Dillon Brooks shines again as No. 21 Oregon hands No. 22 USC first loss

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Dillon Brooks picked a hell of a week to prove to the nation that he’s healthy again.

Just 48 hours after the preseason all-american led No. 21 Oregon ended No. 2 UCLA’s undefeated run by posting 23 points, nine boards and four assists, he dropped 28 points on 9-for-10 shooting as the Ducks handed No. 22 USC their first loss of the season, 84-61.

Brooks missed the first three games of the regular season coming off of a foot injury he suffered over the summer. He only returned to the starting lineup four games ago; he’s averaging 20 points in those four games.

The two wins that the Ducks posted this weekend thrust them right back into the thick of the Pac-12 regular season title race, which didn’t look like it would necessarily be something that came to fruition this season. With Brooks struggling to find the form that made him one of college basketball’s best players last season Oregon looked like a shell of themselves. They were blown out at Baylor. They lost to Georgetown in the Maui Invitational. They struggled to beat the likes of Tennessee, UConn, Alabama and Boise State. They just didn’t look like the same team.

Until this week.

I wrote 1,200 words on the Ducks on Wednesday when they knocked off UCLA, and there isn’t much about Friday night’s win over USC that is all that different. But it is worth noting two things:

  • Dylan Ennis played his best game as a Duck, scoring 20 points, including 12 in the first six minutes of the second half as Oregon blew this game open. With Tyler Dorsey sputtering, it’s important for Oregon to have a back court scoring option.
  • The Ducks shot 8-for-20 from three two nights after hitting 11 threes against UCLA. The Ducks entered the week shooting 31.0 percent from beyond the arc. This team isn’t Creighton or UCLA, but they aren’t as bad as they’ve been from beyond the arc. Some regression to the mean was likely.