PAC-10 Basketball

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Archive for December, 2009

Ducks fly past Grizzlies

Posted by duckbill30 on December 20, 2009

The third time was the charm for Oregon vs Oakland. In a must win to get the team ready for conference play the Ducks played their most complete game in two seasons, beating Oakland 72-60 in front of an appreciative crowd.

The Ducks came out early in this one, showing again how they are so different than last season’s team. Last year the Ducks played like a loss was inevitable, that it was just a matter of time. This season the Ducks play with a confidence, an attitude that says every game is up for grabs.

Malcolm Armstead is the point the Ducks have been looking for since Brooks left. He can pass and shoot, and play defense. Dunigan is still tentative at the basket, having too think more than react to situations, but time with Armstead will improve that. Jeremy Jacob is more polished around the rim at this time of the season. Singler plays like a cagey veteran, belying his freshman status. Williams, Longmire, Wiley, Crittle when he returns, this is a talented Ducks team.

When Porter returns to full time fitness the Ducks should make some waves in a conference that looks to be very even.

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Ducks drop one to St. Marys

Posted by duckbill30 on December 16, 2009

It was good for the Ducks to get back home after their dismal performance in Missouri. It didn’t start out well against St Marys, but after falling behind, the Ducks pulled it together and should have ended up with the win.

The Gaels are talented & experienced. The Ducks match up with them in the former, but the discrepancy in the latter, signaled the defeat. Even with the two most experienced players out with injuries, the Ducks got a lot of players in the game. Armstead, Longmire, Crittle & Williams in particular, had moments of very good play. But, the constant substituting worked against developing any cohesion. The Ducks have four more home games before conference play begins; hopefully that time will be spent on setting a rotation.

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Ducks at home

Posted by duckbill30 on December 11, 2009

After a very tough game on the road at Missouri, the Ducks are at home for a run of games beginning with St Marys tomorrow afternoon. Injuries are a lingering problem for the Ducks, Catron & Porter were both on the shelf against the Tigers and it’s hard to say which or either will be available against the Gaels.
It’s good for the Ducks to be able to get a lot of players a lot of action, especially with the full court defense the Ducks are playing this season. However one of the things the Ducks need to use this last batch of non-conference games for is to set up a rotation.

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PAC-10 Power Rankings: Week Five

Posted by naterb on December 7, 2009

Most seasons if you lose a close game, you’re going to drop a spot or two in the conference power rankings. Most seasons if you get blown out on the road you’re going to drop in the power rankings as well. But this isn’t most seasons.

The PAC-10 is down a significant amount, there’s no question about it. It is down so much that losing on your home court to a team that finished ninth in the Big-12 actually solidifies a higher spot in the power rankings.  It’s still early, but things are certainly starting to take form in the conference. Read the rest of this entry »

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One Less Big Man

Posted by naterb on December 2, 2009

If things weren’t bad enough for the Bruins this season, breaking news makes the teams outlook even worse.

Forward/Center Drew Gordon will be transferring away from UCLA at the winter break, and is no longer a part of the Bruins team. This, apparently is by mutual agreement.

“After several discussions with Drew, we both have decided that it is in the best interests of our program and Drew that he continues his career at another school.” -Ben Howland

Some may take this as a sign of the rats jumping ship from a Bruins team that has struggled immensely already this season. That is wrong on two accounts. First, the Bruins are likely to turn the season around, and secondly this wasn’t a surprise to Howland and Co. which means that it was an internal issue.

According to Andy Katz over at ESPN, the issue was Gordon’s attitude being viewed as “detrimental” to the team.” I don’t see any other explanation for the departure, and Gordon clearly wasn’t happy with things in UCLA – particularly Ben Howland.

At this point, Gordon has not announced his destination, though San Diego State has been rumored. I believe it would be more likely he would wind up at UNLV who are in desperate need of inside rebounding presence. One way or another, it could be interesting to see where Gordon winds up – but I doubt it except for the team that gets him.

As for the Bruins, they now face replacing their third-leading scorer (11.2) and second-leading rebounder (5.3). That is a big hole to fill, and one that could have given them an advantage in a conference that is thin in the middle.

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PAC-10 Power Rankings: Week Four

Posted by naterb on December 1, 2009

Last week I gave UCLA the benefit of the doubt in keeping them in the top half of the conference, but it appears as though I shouldn’t have. The Bruins are in bad shape with or without Dragovic and have taken the biggest hit in these rankings of the year dropping four spots this week.

The thing about all of this though, is you can pretty much throw all of it out the window once conference play starts. But we’ll go along pretending I have a clue as to what’s going on. Read the rest of this entry »

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