going to take it to you either way. Oregon is not Louisville on defense or on the boards. It just so happens that Michigan will have their fresh legs again and are due to light it up at some point. The entire nation will be watching and get the chance to see these boys catch fire.


March 21st, 2017 at 8:21 AM ^

We are NOT playing beyond our talent and athleticism.  I think Maverick Morgan hit the nail on the head and the players realized it and took it to heart.  Sometimes it takes more than your coach to light a fire under your ass.  Peer pressure can do wonders.  After the Illinois game, our seniors decided to do something.  That involved Walton getting more involved and Irvin taking on more of a supporting role.


March 21st, 2017 at 8:44 AM ^

Maybe poor choice of words. Either way, it's just fun to watch these guys play with some swagger. I've even heard fans of rivals say they want to root against them but they're just too likable, like they play with a lot of heart and grit and their attitude is infectious.

I don't remember a Beilein recruit that didn't seem like a real character guy, but this team especially seems to have a lot of cool individual personalities with big attitudes yet they play really well as a unit.


March 21st, 2017 at 12:39 PM ^

agree with your initial assessment. If you compare the talent levels on Louisville and Michigan as rated by recruiting numbers, Michigan is massively outclassed in terms of talent. Not as bad against Purdue and MSU, but still, both of those teams have WAY more guys ranked in the top 100 on their teams, and with Louisville/MSU/Purdue, they are built around huge talent that Michigan simply does not have. Walton (44), Irvin (28), and Simpson (67) were top 100 guys, but nobody else. Wilson (122), Maar (325), Robinson (DivIII huh?) and Wagner (118) have talent, but again, not top guys. 

I think you could say that Walton is "finally living up to his potential", but IMO, not Irvin. The key to this team is that a group of guys, Wagner/Wilson primarily, are playing way above their heads.

It's a tribute to their hard work, and a tribute to the coaching staff that they are where they are.



March 21st, 2017 at 10:19 AM ^

I would argue that they are finally playing to their talent level/potential. Earlier this season they weren't really playing together as a team, and nobody had the killer instinct needed to close out a game down the stretch. They lost several games that they should have won because of this. We saw a lot of hero ball. We finally saw Walton step up and become a stone cold killer at the end of games, and it has caught on with the rest of the team.

This team has a unique lineup that can play several different styles to beat you. They don't just have one strength that they always lean on, which makes it a tough matchup for a lot of people. They can spread out a big physical team like Purdue and completely neutralize their bigs by making them defend away from the paint. They can run and gun with a team like OK State and beat them in a track meet. Then they can adjust against a good defensive team like UL who tries to take Walton out of the game, and outscored them in the paint. Just going back to the start of the BTT, each one of the starters has had a stretch where they carried the team.


March 21st, 2017 at 10:16 AM ^

that they played. It's always about the matchup and, of course, Villanova was a perfect matchup for the kind of game and tempo they play. Villanova is almost a mirror image of Wisconsin.

Put Purdue up against Kansas, another No. 1, and we'll see how that turns out.

But in a tournament where teams were mis-seeded to begin with and certain teams, like MSU, was given every advantage from seeding based on their actual record (with priority given for losses to better presumed better teams) they might have played only one tournament game, period.

You play up to the level of your competiton and advance based on your ability to exceed that team's competitiveness and strengths when you play them.

Oregon is a tougher matchup for Michigan than perhaps Purdue and Wisconsin, because of their versatility and blend of outside, inside game, which Michigan hasn't yet encountered in the NCAA Tournament. It's a team that does everything well enough, not a team that specializes in certain areas, and relies on them, that will ultimately have Michigan's number.

Matchups more than seeds determine how games are played and then won and lost. Seeds mean nothing at this point.