GameDay: Oregon men’s basketball roundtable on the 2013-14 season
Emerald sports reporters Ryan Kostecka, Madison Guernsey and Hayden Kim discuss the 2013-14 Oregon men’s basketball season and the Ducks’ upcoming games against Arizona and in the Pac-12 Tournament.
1) Was this season a success, a disappointment or somewhere in between? Why?
Kostecka — Disappointment mixed with success. Coming into this season, Damyean Dotson was a possible candidate to contend for Pac-12 player of the year and the Ducks had potential to be a No. 10-20 nationally ranked team while giving Arizona and UCLA a run for their money. Those things didn’t happen. The Ducks’ turnaround is a successful aspect of Oregon’s season.
Guernsey — At this point, the season has been a disappointment. Depending on the outcome of the Arizona game and beyond, it could be a success. The Ducks have the talent to finish atop the Pac-12 but instead will be lucky to finish in the top four. Even though the Ducks lost five straight games and eight of 10 in the middle of the season, they still have a shot at getting into the NCAA tournament. That is a success. At the beginning of the season anything less than one March Madness win would have been a disappointment, but given the circumstances, just getting in will be a success.
Kim — For a team that began the season 13-0 and was ranked a top 10 team in the AP Poll, this season was a disappointment. There were high expectations for a team that added top quality transfers like Jason Calliste, Mike Moser and Joseph Young and they simply did not satisfy them. The Ducks are still in the mix to receive an NCAA tournament bid and can make up some of that ground late in the season.
2) Who has been Oregon’s MVP this season?
Kostecka — Young is the MVP for Oregon. Young’s offensive capabilities keep Oregon in any game, as seen in the ASU game. He’s been the brightest star on a team that has failed to meet expectations.
Guernsey — The MVP for the Ducks has been Mike Moser. Moser is versatile at 6-foot-8, and can shoot from the outside. His length makes him a defensive presence inside and his rebounding efforts have been unmatched. In 21 wins this season, Moser is averaging 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, compared to 12.3 points and 6.6 rebounds in eight losses. Moser’s been especially valuable during Oregon’s six-game winning streak, averaging 18.3 points and 11.3 boards.
Kim — Young has been the MVP for Oregon. In addition to leading the team in scoring (18.8 points), Young has also been the clear leader at the end of games. And while Young had his fair share of inconsistent play this season, his scoring ability and presence on the floor is something the Ducks could not afford to be without. During the Ducks’ recent five-game winning streak, Young has been averaging 20.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and has shot .857 percent from the line. The bottom line is that the Ducks go as Young goes in regards to winning games and it’s been apparent in this final stretch of the season.
3) What moment or storyline will you remember most from this season?
Kostecka — Young’s second half against Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. was one of the greatest halves of basketball I’ve ever seen by an individual player. His 29 points in the second half were just two shy of ASU’s second half total. The way he scored his points was impressive, pulling up for three-pointers, getting into the lane for pull-up jumpers, driving hard for layups and hitting free throws.
Guernsey — The most prominent storyline is the inconsistency of Oregon. After 13 consecutive wins they looked poised to repeat their success from 2013. The Ducks struggled early on in conference play, diminishing Oregon’s chances of playing deep into March. Now, with one game left, the Ducks have played themselves back into the picture in an epic late-season run. If they’re successful, that will be the most memorable storyline.
Kim — The rapidity of Oregon’s fall from the national scene is the most memorable storyline from this season. From beginning the season with so much hype and a top 10 ranking, to then go and lose five straight games following their Pac-12 opener against Utah, the Ducks couldn’t have taken a more drastic turn. It may have been a pleasant surprise to see this year’s team have the potential to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament, but now it is merely a game of getting in.
4) How will the Ducks perform against Arizona and in the Pac-12 tournament?
Kostecka — Arizona is looking like a team on a mission. They’ve finally found their groove after the loss of Brandon Ashley and I think they will be the final team cutting down the nets in April. Oregon somehow finds a way to grind out a win to end the regular season against Arizona but the Wildcats get their revenge over the Ducks in the Pac-12 tournament, whether it be the semifinals or finals.
Guernsey — Every player on Oregon understands the importance of the game against Arizona, and they’ll play their hearts out. However, the Wildcats are simply too good and won’t falter in the regular season finale. I like Oregon’s chances in the Pac-12 tournament depending on the match-ups, helping the Ducks lock themselves into the NCAA tournament.
Kim — In their biggest regular-season game of the year, the Ducks will have the luxury of playing No. 3 ranked Arizona at home. Oregon will have another chance to pick up a marquee win and will at least keep the game close. Heading into the game, the Ducks will be right in the mix in regards to the NCAA tournament, so they will presumably bring all they have in a vital season ending game. In regards to the Pac-12 tournament, the Ducks are capable of beating any team. The Ducks have shown they can compete with the best teams in a loaded Pac-12 conference. I would not be surprised if the Ducks won the tournament based on the outcome of their last game against Arizona.
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.