With the college sports-less dog days of summer upon us, it is not a bad time to take a step back and look at just how successful and great a season it was for our men’s basketball team, despite their loss to eventual NCAA Champion Louisville in the Sweet 16. Heading into the season, most experts picked us to finish in the bottom half of a “weak conference.” The Fighting Ducks of Oregon sure proved them wrong with an early season win over UNLV and flying out to a blistering 18-2 start. The play of freshman point guard Dominic Artis was talk of the town as was the bruising Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi.
With the incredibly fast start, our Ducks took the nation by storm, climbing all the way up to number 10 in the rankings a couple weeks into conference play. While we scuffled a bit from there on out due to injuries and actually fell out of the top-25, we couldn’t have picked a more glorious time to get healthy and play our best basketball of the year (actually best basketball in the last five years).
With the season coming to an end against Louisville, there is only room for optimism when looking at this Ducks team over the next few years. We have a great incoming recruiting class headlined by Mike Moser and Jordan Bell, and have two of the most outstanding freshmen in the country who are sure to stick around for the long haul. I tip my cap to the job done by Dana Altman and everyone involved with the basketball program, and so should you.