The Oregon men’s basketball team has shown improvement and the promise of being in the NCAA tournament this year, most recently in beating #4 Arizona this last Thursday. They have a chance to win the PAC-12 and go deep in March. However, I cannot keep from thinking what the Oregon basketball team could have been if some key players had stayed and not transferred.
Jabari Brown — Tabbed as the 26th best player in 2011 by ESPN, he was recruited by Dana Altman with the hope of changing the basketball culture and turning the program around. However, two games into last season Jabari abruptly left and transferred to the University of Missouri. This year with the Tigers, Jabari has started a bulk of the games and is averaging close to 14 points per game in his first full season.
Jamil Wilson –– The 31st best player in 2009 by ESPN had a promising first season with the Ducks, and even started some conference games as a freshman. After Ernie Kent’s disappointing final season by the Ducks, Wilson transferred to the University of Marquette. As a starting senior, Jamil is a hustle player, averaging 9 points and 5 rebounds a game.
Malcolm Armstead — This savvy point guard was great at dishing the ball and played tough defense on opposing guards. Armstead unfortunately transferred to Wichita State where he sat out last year but has lead the Shockers this year to a top 25 ranking. He is averaging 8.4 points and nearly4 assists per game.
These players, who are thriving in their new environment, could potentially have made the Ducks even better than they are today. It would have been interesting to see how these three talented players would have meshed with the current roster and impacted the team with their skill and leadership.
The biggest question is this: Would these players have taken the team to the next level or would they have disrupted the great team chemistry the Ducks have right now?