The Shift: What a 5-Star Recruit Means for Oregon Men's Basketball

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Earlier this week, five-star center Bol Bol committed to Oregon, bringing his talents to Eugene next year. Bol is the highest ranked recruit in the program's history, ranked #2 in the country, pushed Oregon's recruiting class to the top of recruiting rankings and gives Coach Dana Altman a dominant player to anchor next year's team - which should be mighty good!

While Bol's commitment should make every Oregon Men's Basketball fan excited for what's in store for the team in 2018-19, the California native's announcement signifies something much greater. 

Article to Read: Ducks Ready to Make Another Leap in College Hoops' Hierarchy (Duck Territory)

Since Altman brought in the recruiting class which included Dillon Brooks and Jordan Bell, Oregon's efforts on the recruiting trail have continually improved. From snagging Tyler Dorsey, to landing a top JUCO recruit in Chris Boucher, to last year's coup bringing in five-star Troy Brown, Altman and his staff have created a shift in how top prep basketball players view the Ducks. 

This year, not only is Bol joining Oregon, but so is fellow five-star recruit Louis King, two more four-star recruits and with one more scholarship spot open, there's still time for Altman to land another five-star or four-star recruit. In addition, the top-ranked player in the 2018 class, RJ Barrett, had Oregon among his final three before settling on Duke. 

This shift in attracting the very best talent to Eugene is exciting. Not only does it raise the level of skill for the Ducks, giving Altman more athletic and immediate-impact players to work into the program, but even more so it's changing the culture of the program. 

It's hard to attract the biggest recruits to Eugene. Going head-to-head against schools like Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina, traditional powers that dominate on the court and on the recruiting trail, to be a consistent contender for five-star players has never been harder. Add in that Oregon has only been to the Final Four twice in school history and you see what Altman has stacked against him. 

But with Bell and Brooks in the NBA, Dorsey getting drafted, Boucher having the opportunity to move up to play with the NBA defending champion Warriors later in the year, Dylan Ennis playing pro ball overseas - recruits can now see what Altman can do with top talent. 

A shift is coming. It started this last year with signing Troy Brown and is coming into full fruition this year with Bol, King and others joining the Ducks. Things are about to get even more exciting at Matthew Knight Arena!

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We're excited for Bol Bol to join the Ducks next season. In the meantime, if you haven't yet read Bol's first-person piece on why he decided to bring his talent to Eugene, please do so now!

The 2018 Oregon Football Schedule is Out - Make Your Predictions

The Pac-12 announced the 2018 football schedules for each team today, which means you can start to make your plans for next season. 

With that said, we want to start collecting responses from our members for 2018, sharing them with the Oregon Club of Portland community, while keeping them in our back pocket to follow up on at the end of next season. Want to earn some bragging rights?

Here's the 2018 Oregon Football schedule (home games in bold):
Sept. 1                 Bowling Green
Sept. 8                 Portland State
Sept. 15               San Jose State
Sept. 22               Stanford

Sept. 29               at California
Oct. 6                   OPEN
Oct. 13                 Washington
Oct. 20                 at Washington State
Oct. 27                 at Arizona
Nov. 3                  UCLA    
Nov. 10                at Utah
Nov. 17                Arizona State
Nov. 23 (Fri.)      at Oregon State

Post your predictions on Twitter and tag us (@OregonClubofPDX) and we'll share out your predictions. Us, we're thinking 13-0 (Pac-12 champs!!!). Go Ducks!

Oregon Cross Country Runs Strong at NCAA Regionals

Tanner Anderson leads the Men of Oregon (image via GoDucks)

Tanner Anderson leads the Men of Oregon (image via GoDucks)

The Oregon Men's and Women's Cross Country teams competed at the NCAA West Regional Championships Friday morning, with the women's squad earning a third place finish, while the men claimed fourth place overall. 

The top two teams automatically qualified, which means the Ducks will only secure their trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships via at-large bids, but their success throughout the season should give each team enough cushion to easily qualify. 

For the women, sophomore Katie Rainsberger once again led the charge. Rainsberger ran in contention to win for much of the race, but ultimately finished fifth. She was joined by Lilli Burton in the top ten, as Burdon earned a ninth place showing. Oregon's Carmela Cardama Baez finished 13th overall. 

Oregon placed third behind San Francisco and Stanford. In cross country, low score wins, with San Francisco amassing 59 points, while Stanford scored 76 points to Oregon's 92.

On the men's side, Tanner Anderson charged to a sixth place finish, helping the Ducks to a fourth place finish. Freshman Cooper Teare was second for the squad in 23rd place. The Ducks finished well behind Portland, who won the meet by two points over Washington 63-65, as well as Stanford, who took third in 85. The Ducks' 149 points, however, did place them ahead of UCLA, who beat them two weeks ago the Pac-12 Championships.

Article: Read the Oregon Regionals Recap (GoDucks)

The Ducks now set their sights on the NCAA Cross Country Championships, which take place next Saturday, November 18, in Louisville. 

Oregon's Big Day of Early Recruit Signings

Early signing day took place Wednesday and as expected some big-time athletes are headed to Eugene next fall. Here are some of our favorite signing day social media posts of athletes committing to Oregon.

Men's Basketball

Article: King, Norris Sign with Oregon Basketball (GoDucks)

 

Women's Basketball

Article: Ducks Add Duo on Signing Day (GoDucks)

 

Men's and Women's Track and Field

The squads will announce their full list of commits this spring (most likely), but here are some of the big-time early signings:

Five Things to Watch: Oregon v. Washington

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Oregon Football is putting in the work this week, prepping for their big clash against the rival Huskies this weekend in Seattle. While the Ducks enter the game as underdogs, Royce Freeman's offense and Troy Dye's defense are up to the task and certainly won't back down. 

While the game will provide plenty of fireworks, here are five things to watch on Saturday evening:

  1. Defensive Line - The Washington offense is ranked 17th in the country for points per game, scoring 38.6 on average. The Ducks will have their hands full against quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin. The duo are lights out and are always capable of big-play potential. That means Jalen Jelks, Henry Mondeaux and the rest of the defensive line need to put as much pressure as possible to disrupt Washington's offensive flow.
     
  2. Offensive Line - Left tackle Tyrell Crosby is getting All-American consideration and doing an incredible job anchoring the offensive line this season. The senior standout will need to keep his great play up Saturday, as does the rest of the offensive line, in order for the Ducks to have a chance to win. The phrase "the game is won in the trenches" matters more than ever this weekend and in order for the Ducks to move the football, they'll need big-time play from their big offensive line. 
     
  3. Quarterback Play - While Justin Herbert remains a question mark for Saturday's game, we'll assume Braxton Burmeister gets the nod to start until we hear otherwise. With that said, the freshman will no doubt look to continue his progression as a Pac-12 starting quarterback. Burmeister protected the football and played smart against Utah and will need to do much the same against the experienced Washington defense if the Ducks have a chance to win. 
     
  4. Field Position - The Huskies have a dynamic enough offense that they can make big plays and put up big points. This means the Ducks need to move the ball on offense and the kicking game needs to come up big, whether that be punting or on kick offs. It's vital Oregon pins the Huskies as far back on their side of the field as possible, as often as possible. Every yard counts!
     
  5. First Quarter Success - Husky Stadium is an intense place to play and it's crucial for the Ducks to keep the Seattle fans as quiet as possible early on. Get them going, get the Huskies going and it's that much harder to stop them. If Oregon can score early and make big stops on defense, the squad can carry over that momentum and keep things in their favor. 

As expected, Oregon v. Washington is going to be a great game. The Ducks are talented enough to compete with the Huskies, it all comes down to execution. Let's Go Ducks!

The Postseason Arrives for Oregon Cross Country

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After a strong showing at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships last weekend in Springfield, where the women earned a runner-up finish and the men came in fourth overall, the Oregon Cross Country squads now turn their sights to the cross country postseason.

Entering the final weeks of the season, the women are ranked third in the latest USTFCCCA Cross Country Rankings, dropping from their top spot to third. Regardless, the Ducks are still in prime position to challenge for a national title.

For the men, the young squad ranks 13th in the country. While they should qualify with ease to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, they have less wiggle room for qualifying than the women's team.

Next up on the schedule is the NCAA West Regional Championships, hosted in Seattle on November 10. The women, competing over a 6,000m course, won't see Pac-12 rival Colorado, who compete in the Mountain Regional, but will face tough Stanford, Washington and San Francisco squads.

The men, who will step up in distance to race 10,000m, will face tough challenges from Stanford, UCLA, Portland and others. 

Assuming all goes well at regionals, the Ducks will then make the trip to Louisville for the NCAA Cross Country Championships on November 18, as both squads challenge for team trophies.