Oregon Ducks Basketball Preview: Mighty Joe Young

I’m not sure whether or not to post this preview. Day by day it becomes increasingly difficult to follow what’s going on around this program. One day it’s Jaquan Lyle – the prized recruit and presumed starting PG – being removed from the online roster. The next day it’s two more arrests and ‘internal discipline” (Dana’s words). And then Lyle’s back in the mix, attending the IMG Academy, with an open opportunity to rejoin the Ducks in January. None of which notes the transgressions of last March and the subsequent muddled timeline of who knew what and when but that ultimately resulted in the dismissal of Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis, and Brandon Austin. So there’s all that and Dana has to deal with the third largest (amongst 133 major conference teams) roster turnover in the land. The latter has been a common theme during the Altman era and two-straight NCAA tournaments suggest he can handle that. But the peripheral stuff? The school president resigned. This is a serious and brand new distraction. An issue. But you’ve got Joe Young!

 Why I Love Them:

Joseph Young. He’s going to have every opportunity to be really good. Or at least to showcase. Young had the 23rd best ORtg in the nation last year. He did such on 24.1% usage which basically maps out to: Joe Young get ball, Joe Young score ball. Expect to see the usage drastically increase (roster turnover, remember) and if the efficiency can be maintained we’re talking about the conference POY.

Why I Hate Them:

Joseph Young, I’m a walking contradiction. Oregon returns just 25% of their minutes played from last season. As noted, this isn’t new for Dana Altman and neither is my forthcoming critique. It’s hard to catch that many new people up. Young will be running aside a true freshman PG (Ahmaad Rorie) who many people are high on but he’s still a freshman PG. He’ll have a seemingly adept big man in former 4-star recruit Michael Chandler who’s fresh off a JuCo campaign. There are just 10 listed players on this roster. By comparison, Arizona lists 16. I suppose what I hate is that Joe Young will have ample opportunities to become a one man show in a five man game. That math doesn’t add up. Those gaudy numbers from a season ago were done so amidst one of the top offensive teams in the country between the recently dismissed and the graduated and insanely efficient, Jason Calliste (133.6 Ortg was 6th in the nation).

The Stat You Must Know:

Zero

Number of players on Oregon’s 2013 roster that are on Oregon’s 2015 roster. In two years, everyone is gone. By comparison, every other Pac-12 team has at least two players from that season still rostered. That even includes ASU.

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Mountain High (best possible season):

A third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. I think there’s a shot here. Am I crazy? I’m PacHoops. I mean, Joseph Young projects to be the NCAA’s third leading scorer with a 130 offensive rating. You can ride that to the dance. Rorie’s a pleasant surprise – as is Chandler – and the distractions prove to be outside noise.

 Rock Bottom (worst possible season):

Three of their four best players get dismissed from the school amidst a possible institutional cover up to maintain the players’ eligibility as long as possible drawing into question leadership’s moral compass. And the top recruit is not admitted into the school. Sounds about rock bottom.

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