BIG WIN/NO WIN

by Frank Baldwin December 22, 2015

DUCKS RALLY TO KNOCK OFF ALABAMA IN BIRMINGHAM

By Associated Press

 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Dillon Brooks scored 23 points and Tyler Dorsey made four free throws over the final 15 seconds to lift Oregon to a come-from-behind 72-68 win over Alabama Monday night at Legacy Arena.

The Ducks (10-2), once ranked as high as 15th, won their third straight game after battling injury problems. This time they trailed by 12 points at halftime before coming back from the locker room hot.

Brooks made 9 of 15 shots and also dished out five assists for Oregon, which shot 53 percent in the second half. Jordan Bell added a career-high 15 points, Chris Boucher 11 and Dorsey 10. Boucher and Dorsey were both scoreless at the half.

Justin Coleman led Alabama (7-3) with a career-high 24 points and had six assists. Riley Norris scored 12 for the Tide, which came in riding a five-game winning streak.

Elgin Cook, who had nine points and nine rebounds, hit a 3-pointer with 2:05 left to give Oregon a 68-65 lead. The Tide missed two straight 3s heading into the final minute.

Norris blocked Dorsey's jumper and Alabama called time out with 40 seconds left. Norris missed a 3 at the other end and Dorsey grabbed the rebound before icing the game at the line.

The Ducks opened the second half on a 23-6 run to wipe out a 38-26 halftime deficit. The suddenly hot Boucher hit two straight 3-pointers and Bell added a one-handed dunk to give the Ducks a 47-44 lead 6 minutes into the half.

Oregon made seven straight field goals and scored 11 consecutive points to close the big run.

TiP INS

Oregon: Made 16 of 20 free throws. Committed just nine turnovers while forcing nine steals. ... Second visit to state of Alabama and first since a 79-69 loss to UAB on Dec. 5, 1989. ... Oregon's 26 points in the first half was a season low.

SECOND-HALF SURGE: Boucher, Dorsey and Cook scored all 30 of their combined points in the second half. Brooks carried much of the load with 15 points by halftime.

UP NEXT

Oregon vs. Western Oregon on Dec. 29

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This article may be an excuse, but it still bums me that he's been aced - twice! 

 

Why Edward Cheserek Hasn't Won The Bowerman Yet!  

By Lincoln Shryack

 

Edward Cheserek has now made two trips to the Bowerman Awards and he still has nothing to show for it. On Thursday night in San Antonio, college track and field’s top honor once again passed over the King, this time in favor of Florida jump man Marquis Dendy. 

 

It’s crazy to think that a guy who’s won seven NCAA track titles in his two years has yet to be declared college T&F’s top athlete, but in reality the King has run into a pair of buzzsaws in consecutive years that have taken dominance to an even greater level than he. While Ches has been brilliant, the pair he’s faced at the two end-of-year award shows have been even brilliant-er, primarily because neither has lost an NCAA Championship title in their respective Bowerman campaigns. Cheserek has and he’s been punished for it. 


While EC won NCAA titles in the indoor mile and DMR, as well as the outdoor 10k and 5k in 2015, he really never stood a chance tonight against Dendy, who went a perfect 4-for-4 at the NCAA Championships in the long and triple jump indoor and out. Cheserek lost (gave) the indoor 3k to his buddy Eric Jenkins, and when comparing perfect to imperfect, perfect won out per usual. Dendy also had several performances that were among the best in collegiate history, while Cheserek had not a one (the 9:27.02 DMR that would be #3 all-time was run on an oversized track.) This is mostly because the Oregon coaches haven't pushed Cheserek to chase fast times, instead putting the focus on championships, which have been almost entirely tactical with the kick machine Cheserek involved. A lack of all-time marks hurts Cheserek's résumé in relation to the Bowerman.  

 

Even if Dendy hadn't won, it's not even likely that Cheserek would've been the next man up this year. Akron pole vaulter Shawn Barber swept titles indoor and out while also establishing the collegiate record indoor (5.91m) and the #2 mark outdoor (also 5.91m). We'll never know entirely, but this was an incredibly tough year to be Edward Cheserek at the Bowerman regardless.


In 2014, Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore blocked out the King despite the two men both winning the same number of titles — 3 — as the 400m champ put up four marks in the top-10 of NCAA history, including the then indoor 4x4 collegiate record (3:03.20) and the second-fastest outdoor 4x4 ever (2:59.60) in the NCAA final. A frosh Ches “only” hit two top-10 marks— #10 in the 1500 (3:36.50) and #8 in the 5k (13:18.71)— and four beat two as it usually does. The tie-breaker goes to the guy who makes a deeper cut into the record books.  

Lendore’s Aggies didn’t win the NCAA indoor 4x4, but that had nothing to do with him as there was a stick drop in the third leg before he ran the anchor. Cheserek barely lost the epic 5k final to Lawi Lalang in 2014, and it made the difference between him winning or losing the Bowerman. Life’s not fair sometimes. 


That same year, Cheserek gave us the epic story of his 60-mile trek to take a test in Kenya, and him not winning after that seemed just plain cruel. 60 miles! To take a test! No Bowerman for you! 

Even though the Bowerman has proved thus far to be the only trophy to elude Cheserek, 2016 (and 2017) will in all likelihood be a different story. Gone are both Dendy and fellow 2015 finalist Shawn Barber, as well as sprint beasts Trayvon Bromell and Andre De Grasse, who are all now pro. Lendore is also getting paid for his services, so despite striking out in his first two seasons, Cheserek has a great opportunity to become the first athlete to win multiple Bowerman trophies in his remaining time at Oregon. 

So while it’s weird to watch the King of NCAA distance running not win a coveted trophy, know that this slight won’t go on forever. In fact, we’ve probably seen Cheserek without the Bowerman for the last time in his career.

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Frank Baldwin
Frank Baldwin

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