oregon basketball

Bell shines, sparks Warriors' win

Oregon alum helps Golden State stymie Lillard, Portland
AP Report

Dunks, blocks, and the gravity of being in the perfect place at the perfect time. It would be easy to say that of course Jordan Bell can do this on a great team like the Warriors, but a roster like that should be even harder to crack for a rookie. Yet here he is fitting in like he has been playing in the system for years. That’s impressive.

As some of the Warriors other stars get old, which will happen eventually, the front office can be happy knowing it got someone like Bell to fill the roles. If he keeps making plays like this, maybe he’ll become a Warriors headliner.

Bell isn’t likely to win a regular spot in the Warriors starting lineup this season. But, over the last five weeks, Bell has evolved from occasionally being relegated to the inactive list to earning semi-regular minutes to becoming a very valuable member of the bench.

And his coach, Steve Kerr, also has evolved from benching Bell for learning purposes to saying he deserves more minutes to, this week, announcing that the forward/center is been “outstanding” in his rookie season.

The latest examples came Monday night, in a 111-104 win over Portland. With Draymond Green sitting out due to sore right shoulder, Kerr inserted Bell into the lineup for his third start. His numbers were excellent: 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, six rebounds, two assists and one block over 26 minutes. He was plus-14, best of anyone on the team.

But, as often is the case, Bell’s performance includes moments that astound the observer. In this instance it’s a third-quarter chase-down block of a layup by Blazers star Damian Lillard, the trailer on a two-on-one fast break.

Bell, who concedes that his bad-pass turnover triggered the Portland break, immediately remembers a sequence last week in New Orleans, where a Warriors turnover gave the Pelicans a three-on-one break.

“They missed, got the rebound again and missed again,” he recalled. “I was just standing there and coach was like, ‘Get down there. You’re a rookie. That’s how you have to be successful on this team. You have to play hard.’

“I was about to walk down. And then I was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to get taken out.’ So I just ran down and happened to be in the right place.”

It’s one of several highlight plays for the Warriors. No, it was more than that.

“That chase-down block after the turnover was spectacular,” said Kevin Durant, who drained a jumper seven seconds after the block. “That play kind of got us going.”

If Lillard makes the layup, it trims the Warriors lead to nine, 66-57, with 9:32 left in the quarter.

Instead, with Oracle Arena roaring and the team energized, the Warriors turn up the energy and, less than three minutes later, have a 21-point lead, 80-59.

 

Hoops finally hits the hardwood

High school basketball begins across the state
Staff report

After eight months of shooting drills, defensive shuffles and flat out running until parents showed up looking at their watches, high school basketball kicked off Friday with games across the state.

McKay of Salem hit 90 points in its boys win over Lakeridge, Benson hit 87 in its boys win over Gresham, just as the school's girls team was registering a decisive 61-44 win at Jesuit.

For the Benson girls, the game was a fabulous start to a season that includes a scheduled trip for a tournament in Washington, D.C. later this month.

Snuck into all the excitement of varsity play, was Mountainside of Beaverton beginning its drive toward varsity play next year with a boys Junior Varsity 2 game against Beaverton. Mountainside opened this year.

While league play begins for some of the six classifications, the non-league boys schedule includes the annual 16-team Les Schwab Classic, Dec. 27-30, and annual Nike Invitational for girls, Dec. 27-29.

Oregon City, set to play in the Nike Invitational, began its season Thursday with a four-day tournament in California, and plans to play in an eight-team tournament in Hawaii beginning Thursday as part of its drive to win its first state title since 2014.

Sutherlin's girls team, which has won the past four Class 4A state titles, lost Friday to Dayton in a tournament it plays host to.

 

 

 

Ducks headed for key playoffs

Will a trip to the Final Four get passion for the UO program back to The Pit level?
March 7, 2016

If something dramatic happens to the University of Oregon football team - like a dramatic turnaround that’s happened in the past decade at schools such as Michigan and Texas, could the Ducks become a basketball school?

After all, the team is headed for its fourth-straight NCAA Tournament after winning the Pac-12 regular season title. And the team appears built for post-season success for many years with a hot coach in Dana Altman.

So, could Eugene be as much a basketball town as football? That’s a key topic for the ninth episode of Sportsland, Oregon 2016.

As the Ducks head into the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas, and then a possible No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, a strong result (Final Four) could get the passion for the program heading toward making it one of the stronger ones in the conference. And will that passion ever approach what it was at The Pit in it's newer, plush arena - The Mat?

The Blazers, Timbers and youth basketball all come up from our base at Pour Sports in Southeast Portland.


Ducks own the Pac-12

Oregon heads into tournament with top seed after weekend sweep
March 6, 2016 / Staff report

LOS ANGELES - The University of Oregon might be a basketball school, not football. At least for the spring.

Tyler Dorsey scored 19 points, Elgin Cook added 17 and No. 9 Oregon beat Southern California 76-66 on Saturday to clinch the Pac-12 title outright, the Ducks’ first since 2002 and fifth in school history.

Oregon (25-6, 14-4) overcame a 20-minute power outage in the first half at Galen Center and the Trojans’ early run in the second half to close out the regular season with its fifth straight victory and 11th in 13 games.

The Trojans (20-11, 9-9) lost to Oregon for the 12th straight time, the Ducks’ longest-ever winning streak against USC. Katin Reinhardt and Nikola Jovanovic scored 12 points each, and Jordan McLaughlin added 10 for the Trojans, who went 2-6 in their last eight games.

The Trojans opened both halves strong, outscoring the Ducks 13-4 to start the second half and take a 50-48 lead, their first since early in the game. After going 9 of 10 from the free throw line in the first half, they struggled in the second, making just 8 of 18.

USC tied the game for the last time at 52-all on Reinhardt’s inside basket, but made just one field goal in the final five minutes.

Casey Benson’s three-pointer gave the Ducks a 63-56 lead after Dillon Brooks made his first basket of the game with 8 minutes to go. Brooks came in averaging a team-leading 17.2 points but got two fouls in the first half and went 1-of-6 from the field.

Dwayne Benjamin added 14 points and Jordan Bell had 10 for the Ducks, who extended their lead to 10 points on Benjamin’s three-pointer with less than two minutes to go.

The lights inside Galen Center went out with 5  minutes left in the first half and Oregon leading 31-22. The Ducks were in the midst of a 28-7 run that produced their largest lead, 37-22. Cook scored nine points and Dorsey added eight in the spurt.

Once the lights came back on, the Ducks scored six straight to finish their big run. The Trojans answered with a 15-7 spurt, getting 3-pointers from Reinhardt and Bennie Boatwright, to end the half trailing 44-37.

Shrugging off their history of slow starts, the Trojans opened the game by outscoring the Ducks 15-9. Cook and Dorsey combined to score 13 straight points in launching the Ducks’ dominant offensive stretch that helped them shoot 59 percent in the half.

TIP-INS: The Ducks are the top seed for the league tourney in Las Vegas. ... They swept the L.A. schools, having beaten UCLA 76-68 on Thursday, when Dorsey scored 20 points. ... They improved to 16-0 when holding opponents under 70 points.

UP NEXT: Oregon opens the Pac-12 Tournament as the top seed Thursday in Las Vegas at noon.

Ducks sweep weekend

Oregon rebounds from Civil War loss with wins over Cal, Stanford
Jan. 10, 2016

EUGENE - After losing on the road to start the Pac-12 season, the Oregon men's basketball team tamed both California and Stanford during the weekend at the Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon beat Cal 68-65 on Wednesday and Stanford 71-58 on Sunday to improve to 11-0 at home, and 13-3 overall. This weekend they play at Utah and Colorado.
 
Sunday, the Ducks spent the first half trying to figure out Stanford’s zone defense, and the second half picking it apart. After recording just nine assists in Wednesday’s win over California, Oregon had 11 in the second half alone Sunday, on 14 field goals as the Ducks extended what was a 28-24 halftime lead.

Oregon’s best sequence came midway through the second half, as Casey Benson found Dwayne Benjamin for a corner three and a 48-38 lead. That began a stretch of six straight field goals that were assisted on, with Dillon Brooks setting up Benjamin for a dunk, Tyler Dorsey feeding Chris Boucher for a layin and Benson setting up Brooks on the next three trips. That sequence gave Oregon its first double-digit lead, and Stanford (9-6, 2-2) never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Wednesday, it was 52-50 when Boucher hit a three-pointer for Oregon, then blocked a three-point attempt on the other end. Cal freshman Ivan Rabb scored against Boucher moments later to get the Bears within 57-54, but two possessions later Elgin Cook broke down a defender for a layin and then completed the three-point play after a timeout to match Oregon’s biggest lead, 60-54.

The Ducks then went scoreless on their next four possession, and Cal closed within 60-57. Coming out of a timeout with just under a minute to go, Dorsey hit a three-pointer from the corner on an inbounds play, and Oregon led by six again. The Ducks hit enough free throws the rest of the way to hang on.

Back-to-back threes by Dorsey had provided an early 11-6 lead in the first half, but Cal used a 10-2 run to claw ahead, 16-13. Oregon finally tied the game 23-23 on a hook shot by Boucher, and another Boucher basket forged the 27-27 halftime tie.

Ducks keep rolling toward postseason

Oregon beats Stanford, 73-70, clinches Pac-12 tournament bye
March 1, 2015 / Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins pointed to Oregon junior forward Elgin Cook as the primary reason the Ducks came out ahead in an important Pac-12 Conference game Sunday.

Cook scored 21 points, the third time he’s scored as many, and the Ducks beat the Cardinal 73-70 to clinch the third seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming Pac-12 Conference tournament.

Dwayne Benjamin, who had 15 points, made one of two free throws with 14 seconds remaining to give Oregon (22-8, 12-5 Pac-12) the lead and Joseph Young, who also scored 21 points, sank a pair of free throws with three seconds left after a missed Stanford shot.

Cook, who entered the game with a 12.7 scoring average, helped the Ducks win their fourth straight and eight of nine overall.

“He really stepped up for them,” Dawkins said. “That’s the best I’ve ever seen him play. He was hitting his perimeter shots and creating tough match-ups for us.”

Chasson Randle scored 17 points to lead the Cardinal (18-10, 9-7), who fell a half-game behind UCLA, which holds the tie-breaker over Stanford. Stefan Nastic added 16 points, Marcus Allen 14 and Anthony Brown 11.

Brown gave Stanford a 60-59 edge on a driving layup with just under seven minutes remaining in the contest. He extended the lead a minute later with a short jumper.

Oregon kept coming, though, and tied the game on Benjamin’s 3-pointer from the corner with 3:26 left. The Ducks took the lead moments later when Bell blocked a shot at one end of the court and slammed the ball through the net on the other end.

The game was tied at 70 heading into the final minute. The teams traded turnovers, with Benjamin stealing the ball and getting fouled with 14 seconds left to play.

“We got some stops there where we needed them,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said. “Then Dwayne came up with a big steal. It was imperative that he get one of those free throws down. We’d loved to have had both, but we had to have one to get a lead.”

Randle was looking to create something in the paint before trying to get the ball back out, where Benjamin stepped in and grabbed it.

“I thought he was going to drive and make something happen,” Altman said. “He was successful doing it. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of fighting him all night.”

Stanford missed its last seven shots of the first half, shot 4 of 8 from the foul line and committed a pair of turnovers during that eight-minute span.

The Ducks were 6 of 11 from the field over the same stretch.

The Cardinal were ahead 29-28 after a Stefan Nastic free throw with 3:45 to play in the first half.

Oregon outscored Stanford 8-1 the rest of the way to take a 36-30 halftime advantage.

Oregon's season is saving the state's honor

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:01am
Cliff Pfenning
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It's been a horrible year for college basketball at the NCAA Div. I level in Oregon.

Horrible is a bit of a harsh term, but a look at the conference records for the eight Div. I men's and women's programs shows there's only one of team with a winning mark. In fact, only the Oregon Ducks have more than five conference wins heading into this weekend's games.

Without the Ducks' 11-4 conference record, the state is 26-85 in conference games.

So, where's that leave the expectations for the fans of the four schools?

Are there any coaching changes that deserve at least a chat around a water cooler?

Here's a look at who's most likely to get a bit of conversation going in order of how it might come up:

1. Paul Westhead, Oregon women
If there's a change coming this off-season it's Westhead. Oregon is 50-67 in his fourth year there, but just 20-50 in conference play, and is going backwards in overall wins. This season, the Ducks are 4-24, 2-14, and lost all four games to in-state schools. When they played at the University of Portland in December, the team (along with the Pilots) attracted roughly 200 fans
Unless the team somehow plays its way to a conference tournament title, this will be the worst season in school history.

2. Craig  Robinson, Oregon State men
Robinson is 73-86 overall and 30-57 in conference play in his fifth year at the school. Those aren't numbers that scream for a coaching change, unless you're a fan who expects more. The Beavers were 21-15 last year, which showed off the progress under his guidance, but he has yet to post a winning record in conference play. This season's 3-12 record in Pac-12 play is what should get some discussion going.

3. Eric Reveno, Portland men
In his seventh season, Reveno has led the Pilots to a 96-124 record, and 42-47 mark in West Coast Conference play, so the program isn't begging for a change, unless, again, you expect more. Portland averaged 20 wins per season from 2008-11, but went just 7-24 last year. It's 11-19 this year and 4-11 in WCC action. A win or two in the conference tournament should quell discussion through another season, but no wins in Vegas leads to …

4. Tyler Geving, Portland State men
Geving has guided the Vikings to a moderate level of success, which included a 17-15 record last season. There's not an imminent need to push for a change in the Park Blocks, unless, again, you expect more. The team does not have any freshmen this season, which would be the biggest thing that attracts attention, and is just 8-16 overall. But last season's record and level of competitive play should allow room for at least one more season.

5. Scott Rueck, Oregon State women
In his third season, Rueck is 38-53 overall, but only 14-38 in conference play. He's still building the program with his own recruits, but 9-19, 3-13 this season is cause for some discussion. Are the Beavers going forward? He's still in year No. 3, and was conference Coach of the Year last season when the program went 9-9 in conference play, so there's not much of an imminent need to talk about his future as being somewhere else.

6. Sherri Murrell, Portland State women
In season No. 6, Murrell is 109-75, and 58-39, which puts her alongside Oregon's Dana Altman as the coaches with winning records for their career at their current school. The Vikings have had annual success, although this season they're just 11-5, 5-12. Another year like this will get a little blood boiling, although a return to previous success might actually get some larger schools looking her way.

7. Dana Altman, Oregon men
In year No. 3, the Ducks are 22-6, 11-4 under Altman and have become a Top 25 program. Oregon expects a winner, and he's producing. Now, they just need to get somewhere in the NCAA Tournament, but that's the kind of discussion you want.

8. Jim Sollars, Portland women
In year No. 27, Sollars is pretty-much untouchable as coach on The Bluff. The Pilots are an annually tough team, although just 11-17, 4-12 this year. Overall, Portland is 374-412 under Sollars, and 164-202 in WCC play, but heading for three decades at the helm should have fans talking about frustration with players, not the head coach. Unless, again, you expect more.









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