Let the Games Begin!

Oregon football pummeled Texas in the Alamo Bowl last week.  Oregon baseball is No. 6 in preseason rankings.  And while that’s all good and fun, this, ladies and gentlemen, is basketball season.  So how exactly is the Duck basketball team performing?  Well, they are 13-0 and top-10 in the AP Top 25 — an incredible start to a season by any means, and the best start since ’06-’07.  However, it is worthwhile noting that a season is not defined by its start but rather by its finish.  The Ducks have beaten some decent teams, sure, a number of them tournament caliber, but we are now entering the rigorous conference grind – so let the games begin!

This week Oregon defeated Utah in yet another overtime thriller.  And today they play a tough, tenacious Colorado squad that is poised for a lengthy tournament run.  So, did defeating teams like Marshall and Georgetown prepare us for Arizona or UCLA?

Short answer: Yes.

Duck basketball is doing special things this season that should properly prepare us for conference play and beyond.  Utah is a good squad, but the grind truly begins today.  Today we will defeat Colorado, and in doing so, develop a model for the way the remainder of the season should work.  We will accomplish this in a number of ways.

Embrace Mighty Joe Young

Joseph Young is ready

Craig Strobeck

Joseph Young is ready.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for the nation to recognize Joseph Young, but this guy can flat-out play.  Imagine taking the likes of Monta Ellis and placing him in a high-octane college offense – enter Joseph Young.  If the Ducks continue to trust him to make plays in and out of transition as they have, he should be able to outshine opposing star Spencer Dinwiddie and lead the Ducks to a victory.  Colorado, like most teams, lacks the defensive prowess required to counter the 19 points per game coming their way from Young.  They can’t hope to stop him; they can only hope to contain him.

Win the Scoring Battle

The Ducks are THE high-octane offense.  In fact, they rank No. 1 in the nation in points per game.  So, although obvious, Oregon only needs to win the scoring battle to win. Unlike the Ducks, Colorado is ranked in the middle of the pack at 91st in points per game.  You tell me – what’s the difference between No. 91 and No. 1?  I’d say my $90 is on the table in favor of a Ducks victory.

Remember the Tough Times

Though Oregon is scoring more than 90 ppg, teams are able to keep the games close. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as it provides the Ducks with the late game experiences they need to succeed come tourney time.  If today’s matchup is close in the second half, then the Ducks will look back at the tough times they’ve had and remember what it took to win.  Also unlike Oregon, Colorado has lost a late-minute game this season.

Remember the Good Times

Remember the tough times

Kevin Cline

Remember the tough times.

Oregon’s had some tough games, but all-in-all they’ve won every single one of them.  Basically, the Ducks know how to win.  One or two wins may be luck, but 13 is skill. Look for the Ducks to play their game as they have all season and make Colorado a Duck win — number 14.

Exceed Expectations

Oregon is ranked 10th in the polls; Colorado is No. 20.  By the simplest of standards, the Ducks are expected to win.  They understand that they are a good and powerful team now, but with great power comes great responsibility — Oregon will not simply back down to a team of equal stature, or any team for that matter.  But they cannot sit back, meet expectations by scoring 91 points, and then get upset by the Buffaloes when they score 92.  They need to score 100 points and limit Colorado to 50.  They need Joseph Young to drop 25 and limit Dinwiddie to five.  They need to exceed expectations, and by looking at their justifiably high ranking, they will do just that.

Main photo by Kevin Cline



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Lawrence Hastings

Lawrence Hastings

Lawrence Hastings spent the first fifteen years of his life in Los Angeles, California before moving to Eugene, Oregon. Transitioning to Duck land was easy for him seeing as he was raised a Pacific Conference fan since birth. So Lawrence, loving his new green home, chose to pursue a Sports Business degree at the University of Oregon. In his spare time Lawrence plays and watches sports religiously, with a particular passion for basketball. His favorite Duck of all time is Aaron Brooks, whom he met at local basketball camp as a teenager.

  • A’Reasonab le’Person

    Ugggghhh? So because Ducks are ranked 10 they should win by a score of 100-50? This is bad really bad writing and analysis. One of the worst articles about basketball I have ever read, if not THE worst.

  • Your momma (I’m not mad)

    I understand you that you write for Oregon (and get paid in fish sticks) but that article was way too biased, it was useless. Why you bet $90? You put your “Remember the Tough Times”(which looks like it’s about to be a foul) picture in the wrong spot. You didn’t note Joseph Young’s recent scoring troubles instead name dropped Monta Ellis?!? Also you made it seem like all of CU can’t even dribble a basketball. If I knew nothing at all and read this article I’d say Dinwiddie scores less 5pts a game and the team gets less than 50 per game. I’m not a fan of either team, here I’m just a critic who thinks you need to step up your game and put some effort forward in your work.

    • FishDuck

      Please see my comment above to Doug…of which is probably you at a different computer. Young had ONE tough game out of thirteen, as we all have a bad game once in awhile. You know that the writer was stating goals and not predictions on the scores….so you need to quit playing games with your insults.

      We welcome different opinions as it generates good discussion. I think you went too far in your disagreement and will consider you for Blacklisting as well if I see a similar post with the same IP address in the future. I love a good discussion, but I will not put up with the petty nonsense at this site that I see on some of the message boards .


  • Doug Drumsticks

    I understand this is fishduck and the writers aren’t pros, but holy jesus this is awful. It appears to have been written at a third grade level in terms of the reasoning of the repeatedly misguided points this writer is trying to make. I’m not sure I can come back to fishduck after reading this. Brutal.

    • Truth

      Interesting that you would say that this article is written at a third grade level. Did the writer omit facts or just give his opinion? No, he stated facts and then gave his opinion on how and what he believes a team he clearly supports needs to do continue to win. It is adult to disagree with someone but silly to say someone’s “reasoning” is at a third grade level. How about you offering your reasoning on what it will take for the Ducks to continue to win. I hope that you will not cry and stop reading fishduck because you don’t agree with an article. Assuming that you are an intelligent person I would hope that the only books, articles, etc…that you read are only read when you know they agree with you.

  • LuckieDuckie

    It’s still early in the morning but think I’ll crack a beer and get my game face on to get ready for the showdown in Boulder! Your article clearly shows that you are an unabashed Duck homer. I want the Ducks to win this one too but a split wouldn’t derail the teams goals as this years PAC-12 conference is deep with talented teams! I think the Ducks will prevail today but don’t hop off the bandwagon if they don’t!

  • FishStaff

    We understand that perhaps Lawrence came off as enthusiastic, but he did offer reasons why he felt that way. He is a young writer and learning, who we think can offer the readership a lot of information in the future as you will see.

    Doug….I deleted your first comment, and yeah…I know you registered as a different email and tried to make it appear that you were a different poster commenting, but I can see your IP address. If I see you going overboard in your comments again–I will not only delete you, but Blacklist you from posting here again.

    Disagreeing is fine, but insulting is over-the-line. No need for that.

    If you can do better than insult…why don’t you step up and write something of value? We need another writer or two–but you would find that it is harder than it looks!


    • SamOOOtime

      @FishDuck, I have followed this site since leading up to the Fiesta Bowl last year, but this is my first comment. I understand you must feel a need to stand up for your writers but playing mother hen on nearly each comment and threatening to blacklist commentors seems unusally sensitive.
      I also notice that there are far fewer comments posted here than other sites. I wonder if the two could be related?
      I like the analysis of this site, and some of the writing is OK. This article is not very good and I don’t know all the details but I would think that feedback is feedback. Trying to constantly decide what is good feedback and bad feedback must be exhausting and unrewarding.
      But at the end of the day it’s your decision and I like your site.