After two poor performances, Aaron Brooks looks to snap out of his slump while his team tries to do the same when Oregon visits California on Thursday.
The 15th-ranked Ducks (20-5, 8-5 Pac-10) have lost four of six, including a 1-3 mark this month, heading into the final two games of a stretch in which they've had to play six of eight on the road. The team plays its final true road game at Stanford on Saturday.Oregon is coming off a 77-74 loss to then-No. 24 Arizona on Saturday.The Ducks held a 10-point lead at halftime, and led for almost the entire second half until Arizona went ahead 68-66 with 3:17 left. Oregon had a chance to regain the lead in the final seconds, only to have Brooks turn the ball over."Unfortunately, they made the last shot they had and we didn't get an opportunity to make ours," Ducks coach Ernie Kent said. "We had plenty of chances to stop it from coming down to the last shot."Kent, who had surgery for a torn right rotator cuff during the offseason, tore his left rotator cuff late in Saturday's loss while roaming the sidelines. He said he will wait until the season is over to have surgery.For Oregon to bounce back, it may be crucial for Brooks to rediscover his shooting touch. The Pac-10's leading scorer at 17.6 points per game, Brooks totaled 11 points while shooting 3-of-22 from the field and missing all 10 of his 3-point attempts in two games last week."We saw the week coming where he just got stressed out maybe a little in his own head, it's not fatigue," Kent said. "Aaron Brooks has not been tired in the four years he's been with us."He just had a bad week. I fully expect him to bounce back."Brooks was held scoreless in the first half for the second straight game Saturday, and finished 2-of-14 from the floor for six points. He did, however, have team highs of seven assists and 10 rebounds."I think teams are keying on him a little bit," California coach Ben Braun said. "That is deceiving, too, because Aaron Brooks is the type of player that, even if he doesn't score in the game, he is a threat to score, which makes him effective for his team."Braun and the Golden Bears (12-12, 4-8) have won six straight home games against Oregon. Their overall three-game winning streak against the Ducks was snapped on Jan. 20 with a 92-84 loss, and Brooks led all scorers with 22 points.California has dropped six straight and five of those losses have come against Top 25 teams, including 59-46 to then-No. 14 Washington State on Saturday. The Bears tied their lowest-scoring game of the season and made only 16 of 46 field-goal attempts (34.8 percent).Ryan Anderson, the team's leading scorer at 16.8 points per game, had 13 points and nine rebounds Saturday but committed five of Cal's 16 turnovers -- one off a season high.The Bears are looking to avoid their longest losing streak since an eight-game skid from Feb. 9-March 7, 1992.