Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #8 Oregon Ducks

Dana Altman’s Oregon Ducks have a roster filled with what he likes: size, length, and interchangeable pieces. And they look good. They did lose three starters, all of which were their top three leading scorers. But there is plenty of talent left over and coming in. Just like he usually does, Altman went into the transfer portal and secured the services of three high-impact transfers.  He is also bringing in a five-star recruit.  The Oregon Ducks come in solidly as the #2 team in the PAC-12.

You can read about the previous teams in my rankings right here.

The Oregon Ducks

Like I mentioned above, Oregon lost multiple good players, including Chris Duarte. But they bring good players back. The leaders among them are senior guards Will Richardson and Eric Williams Jr. They both averaged double figures in scoring last season. After missing the first twelve games of the season due to thumb surgery, Richardson shined late in the year. He averaged over 11 points per game and, had he qualified, would have been tied for sixth in the PAC-12 in assists per game. Williams Jr. was second on the team and eleventh in the conference in rebounding a year ago. Plus, he averaged over ten points per game.

The Ducks are also bringing back two long 6-foot-11 centers. One of them is Franck Kepnang. Kepnang played in 17 games as a freshman last season. He should see an increased role this year. The other one is N’Faly Dante. Dante has had an injury-plagued first two seasons in Eugene. He missed nine games with a knee injury as a freshman. Then just six games into last season he tore his ACL, knocking him out for the rest of the year. A former top 15 recruit, he can shine if he can finally stay healthy.

Oregon’s recruiting class is not very big. In fact, it is just two guys. But one of them is a five-star recruit who has been rated as high as in the top 15. That guy is Nathan Bittle. The center has plenty of height and length. But he needs to beef up. If Bittle can add some weight and gain some strength, then he can be a very good and valuable player for the Ducks.

Then we have the transfers. All three of them were starters on teams that made the NCAA tournament last season. Syracuse transfer Quincy Guerrier might be the best of the three. The six-foot-seven forward from Montreal blossomed last season upon becoming a full-time starter. He was the second-leading scorer for the Orange and their leading rebounder. The 8.4 rebounds per game average were second in the ACC. De’Vion Harmon transfers in from Oklahoma. He was second on his team in scoring as well. Jacob Young is on the third team of his collegiate career. The “super senior” is in his sixth year. He spent two years at Texas and then three (Including a redshirt year) at Rutgers before going to Eugene for one last ride in college.

Projected Lineup:

C – #1 N’Faly Dante (8.2 PPG/ 5.8 RPG/ 1.5 SPG/ 1.2 BPG)

PF – #13 Quincy Guerrier (13.7 PPG/ 8.4 RPG/ 1.1 BPG at Syracuse)

SF – #50 Eric Williams Jr. (10.0 PPG/ 6.0 RPG/ 1.6 APG)

SG – #5 De’Vion Harmon (12.9 PPG/ 3.4 RPG/ 2.0 APG/ 1.1 SPG at Oklahoma)

PG – #0 Will Richardson (11.3 PPG/ 3.4 RPG/ 3.9 APG/ 1.1 SPG)

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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