This team is completely different looking from last year’s sweet sixteen team. Which was completely different looking than the previous year’s NIT team. Which was completely different looking from the previous year’s CBI team. Dana Altman must have an advanced degree in change management because that’s all he’s done at Oregon. Most importantly, have you been noticing the Altman-era win column? Allow me: 21, 24, 28. The Altman-era conference finishes? Again, my pleasure: 7, 2, 2. On to 2013-14…
Why I love them: The guards. Artis quickly became a favorite of mine and clearly an integral piece to what the Ducks were trying to accomplish (5-4 without, 24-4 with). I also liked the guy – now a senior – that filled in during Artis’ absence, Johnathan Loyd. And I’m also very much loving this backcourt with Friday’s definitive addition of Houston transfer, Joseph Young. The team swapping junior brings his 124.1/22.7 (ORtg/%poss)…hold up, did I just tell you that Oregon adds the nation’s 26th highest ORtg to their roster? If that doesn’t meant anything to you I’ll synopsize: he’s good at scoring. And I’ll drop some similar ORtgs from last year: Kelly Olynyk, (123.3), Nate Wolters (123.5 – he’s the guy who dropped 53 in a game last year), and Victor Oladipo (122.8). His ORtg would’ve ranked second in the Pac only to Arizona’s Kevin Parrom who dialed in at a far lesser 17% usage rate. You loving this Oregon backcourt yet? I bet, AND I HAVEN’T EVEN MENTIONED DAMYEAN DOTSON. This guy might be my favorite back there. He arrived in Eugene, a late signee to an underwhelming 2012 class beyond the heralded Artis. Dotson swiftly dropped double figures in his first three collegiate games and never quite looked back. It was his efforts on the perimeter – hitting the three ball which Oregon struggled to do – that was integral in guiding Dana’s Ducks to a Pac-12 tournament championship and the sweet sixteen. Dotson hit 17 of his 47 total three pointers during the season’s final six games (P12 and NCAA tourneys). He showed up in the season’s biggest games and I LOVE THAT. Oh, and if it’s 2011-12 Mike Moser taking graduate coursework in Eugene…look out.
Why I hate them: I don’t know them and we tend to fear what we don’t know. Granted, I know my ex-girlfriend and I kind of hate her but I don’t really know anything about these Ducks. Their front court is completely rebuilt, do you know who Ben Carter is? Google his name and you get the website of a potter. As for the hoopster, I’ve been hearing buzz around his name but I’ll wait to see the honey. One Duck confidant called him “Arsalan Junior” which would suggest big things for the kid (see the QUOTABLE for more Carter love). There’s Moser, he’s fantastic, but the same can’t necessarily be said about Waverly Austin. On the transfers-not-named-Moser front, Richard Amardi would seem to bring some heat. Again, unproven so we’ll see. As mentioned and highlighted, this is an overhauled front court missing Arsalan Kazemi, Tony Woods, and EJ Singler. I might even toss Carlos Emery onto that list. Point is: this team isn’t taking a whole new identity, they’re taking a whole new style. I think they’re talented enough to do it but it may take some growing pains.
Stat you need to know:
Three point shooting percentage of Joseph Young who is joining a team that shot just 33% from distance (202nd best in the country) last year. With open arms they welcome a shooter.
Coming off a Sweet Sixteen run, Dana Altman did this off season what Dana Altman does. He reloaded with transfer players, 5th-year seniors and a couple of highly regarded prospects. In the age of one-and-done players in college basketball, Altman isn’t afraid to utilize the same strategy, he just tends to make the 1 year the player’s 5th year in college basketball. Add Mike Moser to the list of Arsalan Kazemi, Olu Ashaolu, Devoe Joseph, and Jay-R Strowbridge. Moser is a huge addition to the front court for a unit that, while talented, is pretty young.
“The frosh got some major burn early, then fell out of favor as the older Ducks took over during their Sweet 16 run. Carter is a former teammate of Shabazz Muhammad at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas and was very well coached in high school. With Mike Moser as a 4/3 hybrid in the “pinwheel” offense, Carter can play both 5 and 4.” – Doug Gottlieb on Ben Carter’s potential to breakout
Outlook: It’s nice, real nice with the addition of Young. I’m fully sold on what Dana Altman is doing up there that I’m considering wearing pleats, a white button down with green tie, and impeccable hair for Halloween. Sure there’s some concern about the sustainability of this transfer model but let’s ignore that until we see something that doesn’t resemble year over year improvement, deal? Now I’m not about to tout them as a top-10 team a la Gottlieb, but I clearly like this team’s back court and I want to go to South Korea with them (11/8 vs. Georgetown).