Ducks prepare to take on Cougars


Oregon spent Thursday devoting time to a review, a short preview and then had the opportunity to view the other contenders for the Pac-12 title in action.

Oregon began preparing for today’s game at Washington State (Pac-12 Network at 4 p.m.).

The 23rd-ranked Ducks (20-5 overall, 9-3 in the Pac-12) kept their hold on first place in the conference the previous night with a 65-52 victory at Washington. That was followed by a quick flight back to Eugene so that players could attend classes on Thursday.

Even during Oregon’s recent offensive struggles, one constant for the Ducks has been effort, coach Dana Altman said.

“We played really hard,” he said of the game in Seattle. “With the exception of the Stanford game, where we gave up some easy baskets, I can’t fault how hard we’ve played.

“We’ve put a lot of effort into games. We haven’t always played smoothly, but we’ve played hard.”

Altman still didn’t want to offer anything firm on the return of freshman Dominic Artis, who has missed the past six games. Asked about ESPN broadcasters voicing the opinion of an Artis return “next week,” Altman said “I don’t know what they were saying. I hope he can (play next week), but I’ve got no idea. It’ll happen when he’s cleared and he’s ready.”

— The Register-Guard