TOP 5 TEAM PREVIEWS: #5 OREGON DUCKS


OREGON DUCKS

 

Last Season’s Record: (31-7) Lost to Oklahoma in Elite 8

Head Coach: Dana Altman- Entering 7th season as Oregon Head Coach

 

Key Departures:

DWAYNE BENJAMIN (Forward)

ELGIN COOK (Forward)

 

Key Newcomers: 

(#’s next to players name indicates national ranking)

#49:PAYTON PRITCHARD (Guard)

MICHAEL CAGE Jr. (Center)

KEITH SMITH (Small Forward)

KAVELL BIGBY-WILLIAMS (Power Forward) Junior College

 

dana_altman_cropped

Head Coach Dana Altman

Key Returning players:

DILLON BROOKS (Forward)

TYLER DORSEY (Guard)

CHRIS BOUCHER (Forward)

JORDAN BELL (Forward)

CASEY BENSON (Guard)

 

 

TEAM OVERVIEW

The Ducks had a great 2015-16 season as they went 31-7 and went all the way to the Elite 8, before bring dethroned by Oklahoma. Many of the core players return, including Dillon Brooks, who made our first team All-American list. However, the 6’7″ star broke his foot in the summer and will be out indefinitely. While the loss is a huge one for head coach Dana Altman’s squad, it will force other players to step up, which might help the team come tournament time.

6’10” F Chris Boucher returns to lead the front-court. The senior averaged 12pts and 7.4reb per game last season. Jordan Bell is an athletic 6’9″ F who is perfect for the Ducks system. Jordan Bell will help out Boucher down-low. He will look to improve upon his game from last season and will be counted on to play good defense and rebound.

Guards’ Dylan Ennis and Casey Benson return to the back-court while highly touted freshmen PG Payton Pritchard joins them. Pritchard is a top 50 recruit in the class of 2016 and will play a lot. With Brooks out, look for Oregon to play these 3 on the court together. Altman has a lot of depth at multiple positions with this team.

 

FINAL 4 IF

Dana Altman runs an up-tempo system and has the athletes this year to thrive in it. Despite the loss of Brooks for an indefinite period of time, don’t cry for Oregon. They are loaded. Oregon has shown in the past few seasons that they are an elite PAC-12 basketball program. Altman will use their overall team depth to try and wear teams down.

Perhaps no PAC-12 team besides possibly Arizona has the talent and depth to match Oregon. The Ducks have their sights on another conference title, but that is not all. They have Final 4 on their minds. If Dillon Brooks comes back healthy and plays like the All-American he should be, the Oregon Ducks just might find their way onto the big stage of the Final 4. The talent is there.

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