Abu Kigab knows what Oregon needs from him.
“I’m a really good offensive rebounder so I have to use my strengths,” the sophomore forward said.
“Fact,” injected Oregon’s Kenny Wooten.
Kigab ranks third on the Ducks with seven offensive rebounds in 86 minutes while earning expanded playing time after averaging 7.7 minutes in 35 games as a freshman.
“Dribbling, passing, shooting, I put in the work so my confidence continues to grow,” Kigab said.
Kigab scored nine points in last week’s 83-72 win over Green Bay while tying a career high with four field goals on a career-high seven shots.
“He is definitely more confident this year, going all out with a no-regret type of mentality,” Wooten said. “It is working for him.”
Kigab is also tied for second on the team with 11 assists and has the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the team with five turnovers. He is 9-for-13 from the field while averaging 4.2 points per game.
“Going out there trying to make some plays,” he said. “Just getting my teammates involved and scoring when I can.”
The 21st-ranked Ducks (4-1) return to Matthew Knight Arena at 8 p.m. Monday to face Texas Southern (1-4).
All three Oregon sophomores have taken on a larger role this season including Wooten, who is averaging 6.4 points and 5.8 rebounds while starting every game.
Victor Bailey ranks fifth on the Ducks with 6.4 points per game off the bench while making 6-of-13 three-pointers.
“It just comes with the territory, getting older and being in my second year,” he said. “The older you get the more you need to step up and be ready.”
Oregon beat Texas Southern 74-68 last season, but the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament despite going 12-19 in the regular season because they won the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament title before losing to top-seeded Xavier in the tournament.
Coach Mike Davis left for Detroit Mercy and was replaced by former LSU coach Johnny Jones, who inherited another road-heavy schedule designed to boost revenue for the athletic department.
Texas Southern (1-4) upset Baylor 72-69 to open the season before losing at Gonzaga, Iowa State, San Diego State and Evansville. The Tigers still have trips to Arizona State, Georgia and Texas A&M on the schedule next month.