There was one statistic from Baylor’s 58-49 win over Arizona on Saturday that stuck out to Oregon.
The Bears had a 51-19 rebound advantage while keeping the Wildcats to their fewest boards in a game since 1984.
“That was crazy,” Oregon senior forward Paul White said. “This is Division I basketball so there are going to be games like that and you have to fight it out. Arizona, even with a rebounding margin like that, still fought their tails off. We know what kind of an environment we are stepping into.”
The Ducks (8-3) play at Baylor (6-4) Friday at 4 p.m. in their second game at the Ferrell Center in three years.
Oregon’s 2017 Final Four team lost 66-49 at Baylor during its second game of the season when Dillon Brooks was absent due to an injury. White was sitting out a redshirt season after transferring from Georgetown and did not make the trip to Waco, Texas.
Payton Pritchard, who had three points and three assists in 23 minutes off the bench, is the only Duck who has played at Baylor.
Oregon will almost certainly be without 7-foot-2 freshman center Bol Bol against the Bears. Oregon coach Dana Altman has not given a timetable for Bol’s return, but his injured left foot was in a boot as he walked with a limp while sitting out Tuesday’s 71-64 win over Florida A&M.
Sophomore Abu Kigab is also unlikely to play against Baylor due to a sprained left ankle suffered in Saturday’s 66-54 win over Boise State. He too was in a walking boot when the Ducks beat the Rattlers and Altman said he had not received an update from trainer Clay Jamieson after the game.
Bol leads Oregon with 9.6 rebounds per game and Kigab has grabbed 2.7 per game for the Ducks, who are averaging 37.5 boards per game. Even with the wide rebound margin against Arizona, Baylor is barely better on the boards than Oregon with 38.8 per game.
“We have a lot to work on and Baylor had a great performance against Arizona so we have to get good quick,” Altman said.
Without Bol, Oregon’s top rebounder is 6-9 Kenny Wooten with 5.0 per game.
Baylor won’t have a size advantage with 6-9 Tristan Clark the tallest regular in the rotation. Mark Vital, a 6-5 guard, leads the team with 8.3 rebounds per game while three other Bears are grabbing at least five rebounds on average.
Baylor is coming off a 59-58 home loss to Stephen F. Austin and opened the season with a 72-69 home loss to Texas Southern. The Ducks lost three weeks later at home to Texas Southern, 89-84.
Oregon has won four straight games, but each came at home as heavy favorites. The closest contest during that stretch was the seven-point win over Florida A&M, which is 3-10 on the season.
“We have a tremendous amount of things to work on,” Altman said. “There is not one facet of the game where we are playing well.”
UO freshman Louis King has increased his minutes in each game after missing the first seven games while recovering from a knee injury. The 6-foot-9 forward played 24 minutes against Florida A&M and had nine points and a season-high six rebounds.
“It is kind of what I expected, when you don’t play for nine months it takes a while,” Altman said. “He’s a little rusty. His instincts are good and he continues to make progress. He’s going to be fine.”
The Ducks have two road trips remaining on the schedule before opening Pac-12 play at home on Jan. 5 against Oregon State.
“We have to use every opportunity to our advantage,” White said. “Baylor will not be an easy game and going to Boise State will not be easy. These games will mold us and set the tone for how we do in conference.”