#49 RANKED PLAYER IN COUNTRY (CLASS OF 2016)
STAR RANKING: 4 STARS
WEIGHT: 195 POUNDS
AGE: 18 YEARS OLD
POSITION: POINT GUARD
HIGH SCHOOL: WEST LINN HIGH SCHOOL IN OREGON
CHOSE OREGON OVER: ARIZONA STATE, BAYLOR, CAL, AMONG MANY OTHERS
PLAYER SUMMARY: Oregon had a fantastic 2015-16 season in which they were the best team in the Pac-12 conference and a number 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. While they didn’t reach their goal of making the Final 4, they return a lot of talent and will be a very strong team in 2016-17. For all their success, the Ducks didn’t have a designated point guard.
With the up-tempo style head coach Dana Altman employs, Oregon had a lot of players handle the ball. Signing a point guard for the class of 2016 was important and Altman got a very good one in Oregon native Payton Pritchard.
Pritchard’s ability to consistently knock down shots is what impressed us the most when evaluating his game. He is a scoring point guard with a beautiful shooting stroke. However, he can do much more. We liked the way he set up his teammates while in transition. He will have plenty of opportunities to do that when he is on the floor next season for Oregon. The Ducks have a stable of athletic guards and forwards who are excellent finishers.
The 6’2″ PG can also play in a half-court setting just as efficiently than a full-court one. We saw many instances of him getting into the lane and drawing the defenders to him. This led to him passing to open teammates for wide open shots. While the college game might make that more difficult, he has the skill-set to do it. Having Pritchard run the pick n roll, in our opinion would also be a good option for Dana Altman to explore. This would free him to make the correct pass or use his dead-eye shooting ability.
Pritchard measured in at 6’2″ and 202 pounds at the 2016 Nike Hoop Summit. He will need to get stronger in order to hold up against physical guards as well as the up-tempo style Oregon employs. However, he is a fierce competitor who won’t back down from competition. We see a situation due to the Ducks overall team depth where he begins the season as one of the first guards off the bench.
Pritchard should receive a decent amount of playing time his freshmen year and we believe he has an excellent shot at being the guy who runs the show by his sophomore year. He has the attributes and intangibles that make up a very good college point guard.
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