After the season opener for our men’s basketball team, Caleb Couturie attended the post-game press conference for FishDuck.com at Matthew Knight Arena.
Oregon defeated Coppin State 107-65 last night in the season opener! I shed a tear as I write this because I was unable to attend the game. Total bummer. Our star player, Joe Young, had a lot of good things to say in his post-game interview.
Young emphasized the importance of this game being a team sport. Our Ducks had a rough start and were down 11-2 at the beginning of the first half. Young explained that this huge deficit at the beginning was probably a result of it being the season opener, and there are a lot of new faces on the team. Nerves were definitely a factor.
Throughout the game Young had nine assists, and just in the first half he had 28 points. He explained his teammates started finding him when he was open and he knocked down his shots. Young averages 78% in field-goal percentage. In almost every question asked, Young incorporated the word “team” into his answer. I am very impressed with this, as basketball is a huge team sport.
“It started with my leadership,” Young said. “I feel like all the newcomers and the freshman didn’t know how to attack it until I started being vocal and keeping them calm. I knew the right things to do to calm my team down and make sure they were in the right spots.” Young explained that once everyone calmed down they started getting their confidence back and that’s when they really took over the game.
Although there are a lot of new faces on the team this year, Young gave credit saying, “We’ve got some talented freshman with some good potential.” One of the freshman he mentioned was Casey Benson, the 6’3″ Guard from Tempe, AZ. On a personal note, I am very familiar with Benson’s game as he was basically the kryptonite of every high school in our division back home. The star player at Corona Del Sol High School, Benson was without a doubt one of the most talented players I have ever seen in high school basketball.
Corona always beat us (Hamilton High School) so I wasn’t allowed to cheer for Benson back then, but I’m pleased he is a Duck now, and look forward to seeing how this freshman baller does this year and throughout his entire career. Young mentioned that Benson always gives 110% effort and I believe that completely. I am confident that our entire team plays the same way.
Team chemistry is a very important aspect when it comes to basketball, as you really have to know your team, each player’s strengths and weaknesses, and have strong communication. Good ball movement, in my opinion, comes from good communication and is very important when it comes to being a successful team. Young said the guys get together off the court, cook up some pork chops and come together as brothers. Yum!
It was a nice big win to get the basketball season going, but Young stated that he is “happy but not satisfied” and ready to move onto the next game.
Our Ducks will face Detroit at Matthew Knight Arena this coming Monday night at 8 p.m. Head out to that absolutely gorgeous gym and take a look at what our men’s basketball team can do! I know I’m going to try to be there. Go Ducks!
Top Photo by Steve Francis