Not a lot of quack today, but what we lack in quantity, we make up for with quality:
- Oregon baseball got off the schneid on Tuesday, and look to turn a win into a winning streak, as East Tennessee State visits PK Park this weekend. A key to Oregon's success this year has been freshman Jack Marder, whose home run to prevent the Ducks from being swept at Arizona to open Pac-10 play helped spur the Ducks to much greater success. Marder entered that final Arizona game with a batting average of .195, he's raised it to .250 and is averaging .278 in Pac-10 play. Marder has also been key defensively, playing 3 different positions. Contributions from young players like Marder have been key to the Ducks turnaround this season, and if that improvement continues, this team will be in Omaha in no time.
- The Ducks announced yesterday that JC forward Tyrone Nared signed with Dana Altman, and both the Oregonian and RG have pieces on the newest Duck. John Hunt has some info on 'The Solution,' Nared's nickname earned for his ability to handle any situation presented to his JC team. Nared is a 6'10" forward with the ability to play inside and outside. His versatility will give the Ducks a lot of options, especially when he's on the floor with Dunnigan, and should fit Altman's gameplan nicely. Also, if you haven't seen it already, check out this video fanshot on Nared, posted by SportsChat503.
- Bob Clark also covers the Nared commitment, and has some notes on Kenny Payne, Joevan Catron, and Josh Crittle. Altman has stated that he "definitely want[s] Kenny to be part of the staff" but at this point it sounds like Payne is exploring all his options. Altman wants Catron back as well, and though I've ragged on him plenty of times, I'd like to see him come back another year and see what he can do under a new coach. As far as Crittle goes, he's been working hard, and Altman sounds like he'll take him back, but it sounds like he would have to really work hard to get out of the doghouse.
- Autzen Stadium is getting a bit of work done this offseason, with the replacement of its turf. And it looks quite strange to see Autzen without turf. Oregon will be getting rid of the 2% crown the field has had, though due to the Ducks practicing much of the time in the Moshofsky Center, that crown was probably not the home field advantage some have made it out to be. The new field will have more shock-absorbing ability, to help satisfy Kelly's field requirements: "safety first and speed second."
- Ted Miller has a piece on the Oregon position battles of the spring, and Ted throws everyone a curve and skips of the QBs for the CBs, specifically the spot opposite Talmadge Jackson. It's been exciting so far, with Anthony Gildon and Cliff Harris battling, with early freshman enrollee Terrance Mitchell throwing his hat into the ring as well. We should see quite a bit of substitutions during the fall, so the Ducks should always have fresh legs on the field.
- Lastly, as the Pac-10 championships draw near for track and field, the RG has a profile piece on Travis Thompson, an Oregon runner who followed in his father's footsteps, with one exception: Travis is wearing the green and yellow while his dad wore orange and black.
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