Thanks for the Dance, Good Things Ahead

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For the Oregon men’s basketball team, the dance ended on Friday with a 77-69 loss to Louisville.  The Ducks played a good game but they were playing the number one overall seed in the tournament and simply could not keep up.  The Cardinal’s Kevin Ware was explosive and their defense was able to keep the ball away from Oregon for extended periods.

This was the first time since 2007 that the Ducks has made it to Sweet Sixteen.  Hopefully it won’t take the Ducks another six years to make it that far again.

While it’s sad that the Ducks didn’t make it to Elite Eight, this year cannot in anyway be considered lacking.  The Ducks presence in the tournament and their “Cinderella” status garnered a lot of attention all over the country.

If this attention can coax just one highly ranked recruit to join the Oregon’s men’s basketball team, it will be amazing.  If Oregon can add more high ranked recruits to an already good roster, it will only result in good things.  As we finish up this season, let’s take a look at the players ending their careers.

Oregon’s Graduating Seniors:

Walt's Photography (c)

Emory Drive’s against Idaho State

Carlos Emory – Originally from Bloomington, MN, Carlos attended Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, where he was part of their run to the National Junior College Championships he freshman season. Following his sophomore season, Carlos chose Oregon over Utah, Santa Clara, Missouri State, Baylor, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

Coming off the bench in the sixth-man role, Emory has been known for his ferocious dunks.  He has appeared in several ESPN SportsCenter Top-10 highlights this year.

Walt's Photography (c)

Kazemi for the Dunk

Arsalan Kazemi – Growing up in Iran, Arsalan chose basketball over soccer and at the age of 17 he flew to Dubai and applied for an American visa.  Following a year in prep school in North Carolina, he accepted a scholarship to Rice University.  Feeling he was being discriminated against, he and another teammate from Egypt transferred out – two of six players that left that program.  He applied for and was granted a hardship waiver so he could play his senior season at a Division I school.  Rice’s loss was Oregon’s gain, as he played a central part in Oregon’s march to the Sweet 16.

In three seasons at Rice University, he averaged a double-double for his career.  Through 95 games he averaged 12.6 points and 10.1 rebounds.  His 1,195 career points at Rice currently ranks him 21st all-time.  He also has 963 career rebounds which ranks third all-time at Rice

Walt's Photography (c)

Singler Drives

E.J Singler –  He is just the 13th player in school history to amass over 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.  His 1,114 career points ranks him 25th in school history and his career free throw shooting percentage is the best in school history (.875, 265-of-303).

E.J. is an Oregon native with deep roots.  He is from Medford, OR.  Both of his parents played sports for Oregon State; his father a quarterback and his mother played basketball.  His older brother Kyle was a standout at Duke University and now plays professionally for the Detroit Pistons.

A starter from his freshman year on, E.J.s contributions have been numerous and memorable.  He will be missed.

Walt's Photography (c)

Woods for the Dunk

Tony Woods – The 6’11” 243 lb. Woods has been a monster addition for the Ducks at Center.  Woods, a Top 50 recruit out of Rome, GA, originally signed with Wake Forest.  Woods had some personal controversies and was forced to transfer following his sophomore season.  He chose Oregon over Louisville, Kentucky and Texas, in part because Oregon’s quarter system allowed him to become immediately eligible.

Woods has started in all but one game this season, averaging 9.7 points and 3.5 rebounds, with a team-best 27 blocks.

Coach Altman has been recruiting hard and there are players already waiting in wings to take over for them.  There are plenty of young players who’s best is yet to come.

It has been an amazing season for the Ducks, and as a fan it has been so much fun to watch.  We can only wait and watch to see how the next year will unfold.

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