Dane Miller’s Jan 18 Oregon-Cal Pac-12 Men’s Hoops Preview

Both teams have revitalized confidence in their play and enter the matchup expecting to win

Posted on January 18, 2023

  By Dane Miller, SuperWest Sports

Conference play continues tonight with a standalone game between Oregon and California.

Pac-12Both teams have revitalized confidence in the trajectory of their seasons and enter the matchup expecting to win.

Last year, the Bears shocked the Ducks in a 14-point victory in Eugene and look to make it back-to-back upsets.

I preview the game here and my pick and that of Stephen Vilardo appear at the bottom.

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12Oregon at California

Wednesday, January 18
7:00 pm PT, Pac-12 Network

The Ducks bring their newfound momentum to Berkeley after dominating Arizona in Eugene.

Jermaine Couisnard changes the dynamic of Dana Altman’s team with strong shooting from the perimeter. Without him, Oregon was one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the nation.

But since returning from injury four games ago, Couisnard is hitting 56.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc and is UO’s second-leading scorer behind Will Richardson.

Oregon will need consistent production from the South Carolina transfer throughout the remainder of the year.

Matched up against a quietly resurgent California squad, defending the Bears’ three-point shots could be pivotal. Mark Fox’s group is brimming with confidence in part due to the debut of DeJuan Clayton on December 30th.

The guard hasn’t had a statistically elite game outside of the matchup with Stanford, yet his presence and threat to score are what Cal has needed to compete at a higher level.

California guard DeJuan Clayton | John Hefti/AP

With belief in themselves, the Bears are a capable team on their home floor.

Kuany Kuany, Grant Newell, and Joel Brown are key contributors, too, that can each knock down shots from deep.

And while keeping Cal’s shooters cold from three is one key, rebounding is just as important.

The Ducks arguably won the game against Arizona with strong rebounding in the first half and will need to continue that effort against the Bears.

Coming into the matchup ranked 88th in rebounds per game, Oregon’s ability to dominate the glass is its greatest strength.

But if California is hot from three and keeps the rebound margin reasonable, the Bears have enough firepower to pull off a second-straight upset over Oregon.

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