November 15, 2015

Tyler Dorsey showed that he is capable of replacing the Pac-12's top scorer in a solid debut for Oregon.

Baylor is insisting senior point guard Lester Medford won't be a liability.

Those guards are likely to match up at times when Dorsey's No. 25 Ducks host Medford and the 20th-ranked Bears on Monday night.

Oregon figures to have a difficult time replacing Joseph Young, who averaged 20.7 points a season ago. However, the freshman Dorsey looks ready to take over the scoring load after he had 20 points in Friday's 80-52 season-opening rout of Jackson State - a victory that moved the Ducks into the rankings this week.

Dorsey made all five first-half shots and had 18 points at the break.

''I don't have anything to say about replacing Joe Young,'' he said. ''I'm just out there trying to play hard every possession.''

Baylor used Kenny Chery primarily at point guard the previous two seasons. Now Medford will assume those duties after the junior college transfer started all 34 games in 2014-15 and was third on the team with 106 assists.

Medford shot 39.3 percent last season but went 5 of 7 and scored 13 points in Friday's 97-55 season-opening win over Stephen F. Austin.

''For people to knock his capabilities and stuff to lead us to where we need to be for the rest of the season is really comical,'' forward Rico Gathers said. ''He did what a senior point guard does.''

Medford is perceived as a possible weak link in part because Baylor is known for its strong frontcourt. Gathers scored 18 points and Taurean Prince added 10 and seven assists.

Baylor finished with 31 assists to match the third-highest total in school history. It shot 64.3 percent and went 9 of 16 from 3-point range.

"If we can get this all year long, shoot 64 percent, 56 percent from 3, 31 assists to eight turnovers, then I won't lose any hair and it'll be a heck of a year," coach Scott Drew said.

The Bears had a 37-27 rebounding advantage. They tied for fifth in the nation in rebounding margin last season at plus-8.3.

"We are not ready for that," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "I'll just be real honest. They are maybe the best rebounding team in the country, or one of a handful."

The Ducks only had a 38-33 edge on the glass against the Tigers, with no Oregon player grabbing more than Dillon Brooks' six.

''Everyone on our team can score,'' said reserve forward Dwayne Benjamin, who had 16 points. ''We've got to rebound the ball better. We only outrebounded them by five tonight and we had a higher goal than that, so we need to work on that."

These schools are meeting for the first time, with the Ducks traveling to Baylor next season. The Bears have captured 12 of their last 13 nonconference road games.

Fatigue could be a factor for both teams, with the game scheduled for a later start as part of ESPN's 24 Hours of Basketball. It could be worse for the visiting Bears.

"It takes forever to get to Eugene," Drew said. "Then you're playing in part of the ESPN marathon, so we've got to be ready to go, and our bodies have got to be ready, and that's going to be a tough task for us."

You May Like