Oregon will finish its nonconference schedule in a format more common during Pac-12 play.
The Ducks (8-4) will visit Boise State (5-7) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday to finish off a rare home-and-home nonconference series. Oregon defeated the Broncos 66-54 on Dec. 15 at Matthew Knight Arena.
“Obviously they are better at home than on the road, but that is true with all young teams,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We have been a little better at home in most games. They will have a good crowd and be anxious to play us. It was a close game here and it will be a tough game there.”
Boise State is 4-1 at home, including an 83-71 win over Pacific on Saturday. Oregon lost 74-72 during its last visit to Taco Bell Arena on Dec. 12, 2015, when Dillon Brooks missed a layup at the buzzer in a game that Oregon’s Elite Eight team played without an injured Tyler Dorsey while Jordan Bell made his season debut after missing the start of the season with a foot injury.
That was the beginning of a series that has continued each year with Oregon winning 68-63 at home two years ago before losing 73-70 at Matthew Knight Arena last season.
Oregon will be without Bol Bol, Kenny Wooten and Abu Kigab because of injuries, leaving the Ducks with eight scholarship players. Bol missed the win over Boise State two weeks ago with a foot injury while Kigab has not played since that game when he suffered a sprained ankle after playing eight minutes.
Wooten had five points, four rebounds and two blocks in the first matchup with Boise State, but is out for at least a month with a fractured jaw suffered in last week's 57-47 loss at Baylor.
The Ducks have dropped to No. 94 in the Net rankings used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee with one game left before opening Pac-12 play against Oregon State on Jan. 5.
Boise State junior guard Alex Hobbs had a season-high 21 points against Oregon while making 5-of-7 three-pointers. Junior guard Justinian Jessup, who ranks second on the team with 12.9 points per game, had two points against the Ducks on 1-for-9 shooting, including 0-for-4 on three-pointers.
“Hobbs had a big game against us,” Altman said. “We are going to have a tough time with Jessup. He didn’t shoot it good, but he usually does.”
Junior guard RJ Williams leads Boise State with 15.2 points per game while 6-foot-11 senior Zach Haney averages 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Haney will have a size advantage inside with Oregon missing Bol and Wooten. Six-foot-nine senior Paul White will likely be the biggest Duck in the starting lineup while 6-10 Miles Norris and 6-9 Francis Okoro are expected to see more minutes off the bench in the rematch.
Okoro played nine minutes in the first meeting with the Broncos, but will likely be the first big man off the bench for Oregon. Norris played just one minute in his college debut against Boise State and did not play against Baylor, but should move into the rotation for the shorthanded Ducks.
Oregon could go with a three-guard lineup and start Victor Bailey at guard along with Payton Pritchard and Will Richardson. That would leave senior Ehab Amin as the only guard off the bench.