Eugene, Ore. -- The Oregon Ducks men's basketball team will have a chance to claim the top of the standings in the Pac-12 when they face the USC Trojans, Thursday night in Matthew Knight Arena.
The Ducks are currently third in the standings behind the Trojans and the Stanford Cardinal, with a (15-4, 4-2) record. Oregon's two losses in conference play have come in the first game of road trips to the Rockies and Washington. The latest, being a 72-61 loss to the Washington State Huskies in Pullman.
"Road games are the toughest games, I knew that since I was a freshman," said forward Shakur Juiston. "So, I feel like the first one you know, we were dialed in, but they brung it to us and I give them the utmost respect for that. But we learned from our mistakes, and we went up to Washington and capitalized on everything we did wrong then you know the outcome came good."
Oregon has shown they're capable of bouncing back this season, and playing through adversity. This may be the case once again while the Ducks host the LA schools this week. Forward, N'faly Dante may be out this week after twisting a knee against Washington. Dante played only fiver minutes in the game, missing his only shot he took, and recording one block. Oregon's front court has been a revolving door all season due to injuries and other situations. Dante didn't make his debut with the Ducks until December 18th, due to ineligiblity with NCAA, Francis Okoro missed time after being hit by a car, Juiston missed time nursing a leg injury, C.J. Walker missed time due to a knee injury, and now Dante.
Juiston said, "I feel like all we got to do is come together as bigs and you know take the task and just go there and attack full-force. It's going to be a good forty minute fight, but I believe we're ready for it."
The Ducks have seen improvment from freshman forward, Chandler Lawson over the last couple of games, even closing out the match-up against Washington State. Oregon will need another strong showing from their big man to compete against the size of USC's front court.
"The combination of the three guys; very talented, long, all of them can score. so yeah, when you combine all three of them, they really give you a good look," said head coach Dana Altman.
Oregon tips-off against USC, Thursday, January 23rd at 8:00 p.m. in Matthew Knight Arena.