2013-14 College Basketball Season Preview: Oregon

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Oregon Ducks (Last Year: 26-9, 12-6 in Pac-12)

2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Waverly Austin (Sr)/Arik Armstead (Fr)

F: Mike Moser (Sr)/Richard Amardi (Sr)/Ben Carter (So)

SF: Elgin Cook (Jr)/A.J. Lapray (Fr)

SG: Damyean Dotson (So)/Jason Calliste (Sr)/Jalil Abdul-Bassit (Jr)

PG: Dominic Artis (So)/Johnathan Loyd (Sr)

Gone: F-E.J. Singler, PF-Arsalan Kazemi, C-Tony Woods, PF-Carlos Emory, SG-Willie Moore (transfer-Miami of Ohio), C-Austin Kuemper (transfer-Northwest Christian), SG-Fred Richardson (transfer-Houston Baptist)

2013-14 Outlook:
With their top four frontcourt players gone, the Oregon Ducks will rely on their backcourt and several key transfers to have any hope to remain near the top of the Pac-12 standings and make another run in March.

The sophomore backcourt duo of Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis have a year of experience under their belts and look to build off productive first years. Artis was the more highly touted recruit, but it was actually Dotson who played a bigger role in Oregon’s success last season, partially because Artis missed a chunk of conference play due to injury.

There is terrific depth at guard as well with veteran point guard Jonathan Lloyd, who has been a solid contributor his first three years with the Ducks. Dana Altman also added Detroit transfer Jason Calliste, who averaged 14.4 points per game last year and is a sniper from downtown. Since he graduated last Spring, he becomes immediately eligible for Oregon.

One player whose status remains uncertain is Houston transfer Joseph Young. He has petitioned the NCAA for a waiver to play right away due to a bizarre situation involving his father’s demotion at Houston, but has not yet heard back. Young scored 18 points per game last year as a sophomore, shooting 42 percent from three-point range. Add him into the mix at guard and the Ducks will have five talented backcourt players. That will likely lead to Altman using a smaller, three-guard lineup for significant stretches.

Up front is where the uncertainty lies though the Ducks did snag several key transfers, including versatile forward Mike Moser, who spent the past two seasons at UNLV after playing for Pac-12 foe UCLA as a freshman. An elbow injury limited Moser’s effectiveness a year ago. but his experience and inside/outside ability was needed for Oregon.

A pair of junior college transfers will also factor into the mix. Elgin Cook is expected to start at small forward and is athletic, versatile, and also the son of former NBA player, Alvin Robertson. Richard Amardi originally committed to Iowa State, but instead ended up at Oregon and will add some aggressiveness on the boards.

Waverly Austin was a serviceable reserve last season but figures to move into the starting center spot. At 6-11, 257 pounds, he is a big body inside who needs to be a rim protector in the middle of the Ducks’ defense. Another backup last season, Ben Carter and redshirt freshman Arik Armstead join Amardi in providing otions inside.

Without Young, Oregon will be good and, once again, near the top of the Pac-12 standings. If Young is ruled eligible for the 2013-14 season, the Ducks figure to be a high-octane offensive team capable of putting up points in a hurry and could be in line for another trip to the Sweet 16. Your move, NCAA.

Player to Watch: Mike Moser, F
Moser was a stat-sheet stuffer who averaged a double-double at UNLV during his sophomore season. The elbow injury really threw him off track last season as he just never looked 100 per cent. With another fresh start, Moser is hoping for a bounceback senior year that could really provide a massive boost to a revamped Oregon Ducks frontcourt.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/8 vs. Georgetown (in South Korea)
  • 12/8 at Ole Miss
  • 12/14 vs. Illinois (in Portland)
  • 12/21 at BYU

  • Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 4th

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