I-5 Thoughts: The Oregon Ducks grab a most necessary win and Junior Adams is building an armada
Things could still be pretty rough out here if UW wins on Monday. But the Huskies did not win Thursday.
It wasn’t the best win in Oregon history.
It wasn’t even the most important one of Dana Altman’s future hall-of-fame career. But considering the Washington Huskies could become the national football champions on Monday after a season in which they twice beat the Ducks by three points, well, you can make a case that Oregon’s 76-74 men’s basketball win over UW Thursday night in Seattle was the most necessary win in the history of organized sport.
A little hyperbole there, but also a whole lot of catharsis. Can you imagine losing to a Washington hoops team that’s spent the better part of the last decade near the Pac-12’s basement, then watching them claim a Natty next week?
Might as well start calling Portland a suburb of Vancouver.
Thursday’s win might not help much if it happens, but it sure as heck could have ruined your last weekend before the darkness sets in.
The Ducks are 11-3 and 3-0 in Pac-12 play thanks largely to the 48 points Jackson Shelstad, Jermaine Couisnard and Kwame Evans Jr. combined for. Throw in the clutch plays from Brennan Rigsby (3-of-4 from 3) and the debut of freshman Mookie Cooke (two dunks in four minutes), and Oregon continues to look like a team that could be formidable once N’Faly Dante returns to the lineup — especially in a down Pac-12.
It’s still too early to forecast what could happen in March, but those three freshmen with Couisnard and a legit big on the floor doesn’t strike me as something opposing coaches will enjoy planning for.
Like Michael Penix Jr. to Rome Odunze.
Remember, jokes like that don’t hurt you after Thursday. Oregon’s a basketball school.
Ready for takeoff
I wonder if deep down there’s part of Junior Adams that’s playing the what-if game this week.
Oregon’s receivers coach previously held the same position at Washington and recruited Odunze, Ja'Lynn Polk, Jalen McMillan and Germie Bernard, a quartette of receivers who were targeted 20 times in the Sugar Bowl and recorded 19 catches for 353 yards and two touchdowns.
His handiwork is all over this Washington run, and maybe he’d be thinking about it more if he wasn’t set on building the 2.0 version in Eugene.