February 27, 2011 - 6:30 PM
Senior Day 2011 didn't have the ending that Duck fans were hoping for, but I enjoyed watching the seniors play their last game in Oregon uniforms. Stanford played a heck of game and took a much needed win for itself as it too is trying to make a charge as conference play comes to an end. College basketball has been pretty surprising lately. Yesterday number five-ranked Texas lost its second game in a row to the Buffaloes of Colorado. The Buffs weren't really expected to do much this season, but now they have made their way into conversations for a potential March Madness birth. My former high school team mate Levi Knutson put up 21 to help the Buffs to a huge upset.
Tournament time is one of the most entertaining times of the year. It is always such a challenge making a bracket and everyone always goes into March thinking "This is the year my bracket is perfect." Unfortunately nearly everyone is always wrong and kicks themselves over the picks they knew they should have made. This year Denver will be a host city for the second and third rounds, and I can only imagine how fun it would be to attend a game at the Pepsi Center. With number one Duke falling to Virginia Tech yesterday I can only imagine how potentially shocking this year's tourney could be.
Although the Ducks haven't been to the big dance in a while, this season was a huge success for our program. While the season isn't over yet, the Ducks have already accomplished more than anyone expected, and I can't wait to see what our new Head Coach Dana Altman can put together in the coming years. Our two speedy point guards Jonathan Loyd and Malcolm Armstead will be returning next season and should provide the team with some veteran leadership. It has been a blast to be able to experience Matthew Knight Arena in its inaugural season, and the intensified game atmosphere has given the Ducks a new and improved sense of home court advantage. The mission that began during the spring term of my freshman year finally became a reality and it was worth the wait. The physical demolition that started outside my dorm room way too early in the morning was annoying at times, but it was one step in the process that presented the University of Oregon with another magnificent trademark.
Now that the men's basketball season is officially over for the athletic department this season, spring sports are already in full swing. Today the Oregon baseball team took a series against Saint Marys while the women's lacrosse team took on The University of Jacksonville. I attended the lacrosse game in the freezing wind and actually received the first women's lacrosse action of my UO career. It was a great game and the ladies had no problem getting past the Dolphins. There was a good crowd on hand and I at least had the comfort of a booth to stand in. I'm excited to catch another round of Ducks baseball, and maybe this is the year we can finally make the push to the College World Series.
February 25, 2011 - 2:37 PM
I have officially registered for my last term of college ever, and it's definitely a weird feeling knowing that I won't ever register for classes at the University of Oregon again. Regardless, my schedule is pretty legit and it should make for an enjoyable spring term in Eugene.
I have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays...and that is it. These days will be packed full of class time but it will be nice to have no classes on five out of the seven days of the week. Not having any classes on Monday, Wednesday or Friday will give me more flexibility with my work schedule. Now I can basically go in for office hours whenever I want on those days. I am only going to be taking 12 credits so this should be one of the more calm spring terms I have had while at Oregon.
Last night the men's basketball team suffered a damaging loss to the Golden Bears from Berkeley. We were on our way up the charts in the Pac 10 but needed to bring home a win last night in our own arena. The loss hurts and will likely push us farther back in the standings. We came out strong in the first half and were up 30-17 at one point. Cal clawed its way back in the second half and the next time I saw the score board we were down three. For some reason it seemed like our offense was a tad sluggish. Usually we move around much faster and our quick guards are more eager to take the ball to the hoop. The last home game of the season is tomorrow against the Stanford Cardinal and we could definitely use a win. Our win against Stanford earlier in the season was the first time that we have one at Stanford since the 1985-86 season. I hope that we will be able to bring the same intensity that we brought to the Cardinal in the first round, but it's always difficult to beat a conference opponent twice in the same season. Hopefully Matthew Knight Arena will be packed full for the last home action for the men's team this season. Starting forward Joevon Catron has been at Oregon the entire time I have been here and I'd like to see him go out on top as his career at Oregon comes to a close.
These next few weeks might get a little stressful, as they usually do for all college students as the term comes to an end. I have a portfolio review next week in Portland for my capstone public relations class so I'll be spending the next few days preparing for that. Finals are around the corner so I'll need to make sure to put in the necessary hours at the library. I've gotta say I'm gonna miss working at the basketball games. Although it can be stressful at times, I have really enjoyed my internship at the athletic department and I look forward to moving on to the baseball season!
February 20, 2011 - 10:27 AM
Being that a birthday is really only one day long, it's always over so soon that it never even seems like it came in the first place. Regardless, I had fun while it was here and I'm still getting used to the sound of being 22 years old.
One of the funny things about birthdays these days is having your facebook wall flooded with happy birthday wishes from everyone who happens to notice. I logged into my account and was informed that 110 people had written on my wall. Every message includes a "happy birthday" in it at some point and it's fun to hear from everyone that I haven't seen or talked to in a while. There are some people that I only get in contact with once a year and it's to wish them happy birthday or vice versa. It's not like I intend for it to be this way but everyone is busy living their lives and its nice to hear from some people on a birthday at least.
Yesterday I spent my afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena for the men's Civil War basketball game. The Ducks won by a large margin and I remember thinking to myself that this year's squad is much better than everyone originally anticipated. It was said by some in the pre-season that the Ducks wouldn't win a single game in conference play, and most people agreed. We weren't supposed to have any solid talent on the team and this was supposed to a be a rebuilding year to say the least. Yesterday's victory over the Beavers marked Oregon's seventh Pac 10 victory and we have now moved to fourth place in the conference. One of our last game's in McArthur Court was a loss against Arizona State who is now 2-12 in the conference, and I think that if we had been able to play them in the new arena the outcome would have been different.
Matthew Knight Arena really has been the new beginning that the Ducks needed, because we now have one heck of a home court advantage. The new arena, which seats about 4,000 more people, is at least 90% full for every men's game and gets much louder than Mac Court ever did. Fans are excited about the new arena, and consequently excited about the basketball team which has seemed to have a phenomenal impact on our squad. Our team that was expected to be the laughing stock of the conference once again is now laughing at six out of the 10 teams in the Pac 10. With only two more home games left this season, the Ducks look to improve their record at home and make more moves to the top of the conference before the tournament begins. We could actually do some damage in the tournament this year and give people something to talk about for next season. Dana Altman has been just what we needed this season and is making a case for the Pac 10 Coach of The Year.
February 15, 2011 - 12:00 PM
Over the course of the last few weeks the sun has made numerous promising appearances that have made everyone excited about the spring term upcoming. Unfortunately, we were all tricked by the Earth's most powerful celestial body, and I should have known it was too good to be true.
I had almost forgotten about the rain..until I made a trek through it yesterday on my way to class. Luckily, I don't mind the rain, which is why I enjoy going to school in Eugene. One thing that people must understand about the Pacific Northwest is that it rains here. The University of Oregon might not be for you if the rain is something that gets you down. The constant winter rainfall is what keeps everything so green and lush around here. Usually the winter term can be a decent signifier of the spring term to come, and it is probably a good sign that I temporarily forgot about the rain fall. It honestly hasn't rained around here for a while and the last few weekends have brought some sunshine with them. Last spring term was one of the more memorable I have had in Eugene for all of the wrong reasons. The sun was rarely out and when it was the wind was gusting, which prevented the Eugene atmosphere from representing anything remotely close to what a typical spring time should feel like. I can only hope that the sun is shining on a regular basis for my last spring term in Eugene.
With the winter term having already reached week seven, I can't help but notice that my birthday is only two days away! Good old February 17 is this Thursday and it should be a good time. We are going to have a nice little get together at our house at around ten, which I'm sure will be followed by a nice trip to the campus bars. The 22nd birthday isn't nearly as significant as the 21st, but it should be a good time nonetheless, and it's fun to turn the page on a new age. Sometimes it can be disheartening to get another year older, but I am still amid my youth and feel more mature and responsible with each year that passes.
While my birthday is coming up in a mere 48 hours, my second annual Las Vegas spring break trip is right around the corner as well. With the term flying by as fast as it is I realize now that the trip is closer than I think. As of now, we will all be staying in the MGM Grand casino right on the strip, and we will be leaving from Portland on Friday morning the 18th at 7:30 in the morning. This is just the flight that I happened to book, and after doing so I realized that four other friends are on that same flight with me. It's going to be a blast and I can't wait.
For now, I'm going to say goodbye for the last time as a 21 year old. See you when I'm a year older!
February 13, 2011 - 5:13 PM
I just got back to Eugene from my final outing in Sun River, and I could definitely use a nap. If one thing is sure, it's that Sun River isn't the place you want to go if you're lacking sleep. The weekend was a blast as it was expected to be, and I'll definitely miss not returning next winter term.
We got there around noon on Friday like we had planed to, but our house was having some maintenance issues so we decided to grab a nice bite at a local bar and grille in the village. The weather was surprisingly nice the entire weekend and the sun was out for the majority of the time. In past trips to Sun River the resort has been covered with snow and it has stayed relatively cloudy. There was hardly any snow present, which made it much more enjoyable to hang out outside.
The house that we has this year was much better than last year's and was much more spacious, allowing for more people to stay in it. The house itself was much nicer and was much more spread out so it didn't feel like everyone was crammed into a tight little box. The kitchen area was huge and we had a huge living room for everyone to relax in. Sometimes it is hard to tell what your house will look like when you reserve it. There are usually pictures on the website but pictures can sometimes be deceiving. Last year everyone thought we had a nice, spacious house, but when we arrived it was much smaller than it had originally seemed. This year we lucked out and we definitely got our money's worth. The hot tub was ready to go when we arrived, so I made sure to get my fill before everyone else hopped in. There aren't too many things better than a dip in the hot tub, and it was the start to the weekend that I needed.
Through the course of the weekend we made our way around to the other houses to change up the scene and meet up with everyone who happened to be in a different house. It was fun to get the whole group together, as opposed to having everyone stay in their own houses the whole time. Everyone has a better time that way and the whole purpose of the trip is to get away and have a good time with everyone who came along for the ride. The weekend flew by like it does every year, but two days of non-stop fun is plenty for me. Some of the other houses make the trip during a three-day weekend occurring earlier in the term, but I have heard from some that that is simply too much and everyone is burnt out by the time the trip comes to an end.
It's sad knowing that my trips to Sun River are over, but I have enjoyed every trip I have taken, and they have engrained memories in my mind that will stay with me forever.