BYU (2-0) at Oregon (2-0)
When: Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
Where: Moda Center,
Time: 10:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Oregon -4/142
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The 12th-ranked Oregon Ducks have high expectations this season and will need to be tested before a grueling Pac-12 schedule arrives in order to be ready. The first big test comes Tuesday night at the Phil Knight Invitation in Portland when they take on the BYU Cougars. Oregon has rolled through their first two ‘lesser’ opponents and are ready for the challenges ahead. Last year, the Ducks won the conference and finished 21-7 overall. They lost some key players to the NBA from that team, including Chris Duarte and Eugene Omoruyi, as well as third leading scorer LJ Figueroa. Just like most teams in the country, the Ducks have reloaded with transfers including De’Vion Harmon from Oklahoma, Quincy Guerrier from Syracuse, and Jacob Young from Rutgers. Oregon took care of Texas Southern in the season opener 83-66 and then followed that up with an impressive 86-63 win over SMU as 7.5 point favorites.
BYU also lost two key starters from a year ago, Brandon Averette (11.7 ppg) and Matt Haarms (11.3 ppg), but they welcome back their leading scorer Alex Barcello averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game and is a terrific 3-point shooter. The Cougars finished last season 20-7 and was ranked 23rd in the country. The Cougars have also won their first two games over Cleveland State and San Diego State. They were 3-point favorites in the game against the Aztecs and ended up with a 66-60 victory. BYU played Oregon twice during the 2013-14 season with the Ducks winning both – 100-96 in overtime during the regular season and 87-68 in the NCAA Tournament. Oregon leads the all-time series 14-9.
Barcello has made 11-of-16 field-goal attempts in BYU’s first two games and is averaging 20.5 points – the lone Cougar scoring in double figures. Barcello scored 24 points in the win over Cleveland State and followed it up with a 17-point performance against San Diego State. Te’Jon Lucas, a transfer from Milwaukee, added 13 points and 5 assists, while Fousseyni Traore added 9 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Lucas made just 2-of-12 from the field against the Aztecs and is second on the team in scoring (9.0). Starting center Richard Harward has missed the first two games and is questionable for Tuesday. BYU will host Central Methodist on Saturday.
In the win over SMU on Friday, the Ducks shot 51% from the floor and made 9 of 20 three pointers. The defense forced 16 turnovers and held SMU to just 37% shooting. Eric Williams led the Ducks with 19 points while Young and Will Richardson each had 18 points. Quincy Guerrier added 9 points and a team-high 6 rebounds. Oregon has five players averaging at least 10 points per game with Richardson leading the way with 19.0 and is 8-of-13 from long range, while Young is averaging 16 per outing. Also averaging in double digits are Williams Jr. (13.0), Harmon (10.0) and Rivaldo Soares (10.0). The Ducks aren’t a deep team with six players averaging 24 or more minutes. Next stop for the Ducks is the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas.
Oregon is much better than BYU at this point with more talented players. It’s not a home game, but close enough in Portland. This line seems a little low, so I’ll lay the points with the Ducks.
Pick: Oregon -4
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