NCAA Tournament: Breaking down the OSU-Oregon matchups
OSU brings the star power with Marcus Smart, while Pac-12 tournament champ Oregon brings the momentum and the motivation.
OSU — Marcus Smart (6-foot-4, 225 pounds, freshman)
Oregon — Dominic Artis (6-foot-1, 185 pounds, freshman)
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Analysis: In so many ways, Marcus Smart is the Cowboys' ultimate trump card, filling in needed areas at necessary times. He rebounds well, defends all positions and shoulders a role more complex than your normal point guard. But pegged in this spot, he's an obvious mismatch for all teams, Oregon included. Dominic Artis is a talented freshman, still working his way back from a foot injury (only five points in three Pac-12 tournament games). But regardless of health, at three inches taller and 40 pounds heavier, the ultracompetitive Smart is a nightmare for Artis.
OSU — Markel Brown (6-foot-3, 190 pounds, junior)
Oregon — Damyeon Dotson (6-foot-5, 202 pounds, freshman)
Analysis: Somewhat similar players, with similar builds, but Markel Brown's game is a bit more polished. That's what two extra seasons in college will do for you. Brown averages 15.3 points per game, Dotson averages 10.8. Brown has hit 50 threes this season, Dotson has hit 38. Brown flies out of the gym, Dotson (like all of us) just hopes he doesn't wind up on a poster. Intriguing matchup, but one where the Cowboys hold an advantage and should attack.
OSU — Le'Bryan Nash (6-foot-7, 230 pounds, sophomore)
Oregon — E.J. Singler (6-foot-6, 215 pounds, senior)
Analysis: At 11.6 points per game, Singler actually leads Oregon in scoring. But that still falls nearly three points below Nash's average of 14.1, which is only third on OSU's roster. So there's some obvious disparity there. But that speaks more toward Oregon's balance than anything else. Singler is a solid player. Has been for four years in Eugene. And you know he'll come to play, with his college career in the balance. Nash, on the other hand, is a wild card. We'll have to wait until tip, maybe even a bit after, to know which version we're going to get.
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