What's buzzing:
61 -
Team 1 2
WA ST 39 22
ORE 29 39

Washington St.-Oregon Preview

AP - Sports

Oregon's highest ranking in more than five years has coincided with it being on the verge of its best conference start since the 1920s, yet coach Dana Altman expects more from his squad.

The No. 16 Ducks seek a seventh straight victory when they host struggling Washington State on Wednesday night.

After sweeping a trip to Los Angeles with a 76-74 victory over Southern California on Thursday and a 76-67 win at then-No. 24 UCLA on Saturday, Oregon reached its highest standing in the Top 25 since also being ranked 16th in December 2007.

The Ducks (16-2, 5-0 Pac-12) are one victory shy of their best start in league play since winning all 10 Pacific Coast Conference games in the 1925-26 season. Oregon also opened 5-0 in conference in 1973-74 as a member of the Pac-8.

Altman, though, isn't taking much solace in those accomplishments for a program that has missed the NCAA tournament in his two previous seasons at the helm, and the last four overall.

"Those things (at this point in the season) don't mean much," Altman said. "I think our program, our team, has a lot further to go. All it means is people get a little bit more excited to play us. Hopefully our players remember that."

Oregon ranks second in the conference with 76.4 points per game and has five players averaging in double figures - led by Damyean Dotson (11.9) and Tony Woods (11.3) - but Altman wants to see more consistency on the offensive end.

Three of his team's conference wins have come by four or fewer points.

"That's why I'm excited. I think this team has so much more room for growth," Altman said. "We're nowhere near where we can be. Our challenge over the next six, seven weeks is to close that gap between where I think we should be and where we're at."

The Ducks have won 11 of 12 and are seeking a seventh victory in eight meetings with Washington State (10-8, 1-4), which has gotten off to a rough start in conference play.

Brock Motum is averaging 19.1 points, but he shot 5 of 16 and scored 13 in a 58-49 loss to Colorado on Saturday.

Motum has made 35.7 percent from the field over his last three games.

"It's a concern when he doesn't shoot well," coach Ken Boone said. "He's our best scorer. To take 16 shots and end up with 13 points is not very efficient."

The Cougars are shooting 38.9 percent in conference play and rank 11th in the Pac-12 at 42.8 percent overall. They are averaging 63.3 points - lowest in the league.

"We have a lot of room for improvement - not in the big scheme of things but minute details," Motum said. "Once we get that figured out the rest will sort of flow."

Altman still believes Oregon is in for a challenge defensively.

"They spread the floor pretty good and Brock is an unusual matchup for us," Altman said. "When they get it going offensively they can be tough."

View Comments (9)

Recommended for You

  • UFC 187 Weigh-in Results: Chris Weidman Blasts Vitor Belfort for ‘Still Cheating'

    UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier isn't just another pay-per-view event for the MMA juggernaut, it is also the event where a new light heavyweight champion will be crowned for the first time in four years. Jones was supposed to have defended his belt against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in the UFC 187 main…

    MMA Weekly
  • Do Something About Your Hair Loss!

    You can get your hair and life back in as little as 4 weeks. Take advantage of this limited-time offer and get $250 off any proven hair loss solution!

    Hair Club for Men & WomenSponsored
  • F1 faces confusing future under Monaco spotlight

    On the annual 'rest' day at the Monaco Grand Prix, the drivers faced a series of technical briefings with their teams and a mass autograph-signing session in the Place d’Armes during the afternoon. At Monaco, where the yachts bob in the harbour and paddock regulars scramble for mind space, it is…

  • Mad Dash: J.J. Watt's bruised thigh will blow your mind

    We always hear that NFL players play through pain, but aside from the occasional bloody nose there aren't often effective visuals of the physical trauma they suffer on the field. That is until J.J. Watt took to Twitter to show the American public the gargantuan bruise that he sustained in the first…

    NBC on Yahoo Sports
  • 2015 NBA mock draft: Post-lottery edition

    The NBA's draft order is set. Here's an early look at who might be going where.

    Yahoo Sports
  • Yankees will wear special caps to honor Bernie Williams

    The Yankees are retiring Williams' number Sunday, and he's getting the Jeter/Rivera treatment here.

    Big League Stew
    Sat, May 23
    1:05 PM EDT
    Texas at NY Yankees
    Preview Game
  • Jersey Fouls of the Week: Babcock in blue; Hipsters love Henrik

    If you want to submit, make sure to email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or tweet to the hashtag #jerseyfoul. We’ll pick them up, and try to make sure to give credit where credit is due.

    Puck Daddy
  • Formula 1 driver signs $155 million contract that will make him one of the highest-paid athletes alive

    Defending Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has signed a new contract to remain with Mercedes...

    Business Insider
  • Play

    NBA Star C.J. Watson Needs to Find a New Home in Hurry

    Basketball's C.J. Watson needs a place to live in Indianapolis right away.

    Scripps Ulive
  • Contador crashes and loses lead to Aru on 13th Giro stage

    Alberto Contador lost the overall lead of the Giro d'Italia to Fabio Aru after he was involved in a crash toward the end of Friday's 13th stage, which was won by Sacha Modolo. Aru escaped the crash which took out a number of cyclists just outside the final three kilometers (two miles) to move 19…

    The Associated Press
  • Tennis - Djokovic on brink of Grand Slam history in Paris

    - Novak Djokovic can become just the eighth man to complete the career Grand Slam with a maiden French Open victory, but the world number one fears fate may conspire against him in Paris. Djokovic comes into Paris riding a 22-match winning streak, which has already seen him capture a fifth…

  • Play

    LeBron James Scares the Crap out of Kyle Korver

    The Atlanta Hawks may have lost Game 1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, but for a second it looked like they could’ve won the game. The Hawks went on a 13-1 run in the final minutes to cut the deficit to just four points. But Kyle “Scaredy Pants” Korver killed all the momentum once LeBron James…

    The Fumble
  • Daniel Cormier Has No Sympathy for Stripped UFC Champion Jon Jones

    Cormier shoved Jones during the customary face off and a brawl broke out that resulted in both fighters being fined by the Nevada Athletic Commission and disciplinary action by the fight promotion. The intense rivalry led up to their eventual showdown at UFC 182 in January. Jones defeated Cormier,…

    MMA Weekly
  • Dodgers suspend infielder Arruebarrena for rest of season

    Arruebarrena was suspended by the Los Angeles Dodgers for the remainder of the season on Thursday for what the team said was ''repeated failures to comply with his contract.'' Club officials declined further comment. The Dodgers designated him for assignment on Dec. 31, and when he cleared waivers…

    The Associated Press
    Sat, May 23
    10:10 PM EDT
    San Diego at LA Dodgers
    Preview Game
  • Ex-NFL star Sharper set to change plea in federal rape case

    (Reuters) - Disgraced former NFL star Darren Sharper, who has pleaded guilty or no contest to rape and attempted rape charges in three states, is set to change his not guilty plea in a federal rape case in New Orleans next week, court records show. Sharper, 39, has pleaded guilty or no contest to…

  • McIlroy misses cut at Wentworth as Molinari leads

    Rory McIlroy insisted he would not be too hard on himself after crashing out of the European PGA Championship at Wentworth on Friday. McIlroy missed the cut after collapsing to a six-over par second round 78 – only the third time in 45 events he has failed to make the weekend. With the world number…

  • Will Smith suspended eight games by MLB for foreign substance on his arm

    The Milwaukee Brewers pitcher will appeal the suspension, which comes after his ejection Thursday night.

    Big League Stew
    Sat, May 23
    4:10 PM EDT
    Milwaukee at Atlanta
    Preview Game
  • North Carolina has received Notice of Allegations from NCAA

    The school will not release the details of the allegations until a later date after it has fully reviewed them.

    The Dagger