Ducks Basketball Gets What It Deserves

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Artis Has Proven Valuable, Despite Being a Freshman

Beating the fourth-ranked Arizona Wildcats wasn’t the only major feat for the Oregon Ducks men’s basketball team this week.  The Associated Press released its weekly basketball rankings yesterday and the Ducks are ranked #21 after a 14-2 start.  After impressive wins against ‘Zona and UNLV, and a 2-1 record against ranked teams this season, the Ducks are in three-way tie for first place atop the conference with UCLA and Washington.  Despite being left out of the top-25 in the Coaches Poll, this marks the first time since week seven of the 2007-08 season the men’s basketball team has been ranked.  Oregon started the 07-08 season ranked twelfth in the country following a Pac-10 Tournament title and an elite-eight berth by Ernie Kent’s squad the previous year.  After steadily dropping in rankings through the first seven weeks, week eight premiered without the Ducks and they haven’t appeared since.

Austin is One of Two Transfers Who Has Impacted Oregon’s Rise This Season

The basketball team this year has performed above fans’ expectations, if not also above Head Coach Dana Altman’s.  With seven freshmen on the roster and two fresh faces to the program by way of transfer, the Ducks were a tough team to predict entering the season.  Would the team gel quickly and bring out the strong talents possessed by the two transfers and highly regarded freshmen?  Or would the team, showered with new and unfamiliar bodies, experience growing pains during a rebuilding year?  Despite an uncharacteristically sloppy game at UTEP and a hard played early loss to then eleventh-ranked Cincinnati, the Ducks have surprised and soared above expectations.  That corny line ‘Ducks Fly Together’, from the Disney movie, “The Mighty Ducks,” has proven true this season.  Oregon has five players averaging 10+ points this year and has played as many as eleven players in a single game.

Tabbed seventh best in the conference by the yearly media vote and fifth best by the Bleacher Report, the Ducks of Mighty Oregon will continue to bend their knees and fly together.

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Brandon Gruber

Brandon Gruber

Brandon is a senior at The University of Oregon majoring in Film Studies and minoring in Communications. Brandon has been a Duck fan for ten years since he moved from southern California to Salem, Oregon, and quickly realized the Ducks were the missing piece in his life. A Pac-12 fan since birth, much of his family attended UCLA and has since converted all of them to the Quack Attack. Brandon interned for the Statesman Journal covering the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and hopes to work for the Pac-12 in the near future. He also hopes to see the "Flying-V" formation played out on the football field in the fall of 2013. Brandon would love your feedback on any and all articles. Tweet me: @BrandonGruber