2012-2013 Overall Rank: #69
Conference Rank: #7 Pac-12
Oregon Team Page
Oregon flirted with the bubble after a strong finish to the 2011-2012 campaign, but despite a 13-5 conference mark and second place finish in the Pac-12, the Ducks hit the NIT in 2012. They made a decent run there, knocking off LSU and Iowa before succumbing to a familiar foe in Washington. Yet, with three of their top four scorers gone, Oregon will probably miss out on the NCAA Tournament again in 2013.
2011-12 Record: 24-10, 13-5
2011-12 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Dana Altman
Coach Record: 45-28 at Oregon, 455-271 overall
There is not a whole lot of talent returning, but the biggest losses are on the perimeter where the Ducks lose Devoe Joseph, Garrett Sim and all of those once promising freshmen. Joseph led the squad with 16.7 points, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals per contest. The Minnesota transfer only played in 28 games, sitting out the first semester due to transfer rules, but he came out firing and really did a fine job making this his team. Like Joseph, Sim was a great outside shooter, knocking down a very, very impressive 46.5 percent of his attempts from long range. Finding a new scorer, or even a shooter, on the perimeter will be a huge problem without Jabari Brown and Brett Kingma, a pair of freshmen last season who have transferred to Missouri and Washington State, respectively. Bruce Baron was supposed to be the point guard of the future, but he too has left. The frontcourt is not without some key departures too. Most notable is Olu Ashaolu, who spent one season with the Ducks after graduating from Louisiana Tech. Ashaolu immediately plugged some holes in the frontcourt and averaged 9.2 points and 5.2 rebounds. Jeremy Jacob was also a part-time starter in the frontcourt and was relatively productive during his senior season. Tyrone Nared was a strong rebounder off of the bench and experienced depth like that will be tough to come by for a while.
But there will be depth. This may not be a highly regarded class like last year’s group, but last year’s group did not do anything but shoot poorly for a few games and transfer. This group will have to make a much, much bigger impact. At least Coach Dana Altman has safety in numbers. Nine players could see their first action with Oregon this year. The biggest need is in the backcourt where a slew of newcomers will battle for minutes. The best of the bunch is point guard Dominic Artis, but this team needs a shooter more than a point guard. Generously listed at 6-1, Artis lacks the size and shooting touch to play off the ball against most opponents, but he is a superb ball handler who will make smart plays and make everybody around him better. Yet, a shooter must also emerge from this group. That is where Coleton Baker, Devon Branch, Damyean Dotson, Willie Moore and Fred Richardson will come into play. Baker and Branch are junior college transfers and look for Branch to immediately make a splash at the two guard position. Moore can handle the ball, but he can also score and use his athleticism to help out on the glass. Dotson has a little more size at 6-5 and should be a fine slashing scorer sooner or later. Redshirt freshman Austin Kuemper, underrated Ben Carter and defensive lineman until January Arik Armstead will provide just about all of the depth to the frontcourt.
Who to Watch:
The frontcourt is in great shape with the return of seniors E.J. Singler, Carlos Emory and Tony Woods. Singler will be the new leader of this group after averaging 13.6 points and a team high 5.6 rebounds last season. He may not be the best Singler to play college basketball recently, but he is a fine shooter and a dynamic forward who can be difficult to defend on the wing because of his 6-6 frame. And his shooting ability will garner a lot more attention this season with some major questions in the backcourt. That will give him more opportunities to score, but it will also allow the opposing defense to key in on Singler on the perimeter. But he will still get some open looks as long as Emory and Woods can do some scoring as well. Emory quietly entered the Oregon program from the juco ranks last season and had a fine year. The 6-7 forward is a tough player, but he can knock down some shots too. Emory did not earn a start last season, but averaged nearly 18 minutes per game and averaged 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds. Woods is the more traditional big man and he had a pretty good debut campaign in Eugene after transferring from Wake Forest. The numbers, 6.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks, are not all that impressive, but Woods defense was crucial to the Ducks success last season and he can create space on the other end of the floor. The frontcourt will be asked to do more this year and that senior trio will have to lead the way.
Johnathan Loyd should be leading the way in the backcourt. However, he is a point guard and Artis will push him for playing time. Loyd, at 5-8, is a pure point guard much like Artis, so those two will not likely play together too much. Against smaller teams Artis can move off the ball, especially if he proves that he can score at this level, but the Ducks need to develop a couple true shooting guards. A year ago the situation was exactly the same where just about everybody thought that Loyd would lose all of his minutes. His minutes were pretty much the same and instead he dished out 2.9 assists and 1.4 turnovers. Now he is an experienced junior and capable of running this team on a full-time basis. Artis may be more dynamic and could take over the starting job sooner or later, but this team still needs Loyd in the backcourt about 20 minutes per game to keep things moving up and down the floor, but under control. Either way the point guard position is, barring any more transfers, in good hands for years to come. The more pressing issue is at the shooting guard position. The Ducks can live without a great shooter at the two guard position since Singler is poised to fill up the stat sheet, but they will need somebody who can at least do some scoring and keep the opposition from blanketing Singler all game.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Johnathan Loyd, Junior, Guard, 3.3 points per game
Devon Branch, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
E.J. Singler, Senior, Forward, 13.6 points per game
Carlos Emory, Senior, Forward, 6.8 points per game
Tony Woods, Senior, Center, 6.8 points per game
Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#59 Dominic Artis
#142 Ben Carter