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Oregon-Oregon State Preview, Picks

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-US PRESSWIRE

No. 24 Oregon came out of the blocks sprinting in the early going. But the foot injury to their star freshman Dominic Artis  on Jan. 23 has left them reeling. Fortunately, the Ducks will hopefully see Artis back on the floor in more than a month’s time.

“I hope that he can give us some minutes against Oregon State,” coach Dana Altman said. “I am not 100 percent sure of that. But he has done some individual work, he did dry work with the team (Monday) so my goal is to give him some minutes against Oregon State, I don’t think it will be any extensive time.”

Before Artis’ injury, the freshman guard had a team-best 72 assists and shot 35.1 percent from the floor. Many experts were pegging him as one of the biggest surprise stars in the country. If he can return to the floor healthy, it could give the Ducks a big boost on the offensive front, considerign they were a Top 10 with him. They will travel to Oregon State  on Thursday as the 10-point favorites.

Meanwhile, Oregon State has been sputtering of late. After jumping out to a healthy 10-3 record, the Beavers have since dropped 12 of their last 15 contests. Two of their wins came against fellow cellar dwellers Washington State and Utah. It doesn’t seem like they will fair any better against a Top-25 team, where they are a 1-34 overall, the last win came in 1985.

Who has the advantage?

It’s an easy pick to tab Oregon as the heavy favorites. But what’s just as important is to note the stellar play of Carlos Emory and Arsalan Kazemi who have averaged 17.3 points and 11.2 points in the last three games, respectively. Not to mention E.J. Singler, who paces the team with 12 points per game.

The Beavers boast top scorers Roberto Nelson and Ahman Starks, who combined for 40 points in the last time these two teams met. Unfortunately, they can be a bit streaky. Most of their points come from beyond the 3-point arc, where Nelson shoots at a 41.3 percent clip while Nelson shoots 39.8 percent. Oregon State’s performance will rest on their outside shooting.

Prediction: Oregon 74, Oregon State 61

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