Friday, February 22, 2013

The Lake Show, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. If you were to say the Lakers season has been a disappointment, that would be quite the understatement. Despite all the adversity, they sit at 26-29 and 3.5 games out of the last Playoff spot behind the Rockets. I don't think many people would say LA is a sure fire Playoff team, but Kobe Bryant isn't like many people. Kobe not only thinks they have a chance at the postseason, he says "It's not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will." And once they get there, Bryant isn't afraid of any team in a best of seven series. He's been criticized for his guarantee, but I think it was a good thing for the Lakers. It shows that the mere thought of missing out on the Playoffs isn't an option for Kobe and the city of Los Angeles.
The Ducks return to PK Park for their home opener, to face the Lions of Loyola Marymount today at 6. After sweeping the four game set over Hawaii, the Ducks have moved up to #5 in the NCBWA College Baseball rankings. First baseman Ryon Healy had a great start to the season, being named PAC 12 player of the week. He went 8 for 15 and batted in four runs in the first series of the year. Still a lot of ball to be played, but the Ducks are starting this season off the right way.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ducks' Downslope, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. Twenty straight wins at home for the ducks ended with a disappointing loss to Colorado last night. Throughout the game, it seemed like the Ducks were going to put an end to its recent struggles on the court. They lead the entire game up to 29 seconds in the second half, when the Buffalo's 8-0 run ended with Andre Roberson hitting the game winner to give Oregon their third straight loss. The Ducks now sit at 18-5 overall and 7-3 in the PAC-12, looking like they will drop out of the top 25 polls.
Over the past few seasons the PAC-12 has been the laughing stock of the college basketball world, but 10 of the 12 teams in the conference are above .500 and five teams have 15 wins or more. So the strength of schedule should help the Ducks more than recent seasons where it could be the difference between the big dance or the NIT. The Ducks face off with Utah at home tomorrow, and will try to get back to their winning ways. The Utes are one of the two teams under the .500 mark, so this is a game that Oregon should win, especially at home.
Although they have been struggling as of late, it is great to see how Dana Altman has put this team back on the map. He took this program from irrelevant to contender in two seasons.