STANFORD, Calif. — It’s rarely the same mistake repeated immediately.
One Oregon turnover will be an errant pass out of bounds, another might be thrown to an opponent. Against Stanford, there were also lost dribbles, a foot on the end line and a ball that simply slipped away. Not to mention a couple of offensive charges and an illegal screen.
It all added up to 20 turnovers in Oregon’s 76-52 loss to the Cardinal on Wednesday night, which was the first Pac-12 defeat for the 10th-ranked Ducks (18-3, 7-1 Pac-12), but certainly not their first off night of handling the basketball.
It wasn’t even the worst performance in a week, because Oregon had 23 turnovers in last Saturday’s home victory over Washington. The Ducks average 15.9 turnovers, most in the Pac-12.
“It’s been a problem all year," senior E.J. Singler said.
And Oregon will hope to clean up that problem this afternoon when the Ducks take on California (12-8, 4-4) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
Is it the absence of starting point guard Dominic Artis? His replacements had nine turnovers between them against Washington, but new starter Johnathan Loyd was charged with only one against Stanford in 23 minutes (though Willie Moore had four in the other 17 minutes).
But when Oregon had 10 turnovers in the first half against Stanford, on its 36 offensive possessions, those were split among eight players. That’s splitting up the fault.
Coach Dana Altman traces most of the miscues to “a lack of ball movement," when the Ducks aren’t working for open shots. What often results is a player attempting to create something himself.
That also might have been shown Wednesday by Oregon’s season-low four assists. Its previous low in a Pac-12 game was 10, and in four of the first seven conference games, the Ducks had 17 or more assists.
As Singler said, again, after the loss to Stanford, “We’re at our best when we’re making plays for each other."
And not so good when they’re turning it over.
Cal is coming off a 71-68 home win over Oregon State on Thursday night. The Golden Bears are seeking their 10th consecutive win over the Ducks in the series, including an 86-83 win over Oregon when the two teams met last February at Cal.