Phil Knight Invitational Picks

The Phil Knight Invitational tips off in Portland and features Oregon and Oregon St. against out of state competition. Memphis and Oklahoma play with a higher tempo that could dictate the outcome of the games. 

Memphis vs. Oregon (-4, 145)  Nov. 12, 9 p.m. EST

James Wiseman is expected to play, despite being ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Oregon is sound defensively, but they lack the height and depth necessary to contain him. Additionally, Memphis should be able to grab a decent number of offensive rebounds given Oregon’s lack of height. The Ducks look to slow the game down with half court sets and that is the exact opposite of Penny Hardaway’s game plan. Wiseman will be an issue for anyone in transition, let alone Oregon,  which should lead to easy buckets. 

Oregon’s advantage may come from their experience as they return more minutes than Memphis’ freshmen led squad. This will be the Tigers’ first road game of the season even though it’s technically on a neutral court. If the tempo is slow, Memphis will need to defend the three. Oregon has scored 48.3 percent of their buckets with close-range twos but with their lack of size on the inside, they may be forced to rely on the three more often. 

Until James Wiseman is out of the lineup, I am going to ride Memphis. Oregon does not have the horses to hang in a high-paced game against the Tigers. Memphis will control the paint, which will dictate the flow of the game. Francis Okoro is a game time decision and that would be a big loss for the Ducks. 

Memphis Adjusted TempoOregon Adjusted Tempo
75.7 14th Overall70.7 246th Overall

The Pick: Memphis +4 (-105)

Oklahoma vs. Oregon St (+1.5, 140.5)  Nov. 12, 11:30 p.m. EST

If you have not seen Tres Tinkle ball yet, tonight is your chance. He’s coming off a 27 point game on 6/8 shooting from three. Oklahoma’s main area of focus should be keeping the ball out of his hands as much as possible. The other players on the Beavers rely on his playmaking as well as drawing more attention for easy buckets. However, the Sooners have a top-15 defense. Their strongest facet is defending the three and that will be needed against Oregon St.’s 46.3 3-point shooting percentage. Also, Bradey Manek is a force in the paint, blocking 2.5 shots per game. 

With the lockdown defense from OU, they should be out in transition often. Something that Oregon St. tries to avoid. The athleticism mismatch will be apparent in a fast-paced game. Along with Manek in the open court, Austin Reaves and De’Vion Hamon are scoring in flurries, each averaging more than 15 points per game. If Oklahoma can hold the Beavers to less than 65 points, they should cover easily. 

Oklahoma Adjusted TempoOregon St. Adjusted Tempo
73.8 54th Overall69.6 300th Overall

The Pick: Oklahoma -1.5 (-105)

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