Elmore: It's Oregon And Everyone Else In The Pac-12

Pac-12 Player of the Year Payton Pritchard has the Ducks firing on all cylinders

The DA Show
March 10, 2020 - 11:11 am
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No. 13 Oregon won the regular-season Pac-12 championship by one game over UCLA, but the Ducks had a much better season from start to finish. Oregon went 24-7, while UCLA went 19-12.

Is there a significant gap between Oregon and the rest of the Pac-12?

“I think so,” CBS college basketball analyst Len Elmore said on The DA Show. “I know that it seems like UCLA has come on strong, as well as USC. But I think Oregon has been absolutely terrific. I had them in the tournament last year, and they’ve got some tremendous play. Guard play is so important in the NCAA Tournament and going forward and even in postseason tournaments. I don’t think there’s a better guard in that tournament than Payton Pritchard.”

Pritchard, who was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaged 20.5 points, 5.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and shot 41.5 percent from three-point range this season.

While Oregon is the class of the Pac-12, No. 3 Dayton (29-2) went 18-0 in the Atlantic 10. Four Flyers averaged double figures, including Obi Toppin, who led Dayton in points (20.0), rebounds (7.5) and blocks (1.4).

“Even though they’ll wind up on the top lines – 1 or 2, maybe 3 – people aren’t expecting them to do any damage,” Elmore said. “But I think Dayton is one of those teams that could hurt some folks early and get on a roll.”

Providence (19-12), meanwhile, finished behind No. 7 Creighton (24-7), No. 11 Villanova (24-7) and No. 16 Seton Hall (21-9) in the Big East but ended the season on a six-game winning streak.

“The hottest team in the Big East is Providence,” Elmore said. “That’s a team that has the ability. They play with a great physical presence, and if they’re shooting the ball really well, they’re hard to deal with as well. Those are the kinds of teams [that could advance]. Winthrop is another one of those teams. If they shoot lights-out, they have a chance to get past the first weekend as well. It’s tough to mention dark horses these days simply because there’s so much parity in college basketball today.”