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Singler Keys Signature Win

The season didn't get off to the start he or anyone else really expected. With an arthritic knee that has been less than cooperative since before the season even began, getting in condition and finding a groove has been a chore for Oregon senior forward E.J. Singler. Yet, since conference play started, the Medford (Ore.) native has seemingly turned a corner. After turning in a 15-point, 9-rebound performance against Oregon State last Sunday, Singler's performance Thursday night versus No. 4 Arizona at Matthew Knight Arena was nothing short of sensational. His 14 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists were critical in the Ducks' 70-66 win over the Wildcats, marking not only the biggest win for the Ducks during the Altman era, but the biggest win for Singler in his career at Oregon.

Singler's 14 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists were instrumental in the Ducks' 70-66 upset victory over No. 4 Arizona.

"I'd say so," said Singler when asked if it was the biggest win of his career. "I mean, it was the No. 4 team [in the country], so I would say it's the biggest win."

At halftime, Singler was on pace to record a triple-double, leading the Ducks with seven points, six rebounds, six assists as Oregon held a 41-30 advantage over Arizona. While Arizona mounted a spirited second half charge to cut the Oregon lead to as few as three late in the second half, Singler remained clutch for his team, hitting a three and converting four clutch free throws down the stretch to keep the relentless Wildcats at arms length.

"I think he's gaining more and more confidence," said Oregon head coach Dana Altman of Singler. "He works really hard at his game. The last two days, the gym's empty and he's still out there shooting. You can't fault his effort ever. Sometimes he tries too hard, which gets him in trouble...but you never fault his effort because he wants to compete and he cares greatly about our team, our university and our basketball program."

Singler agreed with Altman's comment regarding confidence. As he addressed members of the media following the win over the Wildcats, Singler admitted that he has become increasingly comfortable in recent weeks, with the cumbersome knee feeling as good as it has perhaps all season.

"I think I'm coming back," said Singler of his play as of late. "That's just getting acquainted and meshing with our guys. I think our team tonight was really, really good, really unselfish, and we just really made plays for a lot of different people. When we play like that, the game's easy, and we've got to continue to do that."

Guarding against overconfidence is the next mission for this team as a very confident and dangerous Arizona State Sun Devil squad (13-2 overall, 2-0 conference) comes to Matthew Knight Arena Sunday ready to play the role of weekend spoiler. For Singler, it's about staying focused on the team's overall goal of chasing a Pac-12 regular season championship while also understanding that there is still room for marked improvement.

"It's about knowing what our goals are," said Singler of avoiding a letdown against Arizona State. "You can't take any game for granted because every game counts. If we have that goal in mind, I think we can come out with that emotion in every game."

  • Signature win is right! We knew this team was for real but tonight they proved it to the rest of the nation(and to themselves). I hate that the Pac-12 is perceived as a weak conference this year. That perception has been holding us back from getting national respect. Hopefully this win will change that..........because this team is for real.

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  • If Oregon follows up by beating ASU Saturday, then they should/will move into the top-25.

  • we need to sell out MKA, i was there and it was awesome but too many open seats which is a problem

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  • A real team effort. What impressed me the most was that every player seemed to on top of their game last night. Loved how our centers were interchangeable. (twin towers??) and so effective during the game. Kudo's to coach Altman and team for a terrific win. ASU up next. Go Ducks!

  • 100% agree. The defense has been more consistent than the offense IMO. The turnovers (late vs Zona) and 3 pt shooting are my 2 biggest concerns right now, but I LOVE the way 6-7 guys seem to be contributing each game in different ways:

    Kazemi is just a warrior out there on the offensive and defensive glass. I root for him more than just about any player due to his effort and desire to help the team any whichway.

    Artis is getting better and better at controlling the tempo and gaining confidence in his outside shooting. It's going to be great to see him next year once he gets in the weight room a little and can take people off the dribble and still finish in the paint!

    Dotson - LOVE his athleticism, confidence, feel for the game, composure.

    Woods is starting to make that that 8 foot mini-hook shot from the left block, sending shot blocks into the 2nd level, and running the floor/filling the lane for MONSTER jams.

    Singler seems to be slowly regaining his strength and is playing great on both ends of the floor - with timely baskets, FT's, and defensive boards. I have noticed him handling the ball less so far this season, probably to conserve energy.

    Emory makes 2-3 jaw-dropping plays a game that make you wish he was starting, but then comes back down to Earth when he picks up a careless charging foul the next time down the floor. That being said, his stroke is pure and his elevation on deep 3's looks NBA caliber.

    Austin looks more polished than Woods offensively (can shoot, pass, and dribble) and also gives great help defense. I think he needs to work on getting tougher and cleaning up the defensive glass. What a luxury to have someone of his talent as a back-up to Woods!

    Even Lloyd, who continually causes me to yell at the TV as he dribbles off his leg on fast breaks, had a key defensive play that could have stopped Zona from winning and often makes under-rated plays. Also, he's usually the one setting up 'Lob City' to Woods/Austin/Kazemi/Emory, which ignites the crowd into a frenzy and establishes momentum. Chasing him around must tire out the opponent a little bit.

    Go Ducks Basketball! Love the intensity and focus that Altman has brought. There's also some actual ball movement and rhythm with this team now. "Move Marty Move!" is no longer echoed 3 times a possession.cheers

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