Texas-San Antonio (3-2) at Oregon (5-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 29, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthew Knight Arena (12,364) -- Eugene, Oregon. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: UTSA 1-0, Oregon 4-0. Away Record: UTSA 1-0, Oregon 0-0. Neutral Record: UTSA 1-1, Oregon 1-1. Conference Record: UTSA 0-0, Oregon 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: The Oregon Ducks return from the Global Sports Classic to begin a four-game homestand against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners at Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday.
After a 2-1 stop at the Liberty Tax Classic to begin the season, UTSA has split its two most recent games. That includes an 81-62 loss against BYU at the beginning of a six-game road trip for the Roadrunners that will last until Dec. 29.
Oregon ripped off wins in its first five games before taking on nationally ranked Cincinnati in its final game of the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas. The Ducks couldn't keep up with the Bearcats and dropped their first game of the season, 77-66. Prior to that, Oregon took down a nationally-ranked UNLV team. Oregon will continue this current four-game homestand against Arkansas- Pine Bluff.
This game will mark the first-ever matchup between these two programs.
UTSA shot below 40 percent over the course of the entire game in its matchup with BYU while allowing the Cougars to connect on better than 50 percent of their shots. The Roadrunners were also dominated on the boards managing only 21 rebounds to the 48 picked up by BYU. Kannon Burrage led three players in double figures with 22 points, but needed 21 shots to do so.
Rebounding is not a strength for UTSA, or at least it hasn't been early on. The Roadrunners are being outrebounded by nearly 10 boards per game with a rebounding margin of -9.6. It doesn't make it any better that the Roadrunners are shooting just 41.0 percent from the field as a team. However, UTSA has kept its opponents within striking distance by limiting foes to 41.4 percent shooting. Burrage (18.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg) has been scoring in bunches this season but like he showed against BYU, not efficiently. Burrage connects on only 37.7 percent of his shots from the field. Michael Hale (16.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg) is a more effective scorer putting in 52.1 percent of his shots, while Jeromie Hill (12.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg) is the lead scoring and rebounding threat in the frontcourt.
Oregon got shelled by the talented Cincinnati backcourt in its loss last Saturday. The combination of Sean Kilpatrick, Cashmere Wright and JaQuon Parker accounted for 49 points and 10 of the 11 3-pointers the Bearcats sank in the game. Oregon meanwhile hit only 5-of-17 shots from long range and shot 34.5 percent overall in the losing effort. Carlos Emory (15 points, 9 rebounds) and Arsalan Kazemi (9 points, 15 rebounds) each barely missed a double-double.
The 66 points that Oregon managed against Cincinnati was a season low for a squad that is putting in a healthy 75.5 points per game this season. That has equated to a +10.3 scoring margin for the Ducks who hold opponents to 38.7 percent shooting. Oregon has also been the superior rebounding squad in most of its games with a +6.0 edge on the boards. Kazemi (5.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg) may not be filling it up very much this season but his efforts on the boards have been the best on the team. E.J. Singler (11.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg) can score from just about anywhere on the floor from the forward position, while Damyea Dotson (11.8 ppg) and Carlos Emory (10.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg) are also scoring in double figures. Emory is used as a major contributor off the bench as he averages the fifth most minutes on the team despite not making a start.
With Kazemi alone the Ducks will be able to control the boards against the Roadrunners. Add in the fact that Oregon has been more successful on both ends of the court and is playing at home and there isn't much reason to believe UTSA can pull off an upset.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 82, Texas-San Antonio 63
11/29 10:38:20 ET