Ernie Kent, I Can't Take It Anymore

Keith Becker uosportsdude.comCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10:  Head coach Ernie Kent of the Oregon Ducks reacts from the sidelines during the first half of the Pacific Life Pac-10 Basketball Tournament Championship Game against the USC Trojans on March 10, 2007 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

I just sat through an absolute wretched first half of Oregon basketball.

Poor shooting, poor defense, poor screens, poor rolls, poor just about everything. And you know what the worst part is?  I’m not even the least bit surprised.

This is what I’ve come to expect of an Ernie Kent coached team the last few years. Without a superstar creator to open up the half-court offense or dominate the fast break, the team looks lost.

It’s simple: No Lukes or no Aaron Brooks=no winning team.

I don’t know how much longer we have to wait before Mike Belotti and the athletic department does anything about it.

Look, I know Kent is Oregon born and bred, and there is this pipe dream that it would be some sort of basketball romance if he could lead us to the Promised Land. But he keeps disappointing us.  It’s gotten to the point where fans are starting to accept futility.

I asked fellow students today if they were going to the game tonight and the No. 1 response I got was, “There’s no point, we’re just gonna get blown out anyway.”

This is beyond the point of acceptable. When fans lose interest, even interest in being outraged, things are bad.

And tonight is my breaking point.

There was this giant facade of improvement with a 10-4 record in the preseason, but if you look a little deeper, you’ll see that we played a schedule that even Joe Paterno and Urban Meyer would cringe looking at.

Not a single ranked team played, not a single win over a team with an ounce of respectability. Their strength of schedule ranks a pitiful 167th.

When you have to decide if your best win is against Oakland or Colorado State, that’s just pathetic.

And the only reason I can think of why Kent would play a schedule so pathetic is that he wanted to pile up a bunch of easy wins to save face, and his job.

Watching this first half, all the flaws of Duck basketball are in the limelight. Thirty-five percent shooting from the field, 50 percent from the foul line, and nine threes for Arizona State? How can that be acceptable?

On offense, players are setting screens without making contact with the defenders, and then forgetting to roll to the basket. They’re starting plays 15 feet behind the three-point line, so by the time they run the play, what should be a layup is a contested fadeaway 20-footer.

On defense, they aren’t making adjustments. At the end of the first half, ASU made three consecutive three pointers. How can that happen?

Kent should take a note from wordsmith George W. Bush: “Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.”

Oregon State lost to Seattle University by 51 points, but you know what Craig Robinson did? He and his team were ready for Oregon the next game. They were hungry for a win.

Looking at Oregon tonight, coming off a loss to Oregon State in the last Civil War in the history of Mac Court, they seem ambivalent. There’s no fire, no motivation, no sense of urgency.

Right now it’s 71-43, ASU. I’m disgusted.

In the first half, Kent called timeouts in the first half with 8:03 and 4:00 minutes left. Doesn’t he know that in less than 20 seconds, there will be a free TV timeout? If he can’t figure out these little things, it’s no wonder he can’t get his team to run an offense.

I’m sorry, Ernie Kent, but your time is through in Eugene. You can take your perpetual disappointed, incredulous, sourpuss face somewhere else.

We can’t afford to have our program at this level of apathy with a $200 million Matthew Court Arena on the way for next year.

I’m tired of you. And I’m not the only one.

I got a tweet tonight from @NorcalDuck who wrote: “Ernie Kent needs to go. It’s hard to respect the program when you can’t respect the coach.”

There’s more.

I almost went to the game tonight, but I couldn’t get a ticket for my visiting girlfriend. I just got a text from a person who offered to sell me tickets: “F@%k. I’m glad I sold those for what I did. $15 for a $28 ticket. That’s how much the Ducks are worth.”

I think that sums it up.

Goodbyes aren’t always easy, and it might be tough for Kent, but for those of us who have suffered through mediocrity and constantly underperforming teams, it will be about as easy to say goodbye as an Arizona State three-pointer.

So long, Ernie Kent. We have finally outgrown you.


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