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1 Day ‘Till OSU Basketball: Oregon Ducks Preview

The Oregon Ducks revamped, reloaded, and look to repeat as Pac-12 Champions

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon Ducks

  • Head Coach: Dana Altman (10th season) Overall 230-95
  • Last Season: 25-13 (13-4) Postseason: Sweet Sixteen
  • Pac-12 Preseason Poll: 1st (291 Points - 9 First Place Votes)

Projected Starters

  • Payton Pritchard (Guard - Senior)
  • Anthony Mathis (Guard - RS Senior)
  • Chris Duarte (Guard - Junior)
  • CJ Walker (Forward - Freshman)
  • Shakur Juiston (Forward - RS Senior)

The Skinny

After a disappointing start to last season, which wasn’t helped by injuries to Bol Bol, Kenny Wooten and Louis King along the way, the Ducks miraculously still claimed the conference crown and used their momentum to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.

From there, they dismantled Wisconsin, beat UC Irvine, and lost to the eventual champs Virginia in the closing minutes. As soon as the final buzzer sounded, the Ducks lost once again, this time in the departures of the aforementioned Bol, Wooten, and King to the NBA, as well as others to graduation.

This left them all bare and bone, however, the Ducks began recruiting up and down.

For starters, they received the skills of New Mexico graduate transfer Anthony Mathis, whom ran with Payton Pritchard at West Linn High School, as the two continue to build upon their winning traditions together. Junior-college transfer Chris Duarte opted to suit up for the Ducks as well, bringing more stability and experience at the wing position. Shakur Juiston also opted for Eugene, as the former UNLV product was a rebounding machine for the Running Rebels and looks to fill it up in the middle all season long.

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico at St. Mary’s
New Mexico transfer Anthony Mathis will be a key to the Ducks success this season.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to the transfers, Dana Altman began recruiting for the future and looked no further than the Nike EYBL. With national talents CJ Walker and Chandler Lawson already signed in their backpackers, Altman visited Peach Jam in search of immediate impact players. The Peach Jam final consisted of two-time winner Mokan Elite (program which a few years ago had both Michael Porter Jr. and Trae Young on the same squad) and Russell Westbrook’s Team Why Not, with Mokan ultimately taking the title.

However, the true winner was Dana Altman as he not only received the services of big man N’Faly Dante and Canadian phenom Addison Patterson, but got them to reclassify into the class of 2019 so they could enroll a year early in Eugene. However, due to unseen circumstances, Dante will miss a portion of the season due to academic reasons and will re-enroll December 4th when the term ends.

Will Richardson returns for the Ducks, who showed his point guard craftsmanship for the team last year, as he looks to get more minutes at the guard spots. Francis Okoro showed his physical prowess as well as high motor and looks to be an overall workforce for the Ducks.

Payton Pritchard shocked Duck fans, as he opted to return to Eugene for his senior season. But not before attending various combine and impressing scouts, showing he will one day be NBA worthy. With such a focused leader, junior college transfers, and a great visionary in Dana Altman, Oregon is a no-brainer for the Conference title as they round out several top-25 polls as well.

Four Non-Conference Games To Watch

  • 11/12 v. Memphis (Phil Knight Invitational)
  • 11/22 v. Houston
  • 11/27 v. Seton Hall (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • 12/14 at Michigan