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Ernie Kent was the coach of University of Oregon Ducks from 1997-2010. The former member of “Kamikaze kids” was able to take the Ducks as high as the elite 8 twice and brought a few future NBA players to play in Eugene. Ernie had a 235-173 record during his 13 years but only reached the tournament 5 times. During this time the Pac-10 was a very competitive conference and the Ducks struggled many years to stand out With the team moving to a new Arena and with high expectations Ernie was let go in 2010 to make way for Dana Altman. Taking a look at his rosters I’m going to put together an all-time scholarship roster (13 players). Judgement is based on time at Oregon with some consideration of playing chemistry.Embed from Getty Images
Center- Maarty Leunen
Power Forward– A.D. Smith
Small Forward– Luke Jackson
Shooting Guard– Fred Jones
Point Guard– Luke Ridnour
Ernie recruited a lot of 7 Footers, but was not able to develop them. So I’m going with Maarty Leunen as a stretch 5 not going to get a lot of rim protection, but the shooting and rebounding is what gets him the spot. A.D. Smith was a leader of his teams and would give some rebounding with a lot of the more finesse players. Freddie, Luke and Luke led some great fast paced Duck teams. Each would leave Oregon as 1st round picks (Ridnour and Jones 14th, Luke Jackson 10th). I was lucky to also see Luke Jackson just dominate a game in the 2004 NIT against Colorado where he had 31 of the final 33 points and led the second half comeback victory.
Guard- Aaron Brooks
Guard- Tajuan Porter
Guard- Alex Scales
Guard- Bryce Taylor
Forward- Malik Hairston
Forward- Bryan Bracey
Center- Ian Crosswhite
Center- Chris Christoffersen
It was a toss-up between Aaron Brooks and Luke Ridnour for starting point guard. My best memories of Aaron are him dominating Washington at Mac Court his senior year and hitting the game winning shot against UCLA. Tajuan was the Oregon version of Steph Curry during the first few games of his Oregon career. His freshman year getting to play a little more off ball with Aaron Brooks gave him some great chances to shoot, it was a little tougher during his remaining years as the primary ball handler in the high pick and roll. Alex Scales helped the Ducks get in to the NCAA tournament and would give some good shooting off the bench. Bryce Taylor will always be remembered for his “Perfect Game” in the 2007 Pac-10 Championship game, had the combination of shooting and bounce to get to the basket.
Developing and recruiting the front court was never one of Ernie’s Strengths. Malik Hairston was the biggest recruit to come to Oregon during this period. Though he never lived up to his goal to “Carmelo-ize” the Ducks he did have a good 4 year career. With his size Malik could be a 3/4 off the bench with the ability to shoot the ball and stretch the floor. Bryan Bracey gives the rebounding and athletic energy PF off the Bench. In theory Ian Crosswhite had the potential and showed flashes. Crosswhite had the ability to be a stretch 5 and was a good shooter (though he tended to shoot a little bit too much). Ian’s struggles were on the defensive end and with his off court troubles. Chris Christoffersen was pretty much the best true Center of the Ernie Kent era, not a compliment more of a statement of facts. He is a big body on the floor but had difficulties keeping up with the up tempo/full court pressure game plans. Though if there was a game where you needed to match up with another real big The Great Dane would be the guy to go with.
Guard: James Davis- Dude could shoot the ball, smaller size for not a pure PG, but was one of my favorites
Guard: Andre Joseph- Solid scrappy guard off the bench
Guard: Chamberlain Oguchi- Streaky shooter, but when he was on he was on.
Guard/Forward: Jordan Kent- Defense and Hustle, could guard 1-4. Energy off the bench, offensively raw but would always give it 100%.
Forward: Ivan Johnson- Ivan would go on to the NBA, really the toughest post player in the EK era. Defense and Rebounding. Attitude is what made his stay in Eugene only 1 year, but there was no denying the raw skills.