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Singler Legacy Getting A Wonderful Sendoff

Singler Legacy Getting A Wonderful Sendoff

Joel Gunderson
Reported by Joel Gunderson on March 25, 2013
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Photo courtesy of stltoday.com

For the better part of the last four years, Oregon senior E.J. Singler has been toiling around the University of Oregon program, steadily going about his business as if he were working a boring 9-5 job.  The last remaining holdover from the Ernie Kent-era, Singler has quietly put together one of the best careers in Duck history, and continues to be a consistent leader that has helped lead the program to where it is today.

For his patience, on Friday, Singler will be rewarded by running out of the tunnel in Indianapolis as his team plays Louisville in the Sweet 16.

A Medford, Oregon native, Singler arrived in Eugene looking to walk out of the shadow of his brother Kyle; then a star for the Duke Blue Devils.  Kyle is now a second-year player for the Detroit Pistons, after spending last season playing overseas.  Meanwhile, E.J. stayed the course for Oregon, never wavering in his desire to lead the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament – and maybe, just maybe, carve out his own legacy.

While E.J. may lack some of the traits that propelled his brother to the NBA, his leadership — despite all the turmoil that surrounded the basketball program as the Kent-era went up in flames — has endeared him to Duck fans forever.  His 1,509 career points, good for 12th on the Ducks’ all-time list, might come as a surprise to some, due to the fact that he has not been prone to offensive outbursts.

Singler has been remarkably consistent since he arrived on campus, averaging between 11 and 13 points a game from his sophomore year on.  He is the schools all-time leader in free throw percentage at just under 85%, while being one of the teams most consistent defenders.

Limited athletically, Singler has relied on his basketball IQ and unrelenting motor to find himself in the right place at the right time throughout his career.  When joined this season by Arsalan Kazemi, both have teamed up to give Oregon the best rebounding team in the conference.

SIngler and the Ducks face Louisville Friday. Photo courtesy of gamedayr.com

Singler’s journey through Oregon has been marked by transformations, from coaching staffs to teammate transfers.  He has been the beacon of consistency, a steadying hand to lead the team through troubled waters.  Now, with four wins to the ultimate prize, Singler and Co. can put a bow on one of the most surprising tournament runs in recent memory.  This year’s squad was slotted to be middle of the road, neither bad nor great.  With the coaching of Altman, the steady of play of Singler and fellow seniors Tony Woods and Carlos Emory, and the infusion of talent in Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, Oregon has jelled better than any of the so-called experts could have imagined.

Facing the NCAA tournament’s number one squad in Louisville, Oregon has a chance to prove to the world that they are more than a cute story; they have an opportunity to shed the “Cinderella” label.  At the forefront will be E.J. Singler, anonymous and unassuming as can be.  No matter when his career ends — be it Friday, the title game or anytime in between — the Singler journey will be remember as much for his loyalty as his play on the court.

About Author
Joel Gunderson

Joel GundersonJoel Gunderson grew up in a small town, where the only thing he did for fun was worship the Oregon Ducks. He later moved to Eugene, where he studied journalism at the U of O. After working in radio, he married the woman of his dreams and settled down. Joel now spends his days studying Journalism and the fine world of grammar, all the while worshiping the ground that Charles "Chip" Kelly walks on! Follow him on twitter @gundy85View all posts by Joel Gunderson →


 

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.mai.3 Doug Mai

    Oregon can beat Louisville, don’t think they can’t.

  • OregonDuckForever

    Somebody has to say this. Let me start by saying that EJ Singler is a solid player, and I am glad he stayed his whole career with the Ducks. Where does this idea come from that EJ Singler has a high basketball IQ? Is he tough, a hustler, someone I would want on my team….yes to all that. But what is it about his game that says he has a high basketball IQ? Throughout his career he has been a turnover machine, he leads the team in turnovers….from the FORWARD position! It would be one thing if that was combined with a bunch of assists…but 2.9 per game in 31 minutes per game. He shoots 40% percent from the field, by far the lowest on the team with the exception of the point guards, and completely unacceptable from the position he plays. Is he a bad shooter? No, he is a decent shooter, but between 2 to 4 times per game he take a shot that has a zero percent chance of going in. Okay, okay, zero is an exaggeration, but you know what I mean, he throws a wild shot up or turns it over multiple times every game. Every now and then it works out, and I guess that is enough for most people. Am I honestly only one who sees this? And he is a decent rebounder, but to say that he and Kazemi have “teamed up”….wow….Kazemi gets 9.9 rpg in two less minutes to Singler’s 4.9. Kazemi has led the this team to be the best in the conference in rebounding. I don’t think Singler understands situational basketball, and I don’t think he plays within his skill set. Numerous times throughout his career I have seen him make a dangerous pass early in the shot clock, late in the game, with Oregon leading by a small amount of possessions. On defense, he is mediocre at best, and on offense he is a solid player, who tries to do too much with the ball far too often.
    I know this is gonna get hated on, but someone has to say it. Groupthink has taken over on this one. EJ is a great kid, and a solid player, and most importantly a hard worker who we could always count on to give 100 percent, but his basketball IQ was always his biggest weakness.
    I love the Ducks, and I hope we go all the way, with EJ as the hero, but I am not into saying feel good things just because they feel good. EJ’s basketball legacy is one of mediocrity. For those who buy into the who “winningest player” argument, please…understand that we play far more games that we used to even ten years ago, and that along with tournament runs in the CBI and NIT have massively inflated that number. If you think this past four years has been the best run in program history….umm….come on. His Senior year has been the worst of his last three, look at the numbers, we are in the sweet sixteen with the help of EJ, but largely due to Kazemi, Dotson, our PG play, and the big physical presence we now have inside. The pieces around him THiS YEAR are the key. Flame on.

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