The Civil War will feature a normal game week for Oregon.
Rivalry matchups in the Pac-12 often include a couple of extra days of practice for a one-game week, but that’s not the case for the Ducks or Beavers as they prepare to meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Corvallis. After opening Pac-12 play with games on Friday and Sunday, both schools have four days off as they often do on the conference schedule before returning to the court.
The Ducks took Monday off before returning to practice on Tuesday.
“We have so much more to grow into,” UO coach Dana Altman said following Sunday’s 77-62 victory over Colorado. “We are not anywhere near where we have to be to go and beat Oregon State. We have to practice well (this week) to be ready to go.”
The Ducks (10-4) and Beavers (9-5) are both 1-1 in the Pac-12 after losing to Utah and defeating Colorado during the opening weekend of conference play. Both teams defeated the Buffaloes by double-digits. Oregon lost 66-56 to Utah and OSU fell 66-64 to the Utes.
“Our guys showed a lot of grit, and that’s what we love,” OSU coach Wayne Tinkle said after Sunday’s loss to Utah. “We are making progress. We can’t complain, we had opportunities to win this game in the last minute and didn’t make the plays. If we stay together and continue to take coaching, we will learn and grow and be better for this down the road.”
OSU was missing two veterans last weekend as 6-foot-11 junior Gligorije Rakocevic has a calf injury and sophomore guard Kendal Manuel injured his groin, but both could return to face the Ducks.
Oregon welcomed back 6-foot-9 junior Paul White against Colorado and he finished with three points and five rebounds in 21 minutes after missing the previous two games with a concussion.
“Paul executes and gets us into things,” Altman said. “He wasn’t sharp (Sunday) and you could tell he has been out a long time, but he has a calming influence on us. As he gets in shape, he’ll be a lot sharper.”
White came off the bench for just the second time this season as Altman kept freshman Kenny Wooten in the starting lineup.
Freshman Abu Kigab did not play for the first time all season against CU and Oregon was without injured senior Roman Sorkin, who did not play in three of the previous four games.
M.J. Cage also did not get off the bench against the Buffaloes and sophomore Keith Smith played three minutes as Altman went mostly with a seven-man rotation.
“That was just tonight,” Altman said when asked if he had settled on a rotation. “The guys were producing and we had the lead most of the time so I stuck with them. There is definitely nothing etched in stone yet. We were just trying to get through one ballgame.”
The Ducks did that to salvage a split of the weekend before heading on the road for the next three games.
“We have to get better in every facet of the game and I thought we did (against Colorado),” Altman said. “We were not as bad as we were (against Utah) so I thought it was a step in the right direction. There will be things to work on with this team all year. We’re trying to incorporate three, four or five freshmen at a time and our graduate transfers still don’t understand the way we want them to play all the time.”