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ASU Basketball: Oregon preview

Can ASU win in Eugene?

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


VS ASU this year: 0-1

NET Ranking: 75

Points scored: 70.0 (257 of 353)

Points allowed: 65.5 (42 of 353)

The wheels have all but fallen off for the Oregon Ducks. Being ranked in the top 25 and notched as the Pac-12’s preseason favorite seems so long ago. Their five-star recruit Bol Bol played a total of nine games for the Ducks. They’ve lost three straight heading into their matchup with ASU on Thursday and find themselves only above Washington State and Cal in the conference standings. To say the 2018-2019 season has been a disaster for Dana Altman’s team may be an understatement.

Although, when the Sun Devils and Ducks met earlier this year, things were even for the first half until a great second half by ASU allowed it to pull away. The Ducks still have talent despite the loss of Bol Bol in the early part of the season. Guards Payton Pritchard and Louis King combined for 36 points against ASU the first time, and each can be the primary scorer.

The tough part for the Sun Devils, however, is winning in Eugene. Carrick Felix led ASU with 19 points on New Year’s Day of 2011 to beat Oregon, which was the last time the Sun Devils won in Duck territory.

With all of ASU’s remaining games on the road, the Sun Devils will need to buckle up. Eugene, Corvallis and Tucson are all tough places to play no matter the quality of the Ducks, Beavers or Wildcats. With the randomness of rivalry games and the Beavers being one of the Pac’s top teams this season, the trip to Matthew Knight Arena may be ASU’s easiest remaining game.

The Sun Devils have won four of their last five with the lone loss being a four-point defeat on the road to Colorado. Their play has been less than perfect, their win over conference winless Cal wasn’t entirely comfortable for ASU fans. Both wins over Utah and Stanford had their moments that led the Sun Devil faithful to believe their team wasn’t going to pull it out before breaking away late in the game.

On a positive note, part of the recent success of ASU has been the reemergence of freshman guard Luguentz Dort’s ability to score in bunches. Dort has averaged 18 points over the past six games, scoring 17 or more in four of them. He had not scored 17 or more before that stretch since early December against Nevada.

A sweep isn’t needed in the state of Oregon, but ASU will need at least one win to get closer to a legitimized at-large bid. The Sun Devils will take on the Ducks at 9:00 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.