October 20, 2008

Another Oregonian to Oregon?

This weekend Eugene and the Oregon Ducks had a familiar visitor. E.J. Singler of Medford. A guy who has played at Mac Court more than most of the new Duck freshmen in last year's class. Singler is a player the Oregon staff has stated that they like a lot.

You can see it in their eyes that it's frustrating for them to hear that they don't recruit the state of Oregon. Fred, Jones, Luke Jackson, Brandon Lincoln, Maarty Leunen, and the latest, Drew Wiley and Garrett Sim would all disagree with that point of view. Have they gotten all the good players to stay? Of course not. Watching tremendous players head off to programs all over the country isn't easy for Duck fans. Then again, watching Luke Ridnour, Malik Hairston, and Aaron Brooks come to Eugene can't be easy for other fans either. It's all part of recruiting. Part of what Assistant Coach Kenny Payne often refers to as, 'finding the right fit'.

One Oregon player who might find fit at Oregon next year is E.J. Singler from Medford. At first glance his game doesn't look like a true fit for the Ducks' up and down the court style of play. But his game has a ton of intangible qualities that Coach Kent's style requires for success. Playing unselfishly, with a hard-nosed defensive approach that's definitely ahead of where most high schoolers are at this point. And he'll take a work ethic wherever he goes that gives him a chance to constantly improve throughout his career.

When coaches talk about his game they say he has a solid offensive game, a tremendous sense of where he is on the court at all times, he's above average athletically, and he's a very intelligent player who makes people around him better.

Singler's recruitment is essentially down to two schools. Oregon and Stanford. Washington State had offered and Singler was interested. But the Cougars took the offer off the table and gave the scholarship to David Chadwick, the son of the former Charlotte Bobcat chaplain when Cougar Coach Tony Bennett played there. The elder Chadwick also presided over the wedding of Bennett and his wife. It was an interesting turn of events given the fact that Singler is rated so much higher by virtually everyone, including the schools offering scholarships.

To his credit, Singler says all it's done is make his job of choosing easier. He's visited Stanford and their new Coach Johnny Dawkins, enjoyed his time and according to reports, has them neck and neck with the Ducks at this point. This weekend he'll be in Eugene, trying to decide if he wants to play the final seasons at Mac Court before the new arena is finished. The Ducks of course, will try to make him feel right at home.

We'll have a follow-up on how Singler's official visit went and where he is in the process after his trip is completed.

Update: The Eugene Register Guard is reporting Singler committed during his visit. Rivals.com will confirm with the athlete during his official visit follow-up interview scheduled for Monday.

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