Dominic Artis’ season has been spectacular so far. As a freshman point guard, he has led the ducks to their best start since the 1925-1926 season and a top 10 ranking in the polls. Recently, many of the analysts have been harping on the fact that he plays like a savvy veteran on the court and looks nothing like a freshman. He seldom makes bone headed plays and is top 5 in steal and assists in the PAC-12. With his recent injury, however; the Ducks lose their captain on the court, who has staged many key victories throughout the season.
A point guard is the most important piece of an offense. He is the one which conducts ball movement and creates plays for other players. Without a point guard like Artis, an offense can become a stagnant offense which forces shots that are not open. Luckily for the Ducks, they have great depth at the point guard position with junior Johnathan Loyd and freshman Willie Moore. The tandem seamlessly replaced Artis without skipping a beat, catalyzing a big win versus rival Washington, last weekend.
With Artis out “indefinitely,” Loyd and Moore will be asked to continue the dominant point guard play which Artis has established. Oregon will have to rely on this combo until Artis is back healthy again. With tough games coming up, Artis will be sorely missed by his teammates and coach. Loyd and Moore have a done a good job so far filling in for Artis but have a tough road ahead of them. With that being said, Artis brings Oregon to another level of play and changes the team’s dynamic when he is on the court. With the Ducks almost guaranteed a spot in the tournament, coach Altman should consider resting Artis a little longer than needed, even if that means sacrificing a loss. Oregon is going to want their star point guard fully healthy and prepared to help his team make a deep run into March Madness.