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NCAAB: Stanford to face Oregon in a bounce-back affair

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Oregon and host Stanford look to break into the win column for the first time in Pac-12 play when they square off on Sunday afternoon.

The Ducks (5-4, 0-1 in Pac-12) had a week off since a 69-67 overtime loss at home to Arizona State last Sunday. They will be playing their first true road game of the season, having opened with five at home and four at neutral sites.

The Cardinal (4-3, 0-1) likewise haven’t played since last Sunday, when they were beaten 80-76 at Colorado. They are 4-0 at home this season, with wins over Tarleton State, San Jose State, Valparaiso and North Carolina A&T.

The meeting will be unusual in that it will pair teams that are both unranked. In the last 26 years, Oregon has faced Stanford as a ranked team 16 times, including three of the last four meetings, while the Cardinal have been ranked for 21 of the games.

Neither club was ranked when they dueled at Stanford last February, a game won 71-68 by the Ducks behind Chris Duarte’s 24 points.

Duarte has since graduated to the NBA as a first-round pick by the Indiana Pacers, as has Stanford’s Ziaire Williams (Memphis Grizzlies), who contributed 12 points to the Cardinal cause that day.

This time around, Oregon is hopeful of getting back Eric Williams Jr., who has replaced Duarte as the club’s leading scorer. Williams had a leg injury that kept him out of the Arizona State game.

Oregon coach Dana Altman is making no excuses for what he considers to be a poor start.

“We should have a much better basketball team than we do, and our guys know that,” Altman said. “But we are just not putting it together. There’s a disconnect. Players aren’t connected with each other. They’re not connected with our coaching staff. We put ourselves in a bad situation here.”

In contrast, Stanford coach Jerod Haase had nothing but positives to report from his club’s competitive loss at Colorado, which featured a season-best 15 points from Spencer Jones.

“His leadership and shooting and obviously points are valuable and we need to continue to get him going,” Haase said of his junior. “I think this will be a nice first step to get him on track on the offensive end.”

–Field Level Media

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