Like Peter, I attended Sunday’s Civil War basketball game. He’s already shared some of the same thoughts I had, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.
You can moan all you want about Uncle Phil or how it was funded, but Matthew Knight Arena is breathtaking. It looks and feels like miniature Rose Garden ( I mean Moda Center). I’ve always loved Gill and thought it had this rustic charm thing going for it, but from a recruiting perspective, Matthew Knight Arena blows Gill away.
It’s so modern and fresh-looking. Besides the court itself (I was sitting courtside and never could figure out where the halfcourt line was), it’s very impressive. If I was a recruit, playing in that arena would make me feel like I am in the pros.
But it got me thinking, I’m surprised UO coach Dana Altman hasn’t landed elite prep talent with those facilities. Maybe it goes to show the uphill battle both Oregon schools face when it comes to getting top-level players.
And it’s sad how both schools can’t sell out the Civil War game. Peter’s right, outside of a few spurts here and there, the crowd at Matthew Knight was pretty quiet. Well, I’ll give the students some credit, they were pretty loud, but tame compared to past editions of the Pit Crew.
Now for some quick game thoughts:
Props to the Beavs for not giving up and clawing back to within 2 points. But most teams aren’t going to overcome falling in a hole like the Beavers did. Then again, who expected the Ducks to hit 7 of their first 3-point attempts?
Again, as it has all season, poor defense plagued the Beavers. I think OSU’s offense is good enough to beat anyone in the Pac-12, but their defense negates what can be a pretty potent offense.
Eric Moreland played well, and his offensive performance was nice to see because he had been struggling mightily coming into the Civil War. Still, he passed up a lot high percentage shots after grabbing offensive rebounds. If he just goes straight up he probably would’ve had 8-10 more points or gone to the FT line.
Hallice Cook is going to be a good one, but he tried to do too much at the end of the game and had some terrible TOs. Roberto Nelson should’ve had the ball down the stretch more because he’s the closest thing OSU has to a playmaker and has a knack for hitting big shots.
That said, it’s getting old hearing people complain about Nelson so much. Sure, he might not be a good defensive player, but he is the Pac-12’s leading scorer. Think about it for a minute, where would the Beavers be without his offense. Hopefully, you shuddered. It wouldn’t be pretty.
The bottom line is this was another one of those games that Beavers could’ve won. Another game they just couldn’t get over the hump.