Basketball Odds and Ends


Published: April 9, 2008


Bob Clark of the Register-Guard (Eugene) did a blog going in depth about next year’s out of conference games, and it sounds like it may be the toughest Oregon has played in a very long time when you look at the possible teams Oregon could play.

The season next year will start off in Maui, HI, in the famous Maui Invitational, which takes place November 23-25. Oregon is slated to play three games no matter the outcome of each game with a field of teams of Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, St. Joes’, Texas, and the host school Chaminade. Six out of the eight schools made this past year’s NCAA tournament and two teams (North Carolina and Texas) made the elite 8 with North Carolina in the final four.

Oregon will then host Kansas State in the return home game in the Big12 Pac10 challenge from this past season where Oregon traveled to play at Kansas State. Kansas State was headlined by one of the nation’s best players in Michael Beasley who is expected to turn pro this spring. KSU however will bring back a talented young team from last year mixed with another top class coming in the fall for the wildcats.

Last season Oregon hosted the Utah Utes in the Pape Jam in Portland, Or and will be going east to play a road game against Utah next season. It is unclear where the game will be played at this moment, but if history shows anything, the game will be played on a neutral court as every return game the Ducks have played has been on a neutral court

Big Sky champs Portland State has also been mentioned around the Internet as another school Oregon will be hosting in Eugene this winter. Portland State returns a large amount of the players who played in last years NCAA tournament team that lost to Kansas in the first round under head coach Ken Boone formally an assistant under Lorenzo Romar at Washington.

Oregon fan’s that went to the NCAA tournament game in North Littlerock, AR have reported on ‘s message board that St. Mary’s fans who were there to watch St. Mary’s play at that location as well have been told there will be a game next season in Eugene between the two teams as well. This is unofficial and not documented so this will be something to keep an eye on as St. Mary’s could be once again another NCAA tournament team the Ducks will face next season.

According to a Fox news station in Shreveport, LA, Standford head coach Trent Johnson will leave the cardinal and take the head coaching position that’s open at LSU for next season. This will create another Pac-10 head coaching position to be filled before next season and it should be expected that Oregon head coach Ernie Kent will be a candidate in the first set of coaches the athletic department at Stanford will look into.

Kent was an assistant at Stanford from 1989 till 1991 under new Cal head coach and former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery. Will Ernie Kent be seriously interested in the Stanford job? Highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened in college basketball history. At Stanford Kent could get away from constant attacks from critics and boosters in Eugene who have become increasingly upset with his coaching at Oregon. Staying at Oregon however should be his choice as Kent is bringing in the next wave of top recruits at Oregon to go along with a new arena being built. Also take into consideration that Kent went to school at Oregon and also was a letter winner during the “Kamikaze” days under Dick Harter for basketball.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding the coaching search at Stanford and the effects it might or might not make on the Oregon Ducks.

The City Paper (Nashville) has published a new article on the recruitment of Oregon City, Or high school point guard Brad Tinsley and what his plans regarding his upcoming official visits and what schools are leading in his recruitment for his services on the hardwood.

Tinsley, ranked by as the nation’s 18th-best point guard and 93rd-best prospect overall, originally committed to Pepperdine last year but re-opened his recruitment after the firing of coach Vance Walberg.

His father, Carl Tinsley, told that Vanderbilt and Oregon might be in the lead for Brad Tinsley’s services ahead of Wake Forest, Arizona State, Butler and Southern California.

Commodore coaches have diligently recruited Tinsley in recent months, making numerous trips to the West Coast.

“I believe Vanderbilt is high on his list, there’s no question about that,” Carl Tinsley said. “I think Vanderbilt has a very good shot. I do think Vanderbilt does have the advantage in him knowing the staff already, as does Oregon.

The Oregon Ducks appear to be recruiting the point guard position very heavily recently with the recruitment of Oregon high school product Brad Tinsley to round out the class of 2008. Yet, Ernie Kent and his staff are hard on the trail to try to land arguably the number one junior for the point guard position in Raliegh, NC’s John Wall. Wall is a 6’4 combo point guard that can score and take over games with his offense or be the set up man and create for everyone else on the floor with his and1 like ball handling. However offense isn’t his only forte. Going under the radar so far it appears, but Wall is also a very lengthy defender that uses his great quickness to shut down his man. Wall, according to, has scholarship offers from national champs Kansas, runner-ups Memphis, and as well as Indiana, Kentucky, Miami, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, and Virginia.

Wall yet to take any official visits hasn’t shied away from getting out and seeing the nations best schools as he has already visited unofficially Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Duke, Kentucky, NC State, and North Carolina.

Wall visited the Oregon campus for the last home stand of the regular season on March 8, 2008 and got to see Oregon play one of its better games all year against an Arizona team fighting for an NCAA birth.

Here are some brief comments about Wall made by the USA Today newspaper,, Courier-Journal (Louisville), and

John Wall reminds us of the Phoenix Suns’ Leandro Barbosa with more of a point-guard mentality. At 6 feet 3, Wall has unguardable speed with the basketball and an uncanny ability to finish at the basket.

In the three games that we watched Wall play in Las Vegas, we didn’t see an opponent who was able to keep him out of the lane. In fact, Wall repeatedly made his way to the basket. He finished with regularity, or was able to find teammates at the last moment. Rarely do you find a player who continues to pick up speed once he enters the scoring zone and is still able to make positive plays the vast majority of the time.

Wall burst onto the national scene this July, and the list of schools recruiting him is growing.

On Oregon: “It was fun visiting there [for the Arizona game March 8]. It was a good game. They are a good school and I got to know some of their coaches and talk to the players. I learned some things about him [coach Ernie Kent], and he learned some things about me. I can see myself playing with [sophomore point guard] Tajuan Porter. They let him play the way he wants to. They think he’s a true two guard because he shoots a lot. It’s hard because they want him at two guard but he’s supposed to be the one.

Kentucky junior target John Wall led Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God Christian Academy to its second consecutive North Carolina Independent Schools Class 1-A state title. Wall said the recruiting process is wide open, but also told that N.C. State, Virginia, Memphis and Miami are among the schools recruiting him the hardest. But on his profile UK and Oklahoma State, two schools he’s visited, are listed as high interest on the 6-foot-3 guard. Expect him to narrow the list some this spring.

Outside of the three headliners, Rbk U provided a look at 120-plus players. Some took advantage of the situation, others didn’t.

One player in particular, John Wall from Raleigh N.C., left coaches, scouts, and recruiting gurus alike, scrambling for rosters.

“Who is No. 10?” was heard throughout out the stands from people expecting to see a show from Wall’s running mate, UCLA-bound Malcolm Lee.

“I think I did pretty well,” said Wall, prior to taking the court as a starter in the camp’s all-star game. “At first, I was pretty nervous because of all the top players here, but I just wanted to play hard and get my name out there.

Following Rbk U, his name is officially “out there.”

Wall, who said his recruitment is “wide open,” is a 6-4 point guard who did just about everything right in Philadelphia. The junior from Word of God Christian Academy has a tremendous overall skill set and is a natural jump shooter. He was the camp’s second-leading scorer, at 17.5 ppg., and was smart and patient when running the offense. For good measure, Wall even provided some jaw dropping highlights with his crossovers and no-look passes.

“I feel I can be a top 25 player in the ’09 class,” he said. “I did a really good job against some great players and I was able to get to the rack, push the ball and played strong defense.”

“I think the season went really well actually. At the beginning of the season we had some difficulties with our chemistry. After a couple of games we decided that if we wanted to win a state championship and be one of the top teams in the nation than we needed to come together. We had to come together as a family,” Wall said.

“I think I spring boarded the summer into my season really well. I knew I could score so this year I wanted to focus on getting everyone around me better. I wanted to become a better leader. I feel like I’ve been able to do that by listening to my high school coach and he got me to be a better vocal leader, a better director of our team and a better player. I think I did a good job at that.”

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