Ducks Rolling on the Road to the Big Dance
With football coming to an end and basketball in full swing, Duck fans couldn’t be more excited for our 9-0 men’s basketball team, which is rolling down the road toward the Big Dance like an empty 18-wheeler with a tail wind. Last year the Ducks won the PAC-12 Conference Tournament and took down UCLA twice and Arizona once, but received only a No. 12 seed in the big tournament. With many arguing the seeding, the Ducks proved themselves with a Sweet Sixteen appearance, coming up short by only eight points to No. 1 Louisville, who went on to win the NCAA title. The Ducks ended the 2013 season with an overall record of 28-9. Opening the 2013/14 season with huge victories over NCAA tournament teams Pacific, Georgetown and Mississippi, Oregon is just one of three teams currently representing the PAC-12 in the top 25 rankings, with Arizona and Colorado being the other two.
Oregon’s 2013-14 team looks even better than last year’s stellar team. With two new transfers – Joseph Young and Mike Moser – the team has become a lot stronger, with both additions averaging double digits thus far on the season. With 161 and 120 points on the season respectively, Young and Moser have contributed much to Oregon’s success only 8 games into the season. Although Young and Moser are obvious standouts for the Ducks, Jason Calliste, Johnathan Loyd, Elgin Cook and Damyean Dotson have also contributed to the Ducks’ success by averaging double digit figures in points, as well. Having sx players take on the role of producing big numbers in games is a huge advantage that few teams can say they have. The early success this season has shown that a team working together as one unit is far more dominant than having one or two standout athletes taking over a game.
Having six players with double-digit scoring makes Oregon one of the best offensive teams in the nation. Shooting an impressive 53 percent from the field and averaging 91.4 points per game, it’s no surprise that there are not just one or two contributors to these big numbers, but instead six players in double digits, along with other contributors producing numbers all over the board.
Much of the success comes from the passing game. In a sport like basketball, numbers are most talked about from a scoring perspective, but the “little” things – such as rebounds, steals, and assists – should be more accurately described as the “big things.” Loyd, who is averaging 11.1 points per game, is also the team leader in assists, averaging 7.4 per game and has already had two double-doubles this season.
February 6 marks a much-anticipated game against No. 1 Arizona. The Ducks upset Arizona last season in a 70-66 victory, taking down the No. 4 Wildcats at home. College basketball is a very exciting time in college sports and the road to the Big Dance has just begun. The Ducks have a deep lineup of producers and are definitely capable of competing with highly-ranked teams this season. Fans are thrilled to support their Ducks, who have high hopes of dancing a little longer this season than last.