BYU (8-4) at (13) Oregon (10-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 21, 10:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthew Knight Arena (12,364) -- Eugene, Oregon. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: BYU 5-1, Oregon 7-0. Away Record: BYU 1-2, Oregon 1-0. Neutral Record: BYU 2-1, Oregon 2-0. Conference Record: BYU 0-0, Oregon 0-0. Series Record: Oregon leads, 12-9.
GAME NOTES: The 13th-ranked Oregon Ducks try to keep their perfect record intact, as they host the BYU Cougars in a non-conference showdown at Matthew Knight Arena.
Oregon is off to a 10-0 start for the eighth time in program history, and has gone 11-0 only four times previously. The team was last in action earlier this week when it crushed the UC Irvine Anteaters at home in a 91-63 decision. For the Ducks, who last opened a campaign with 10 wins in as many tries in 2006-07, they are one of the top scoring offenses in the country right now with 89.3 ppg.
As for the Cougars, another one of the more aggressive offenses at the Division I level with 88.6 ppg, they are just 1-2 in true road games thus far. The most recent setback took place last weekend in Salt Lake City against a familiar foe in Utah. Like Oregon, the Runnin' Utes are members of the Pac-12 Conference these days and ripped up BYU by a final of 81-64. The defeat was the second in the last three outings for the Cougars.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Ducks lead by a count of 12-9, although BYU won the most recent clash two years ago by a score of 79-65.
BYU's issues against the Utes were numerous, particularly in the first half as the Cougars shot just 31.4 percent from the field and 5-of-12 at the free- throw line. In a game that was decided by 17 points, a stronger effort at the charity stripe (17-of-31) by BYU would certainly have made things more interesting. Tyler Haws shot only 3-of-11 from the floor as he finished with 14 points, followed by Kyle Collinsworth and Eric Myka with 12 points apiece, the latter registering a game-high 10 rebounds as well.
Haws, one of only two players in BYU history to reach 1,000 career points by his sophomore season, is again the leading scorer on the season for the Cougars this time around with his 22.3 ppg, although he has not been all that productive out on the perimeter where he has just 14 triples in 10 games. Matt Carlino, who should be eclipsing the 1,000-point plateau in the near future as well, checks in with 16.2 ppg and is tied with Collinsworth for the lead in assists with 61.
The Ducks got a huge lift from their bench against UC Irvine, as the reserves stepped up with 38 points, compared to a mere three points for the Anteaters' backups. Joseph Young led a quartet of double-digit scorers for the hosts with 18 points, followed by Mike Moser with 15 in just 19 minutes of action. Damyean Dotson tacked on 14 points and Jason Calliste 10, as the unit made good on an impressive 12-of-19 (.632) behind the 3-point line.
Young is currently one of six players scoring in double figures for an Oregon team hitting its field goal attempts at a 52.6 percent clip, as he drops in 19.3 ppg on the strength of his 55.5 percent accuracy. Moser, a transfer from UNLV, checks in with 14.9 ppg and a team-best 7.4 rpg, followed by Calliste with 10.7 ppg, as both shoot just over 52.0 percent from the floor. Johnathan Loyd is responsible for another 10.4 ppg, but just as important is his passing which has resulted in almost seven assists per outing.
With so many scoring options to turn to, the Ducks are a team that most opponents will have a hard time slowing down. Considering how well Utah handled visiting BYU last week, there's no reason to think a more-balanced Oregon squad can't also get the job done in similar fashion.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 93, BYU 79
12/21 10:32:17 ET