Before men’s basketball practice on Thursday, Oregon senior Nicholas Lucenti spoke to reporters about Saturday’s game against Arizona after coming off their sixth straight win. Lucenti also reflected on his time at Oregon, senior night and McArthur Court. Lucenti has been with the team for four years and has made 22 appearances.
What’s senior day going to be like for you?
“I’m really excited, and obviously it’s a huge game, playing Arizona. The place is gonna be packed and you get all the emotions of senior night and playing here for the last time. I’m excited to be doing it with one of my best friends, John(athan) Loyd. Been here for four years with him. Got the whole family coming in, too, so it’ll be fun.”
During this whole four years you’ve always been jolly. Did you always want to stick it out? What kept you going when you knew you weren’t going to be playing a whole lot?
“I’ve always been close with the team and I’ve talked to coach multiple times and I knew my role coming into it. I’ve just enjoyed the process.”
What do you think you need to change up as a team the second time around against Arizona?
“I feel really good coming into it. We played them down to the wire at their place and that’s probably one of the toughest environments to play in and now we got them coming back here at home. They just played a tough game at Oregon State so I feel good.”
Mike Moser mentioned over the weekend that you guys had good chemistry on this team. Even when you guys lost he saw a reason to believe you guys could win out like this. How would you judge the way this team has evolved with its chemistry?
“I would totally agree with that. We went through a little dry spell there but every team goes through that and we were losing close games. Two-point game here, two-point game there, so I always had faith this team would bounce back and I think it’s just all coming together at the right time.”
Who’s the leader in that? Is that Loyd? Is that you?
“I gotta give the credit to John. He’s been our vocal leader, our everything. And he’s been around it for four years and has been one of the biggest contributors so probably him.”
You’re one of the few guys who got to play at McArthur Court and this new building. Do you still have some good memories of that?
“Yeah, it’s crazy to think that I’m one of the only ones who played at Mac Court and Matt Knight but I love that place. Crazy energy. I always heard the ghost stories. Managers always used to tell me about being down there late nights doing laundry and hearing stuff. But it’s a great place. I love that place.”
Have you been back in there since you guys made the switch over?
“I have actually. They were just cleaning it out one day and I was walking by and I just kinda walked in. I just kinda took it in for a second, but other than that, not really.”
Who was the guy you hated to guard on the scout team when you were on the scout team?
“Well, most of the time, we were doing offensive stuff, so they all didn’t want to guard me. But who did I not want to guard? E.J. (Singler) was dirty. Never wanted to guard E.J. He was always slapping you, holding you, doing something. So probably E.J.”
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