NCAA Tournament

NCAA website shows what it thinks of women

COLUMN: The men's and women's tournaments promoted very differently
By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports.com

When the NCAA Tournament bracket was released for women’s basketball last week, Oregon State University didn’t get treated very well. And, it kinda got worse, because even though the Beavers’ program produced some unprecedented success, the entire women’s game got fairly well disrespected this weekend.

For starters, Oregon State, despite being ranked No. 13 nationally in the Associated Press poll, which is promoted on ncaa.com, the Beavers were relegated to a No. 6 seed, something that would put them ranked 24th or worse. With that seed, OSU didn’t get to play host to one of the 16 four-team sub-regional tournaments, which the sixth-ranked Oregon Ducks did as a No. 2 seed. The Beavers were the only team among the top 16 that didn’t get to host games over the weekend.

When the results came in, though, the NCAA did plenty to disrespect more than just the Beavers. They did it to the women’s game.

Oregon State won its two games, including a win over host Tennessee that was the Vols’ first ever at home in the tournament. The Beavers might not have gotten seeded where they should have, but they played like a team that should have been seeded higher. Great job OSU.

It’s in looking for results on the game via the NCAA website that you find out how much respect the organization has for women’s basketball, or perhaps women’s sports in general.

As the men’s tournament is taking place at the same time, there’s tournament games aplenty to provide results on, and the NCAA did that ... for men’s games. Every game Sunday got a video, a short recap of the game and the game box score. The front page of the NCAA website shows off the thrill of the tournament. And, there’s one story on the women’s game.

Each one of the women’s games got a box score, and a link to a story that turned out to be the tournament bracket. The games involving a No. 1 or 2 seed got a short video, but all the website links went to the same place - the tournament bracket. Even the headlines from Monday that promoted some excitement of the day - “8 more teams vie for Sweet 16 berths” - went to the bracket.

Today, after those eight games were decided, the NCAA website promoted the men’s tournament Sweet 16 being set with a video and story, and the women’s Sweet 16 being set with a listing of the scores from the previous two days.

This actually seems like an opportunity for women to address the importance of their sports to their governing body - why does the NCAA care more about the men’s game than the women’s game? Obvioiusly, it’s money. But, it shouldn’t affect something as basic as the NCAA website where the economic affect of putting a little more effort into promotion of the women’s tournament is just flat out effort.

Oregon and Oregon State are getting covered just fine by local media, which has put them at the top of their news. And, the Ducks and Beavers have plenty of fans - show off by the Ducks getting more than 7,500 fans for their game Sunday. But the NCAA is showing off just how little it thinks of women’s athletics by putting effort into only promoting the men’s tournament.

 

Oregon prepped for Louisville

Shooting, defense and depth are the Ducks' strengths against the Cardinals
March 27, 2013

Oregon's hopes of winning the National Championships this season get their biggest and best test of the season today when it tips off against the Louisville Cardinals in the Sweet 16 round of games in Indianapolis.

Louisville, the Big East tournament champion, was picked by many media outlets, including Sports Illustrated, to win the tournament, in part because of the depth of its conference talent.

The Big East won two games on Thursday, and with a Louisville win would have three of the final eight teams in the NCAA tournament.

The Pac-12, meanwhile, has just the Ducks left after Arizona lost 73-70 to Ohio State Thursday.

But, it's been a season of upset and underdogs, including Florida Gulf Coast becoming the first 15th seed to reach the Sweet 16. It's opening win was over Georgetown of the Big East.

And, SI, picked Oregon - seeded 12th by the tournament selection commitee -  to lose its tournament opener to Oklahoma State.

Oregon's hopes come from its stellar defense and strong shooting, especially from 3-point range. In the victory over Saint Louis, freshman Damyean Dotson made his first five 3-point shots.

And, the team's rebounding, led by 7-foot center Arsalan Kazemi, had held opponents to few second-chance points, especially during the Pac-12 Tournament run.

Louisville has a 12-game win streak.

 

OREGON 74, SAINT LOUIS 57

Bring on Louisville!

The 12th-seeded University of Oregon men's basketball team powered through a second straight higher seed Saturday and will play the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals Friday in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis.

Damyean Dotson hit his first five 3-point shots and finished with 23 points to lead Oregon past Saint Louis 74-57 Saturday in San Jose, earning the Ducks their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2007, when they missed a spot in the Final Four by one win.

Carlos Emory added 14 points and Arsalan Kazemi had 16 rebounds in the win, which improved the Ducks to 28-8 overall.

The Billikens were seeded fourth in the Midwest, but managed just 19 points in the first half.

Louisville, picked by Sports Illustrated to win the national championship, routed Colorado State 82-56 Saturday in Lexington, Ky.

 

OREGON 68, OKLAHOMA STATE 55

The Oregon Ducks made their case for a better seed in the NCAA Tournament Thursday, and they did it the best way possible - with a win over a higher seed.

Dominic Artis had 13 points and four steals and combined with fellow freshman Damyean Dotson's 17 points to help 12th-seeded Oregon extend a run that began in the Pac-12 tournament by beating the fifth-seeded Oklahoma Statee 68-55 in the second round of the NCAAs Thursday at HP Pavillion in San Jose, Calif.

Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds for Oregon, which won a tournament game for the first time since reaching the Elite 8 in 2007.

Carlos Emory added 12 points and nine rebounds as the Ducks clobbered the Cowboys of the Big 12 44-30 in rebounds, including 14-4 on the offensive end.

Jonathon Loyd, the MVP of the Pac-12 tournament, scored five points on three shots and dished out three assists in a reserve role.

The Ducks play fourth seeded Saint Louis, which beat New Mexico State Thursday, on Saturday.

 

Hard work pays off for Jones, Kentucky

COLUMN: Former Jefferson standout earns high praise for his consistency
April 2, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

Congrats Coach Cal, and those boys who got you your first NCAA men's basketball title Monday night.

Especially, the Portlanders: Terrence Jones and Kyle Wiltjer; both of whom have experienced quite a lot of success in their young basketball careers. Each has three state titles and, now, an NCAA title in hand.

Their careers are ready to be judged by their professional results with Jones on the fast-track to this year's NBA Draft. Of the players on the Kentucky roster, he might have done the most good for himself during the title run simply by not doing too much.

Even though Jones is among the players analysts regularly consider an NBA Lottery pick, he's also regularly viewed as a questionable talent, something that gets written about as "when he shows up," which isn't a great thing to have in your talent bio.

Jones has developed that line for years, which I got to see first-hand at Jefferson.

The Democrats won Class 5A titles in 2008, '09 and '10, but during his final two seasons he was basically allowed to do whatever in most games. Jefferson lost only two games to another Portland Interscholastic League team in those three seasons, and I happened to see one - to Franklin, a Class 6A school that didn't win a playoff game. The Demos lost because the Quakers were an inspired, scrappy group, and Jefferson regularly played defense with four players. Jones rarely crossed mid-court to play defense. He did this in a lot of games as a junior and senior, and didn't move to Kentucky with a ton of fans from the PIL, something honed even further when he picked Washington as his school of choice via the Internet, then changed his mind five minutes later.

For people who work hard and value commitment, Jones didn't head to Kentucky with a lot of fans who'd seen him in person.

(As Jefferson is my neighborhood school and I've often volunteered there, I visited the campus plenty and Jones was almost always in the main hall, no matter what time I visited.)

During his freshman season in Lexington, he played quite a bit and seemed to always be listed among the top 10 players headed for the 2011 NBA Draft as a small forward. The lockout was probably one of the best things that could have happened to him as it helped those around him motivate him to stay in school.

In his sophomore season, he continued to develop as a player, and hopefully as a person, and won an NCAA title, which is a pretty rare accomplishment - just ask Coach John Calipari.

His draft ranking seems to have slipped in the past year - from that Top 5 to Top 15 arena - which will affect his rookie contract, but the extra year has likely given him a better shot at a longer pro career.

So, what kind of professional is Terrence Jones likely to be? That's the question for every draftee.

Jones showed a lot of what his true potential is, at least in his early years, during the Final Four. He's mostly going to be a defensive presence. Almost all of his points were scored on dunks, finishing a fastbreak or cleaning up someone else's miss. He rarely attempted a jump shot, or even posted up despite his size: 6-foot-9, 252 pounds.

Jones entered Kentucky as a shooter, a small forward, but only attempted seven 3-point shots in six tournament games as a sophomore. He made just 13 of 26 free throws in the same six games. He finished the Final Four with just 15 total points, but grabbed 14 rebounds and had four blocked shots. He helped both Louisville and Kansas struggle to score inside - both teams missed numerous dunks.

What Jones did in this tournament is provide a better idea for NBA general managers of who he can be as a rookie, what role he can play: mostly as a garbage man on offense and general stud on defense.

There's room for that kind of player in the NBA, especially one that's in the neighborhood of winning a title without having to lean on him for too much in the early part of his career.

Of course, there's a lot of other guys in the league already in that position and not looking to give up their minutes very easily.

So, bravo TJ, for starting the long process of winning back the fans of hard work and commitment, a fan base that doesn't look for points, but results.

 

TJ starting to get some fans back

Tue, 04/03/2012 - 7:21am
Cliff Pfenning
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Congrats Coach Cal, and those boys who got you your first NCAA men's basketball title Monday night.

Especially, the Portlanders: Terrence Jones and Kyle Wiltjer; both of whom have experienced quite a lot of success in their young basketball careers. Each has three state titles and, now, an NCAA title in hand.

Their careers are ready to be judged by their professional results with Jones on the fast-track to this year's NBA Draft. Of the players on the Kentucky roster, he might have done the most good for himself during the title run simply by not doing too much.

Even though Jones is among the players analysts regularly consider an NBA Lottery pick, he's also regularly viewed as a questionable talent, something that gets written about as "when he shows up," which isn't a great thing to have in your talent bio.

Jones has developed that line for years, which I got to see first-hand at Jefferson.

The Democrats won Class 5A titles in 2008, '09 and '10, but during his final two seasons he was basically allowed to do whatever in most games. Jefferson lost only two games to another Portland Interscholastic League team in those three seasons, and I happened to see one - to Franklin, a Class 6A school that didn't win a playoff game. The Demos lost because the Quakers were an inspired, scrappy group, and Jefferson regularly played defense with four players. Jones rarely crossed mid-court to play defense. He did this in a lot of games as a junior and senior, and didn't move to Kentucky with a ton of fans from the PIL, something honed even further when he picked Washington as his school of choice via the Internet, then changed his mind five minutes later.

For people who work hard and value commitment, Jones didn't head to Kentucky with a lot of fans who'd seen him in person.

(As Jefferson is my neighborhood school and I've often volunteered there, I visited the campus plenty and Jones was almost always in the main hall, no matter what time I visited.)

During his freshman season in Lexington, he played quite a bit and seemed to always be listed among the top 10 players headed for the 2011 NBA Draft as a small forward. The lockout was probably one of the best things that could have happened to him as it helped those around him motivate him to stay in school.

In his sophomore season, he continued to develop as a player, and hopefully as a person, and won an NCAA title, which is a pretty rare accomplishment - just ask Coach John Calipari.
His draft ranking seems to have slipped in the past year - from that Top 5 to Top 15 arena - which will affect his rookie contract, but the extra year has likely given him a better shot at a longer pro career.

So, what kind of professional is Terrence Jones likely to be? That's the question for every draftee.

Jones showed a lot of what his true potential is, at least in his early years, during the Final Four. He's mostly going to be a defensive presence. Almost all of his points were scored on dunks, finishing a fastbreak or cleaning up someone else's miss. He rarely attempted a jump shot, or even posted up despite his size: 6-foot-9, 252 pounds.

Jones entered Kentucky as a shooter, a small forward, but only attempted seven 3-point shots in six tournament games as a sophomore. He made just 13 of 26 free throws in the same six games. He finished the Final Four with just 15 total points, but grabbed 14 rebounds and had four blocked shots. He helped both Louisville and Kansas struggle to score inside - both teams missed numerous dunks.

What Jones did in this tournament is provide a better idea for NBA general managers of who he can be as a rookie, what role he can play: mostly as a garbage man on offense and general stud on defense.

There's room for that kind of player in the NBA, especially one that's in the neighborhood of winning a title without having to lean on him for too much in the early part of his career.

Of course, there's a lot of other guys in the league already in that position and not looking to give up their minutes very easily.

So, bravo TJ, for starting the long process of winning back the fans of hard work and commitment, a fan base that doesn't look for points, but results.

 

Tournament surprises might be no surprise

SPORTSLAND: Kentucky? No way, while Oregon and OSU seasons keep going
March 12, 2012

The NCAA Tournament brackets released Sunday put a number of former Oregon high school standouts into top seeds, including two on the University of Kentucky roster.

Former Jefferson standout Terrance Jones, and Jesuit grad Kyle Wiltjer, played key roles in helping the Wildcats earn a No. 1 seed in the three-week tournament that has expanded to 68 teams.

The Wildcats playthe winner of Tuesday's Missippi Valley State/Western Kentucky game in the second round on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Oregon City grad Brad Tinsley helped Vanderbilt beat Kentucky in the final of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Sunday, which earned the Commodores a fifth seend and game with Harvard Thursday.

Former Grant standout Mike Moser helped UNLV earn a No. 6 seed and game against Pac-12 Tournament champion Colorado Thursday.

California was the other Pac-12 team selected to play in the 68-team tournament.

Oregon and Oregon State were both invited to play in other tournaments.

Oregon is a third seed in the National Invitational Tournament and will play host to Louisiana State Tuesday at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon State was invited to the College Basketball Invitational and will play host to Western Illinois Tuesday at Gill Coliseum. The Beavers won the CBI Tournament two years ago.

 

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