Errrrr 8th place? Depends on what anyone would like to classify USC''s basketball season as. Needless to say the final Pac ten game at Mac court is essentially for second to last place. As a bright eyed freshman in 2006 I entered the UO community at a time of prosperity in terms of the basketball program. Aaron Brooks was running the show and the pit was a ticket people would nearly give life and limb for. Let me be clear that team was great, maybe one of the best in the history of the school. Losing to the eventual 2 time national champion isn't anything to be disappointed in. The one game I missed due to egregious scheduling was the UCLA , towards the end of a restless winter break. One in which Brooks put the team on his shoulders and willed us to one of the more exciting victories in Mac Court's history. Does anyone else miss those days? I would think the bulk of you share similar sentiments coupled with a sour taste of current happenings. What happened?............. Simple question with a complex and not so clear answer.
-- First problem, we recruited big men. This is equivalent to the Russian nuclear program of the cold war. Sure in relation to the United States obtaining such technology is clearly desirable. But when it gets down to the nitty gritty we have no idea how to control them or use them in effective manner, oh and their abundance is laughable in comparison to our most hated foes. Eugene has become a Grenoble of basketball talent sitting dormant seeping through occasionally to give us energy and excitement just to eventually poison is with sweet sweet radiation. That analogy is something I'm working on.
-- Second Issue, and not mutually exclusive from the first. Ernie fucking Kent. Cliche as it seems, he deserves all the flack that has been thrown his way. Generally teams don't have the best recruiting class in their history followed by two of the worst seasons of the decade. One thing i don't question is his ability to bring talent to Eugene that in most cases we have no business obtaining. But alas that is not half the battle and will certainly never win you a war. Who is coaching these kids? My sister who occasionally watches basketball would be able to point out our outstanding ability to rarely get off a good look at the hoop in the 35 seconds we're allotted. Not to mention the form of zone defense which must have been drawn up by an individual with extreme claustrofobia for that is the only reason such an atrocious perimeter scheme would EVER exist.
--- Complacency, by everyone. This one is something that needs to be shared with the whole Duck community. What happened to mac? since when is the average age at a basketball in the mid 60's? This isn't to say I have something against the elderly, I love my grandparents like the rest of you. But remember those days when the burnt orange rims stood little chance against the fierce energy Mac Court was able to create on a night in and night out basis? People, rims don't shake everywhere and it isn't something we should have ever taken for granted. We can get on the players for not believing in themselves but at some point we have to believe in them as well. The lack luster environment i've seen especially over the past two years is something that the average patron of Autzen would look at with a wary eye. When did the dichotomy between expectations for our Football and basketball program even come to this point? For lack of a better phrase, STAND THE FUCK UP AND DO SOMETHING. Are you here to watch a sporting event or observe an appendectomy? The students can only do so much and half of them have even checked out and become apart of the problem. I'm sorry if it seems like i'm venting some frustration, but that is exactly what I intended on doing (You were even forewarned before you clicked to read this).
I'm excited about tomorrows game and as I write this my eyes feel heavy with the transgressions of last night and my stomach is pitted in a knot that won't be fixed by a win over Washington state. I just want to see some heart, in the players and in the fans.
Here is to you Mac court, and here is to the great fans who have filled your seats for over 80 years.
A most gracious, thank you