Terrell Brandon, one of the finest guards in the country, will lead the University of Oregon against the University of Utah tonight in the Huntsman Center, beginning at 7:35.
Brandon, an All-Pac 10 selection, scored 27 points in a 73-66 win over Utah last year in Eugene, and he is in similar form this season. He has averaged 25 points in Oregon's three games season."He's one of the premier players in the Pac 10," said Utah coach Rick Majerus. "And Mixon is a great shooter."
Majerus was referring to Kevin Mixon, the Ducks' other guard. Mixon averages 14 points per game. Mixon and Brandon combined to make 121 three-point shots last year.
So far, the Ducks, who were 15-14 last season, have won just one of their three games, but all were close. They lost at Missouri 65-58, lost at home to Wisconsin by two points in overtime, and on Tuesday beat Alabama-Birmingham 98-71.
Aside from Brandon and Mixon, Oregon's lineup consists of 6-11 sophomore Bob Fife, 6-7 senior Richard Lucas and 6-7 freshman Jordy Lyden. Lucas is the team's only other double-figure scorer, averaging 12.3 points (and 7 rebounds) per game. In last year's game against Utah, Fife had 6 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
"Last year Fife kicked Walter Watts' --," said Majerus. "If he has any pride, he'll be ready this time."
The Utes, 4-1, are coming off their best showing of the year, an 84-76 win over Utah State Tuesday night. Josh Grant is averaging 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, and guard Byron Wilson 13.3 points and 5.5 rebounds. Watts is averaging 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds, and his backup, Paul Afeaki, is close behind, at 7.8 and 4.8. Another reserve, Phil Dixon, is averaging 7.8 points, and Tyrone Tate is averaging 5.6 assists.