Faced with an explosive scorer last week in Washington's C.J. Wilcox, Oregon men's basketball guarded him with a slew of guards, ranging from 6-foot-5 Damyean Dotson to 5-foot-8 Johnathan Loyd.

On Thursday, arguably an even tricker matchup comes to town in the form of 6-9, 230-pound Kyle Anderson. He's called a guard-forward by UCLA, but a fuller picture of his range on the court might mean calling him a guard-forward-center, at times. The Bruins' sophomore is as tall as anyone in Oregon's entire front line but possesses the ballhandling skills equal to that of its guards.

On Tuesday, UO coach Dana Altman didn't hide the fact that Anderson's "unique" blend of skills and size presents Oregon's defense with a riddle.

“He just gives you so many different looks, with his ball-handling, with his passing skills and with his ability to see over the defense, so it doesn’t matter really if it’s out front or more from a wing position or even in the post," Altman said. "He’s got great vision, he really moves the ball well, he’s got great instincts, he’s just a very versatile player that creates a lot of mismatch problems and problems because he can shoot the three, he can go post up.

"But I think the thing that separates him is really his court vision and his ability to make plays for his teammates.”
Anderson has hurt the Ducks before, albeit both in UCLA losses last season. In his first meeting with UO, he scored 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Then, in the Pac-12 tournament title game, he had 11 points and five rebounds. In each game he made at least three three-pointers -- and that was against a rugged defense that included E.J. Singler on the wing and Arsalan Kazemi down low.

Who gets the assignment Thursday? It could be anyone from 6-8 Mike Moser to Loyd given the situation. Dotson might be the best fit if he can stay out of the early foul trouble that dogged him against the Huskies, because his height and foot speed best approximate Anderson's. But in any situation, guarded by anyone, the Bruins sophomore is dangerous. In a near-upset of No. 1 Arizona, whose defense allows the fourth-lowest field goal percentage this season, Anderson's stat line read 16 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals.

In total, his per-game scoring has increased from 9.7 points to 15.5 as a sophomore, he's shooting 51.4 percent from the field (10 percentage points better than last season) and averages 9.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.8 steals and nearly one block per game, which are all also career-bests.

Nullifying his impact Thursday evening at Matthew Knight Arena would arguably result in a season's best performance by Oregon's defense.

"You don’t see many guys that size that have the ball skills and shoot the three," Altman said. "He’s pretty unique. There’s not anybody in our league who’s like him.”