From Pullman — No doubt about it, the Washington State basketball team is in a slump. The Cougars have lost six of their last seven games, and seven of their last nine. While breaking out of a rut like that can be difficult, on Sunday WSU will face an opponent that is experiencing some long-term troubles of its own in Oregon.
More after the jump.
The Ducks are in flux, losing their last five games. Oregon's front court has struggled and coach Dana Altman is still experimenting with different starting lineups. Oregon's last four games have seen four different starting lineups.
“I don't know. Right now we're struggling,” Alman said after the Ducks lost to Washington on Thursday. “There's not one pattern that goes. We had some production off the bench. They all had some good moments, but they all had some disappointing ones as well.”
The Ducks slide has been tough to explain. The team went undefeated in non conference play, taking down teams such as Georgetown, Mississippi, Illinois and BYU.
Altman has been successful during his Pac-12 tenure by bringing in transfers from other programs and getting them to play well together, but this group has struggled. Despite bringing in Mike Moser from UNLV, who is known for his defensive prowess, the Ducks have the worst scoring defense in the conference and are allowing 77.9 points per game.
Moser (UCLA/UNLV), Joseph Young (Houston), Jason Calliste (Detroit) and Brandon Austin (Providence) all joined the Ducks after transferring from other NCAA Division-I universities.
The Ducks have also struggled to rebound, part of why Altman's starting front court has been a turnstile this season.
“It's tough, they're hurting, we're hurting,” Altman said. “It's five in a row. There's no sense in denying it, it's tough … They're down and it's tough to stay together, but we're pulling together and we're going to be fine.”