Artis Provides the Stability Ducks Need to Succeed

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The inclusion of Dominic Artis has been undoubtedly imperative to Oregon’s success on the hardwood this year.  Without Artis, the Ducks were a meager 5-4, turned the ball over routinely and lacked the offensive confidence to win games.  With Artis in double figures, as he was in the win against 5-seed Oklahoma State, the Ducks are 14-1.  Only playing in four losses, two while fully healthy, there is no question that Artis is the glue to the Oregon basketball team.

Artis can shoot, drive and dish the ball, a deadly combination for a point guard.

Artis is averaging just 8.5 points this season, average in college basketball. Artis has a veteran presence and an ability to make players around him better.  Artis is shooting 43% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc, statistics that make him expendable at face value.  Watching Pac-12 games this year, though, you would think Artis none other than the most valuable player to the Oregon basketball team.

The Ducks went through some growing pains this season.  Learning to play without him proved difficult, but it also set the stage for Johnathan Loyd to emerge as a ready point-guard should he be called upon.  The growth and maturation of Loyd alone would imply that Artis’ injury wasn’t a complete travesty, but a blessing in disguise.  Oregon is now playing its best basketball of the season because Artis got hurt and Loyd was thrown into the fire.  It will pay dividends next season when the Ducks look to build upon the momentum of this run.

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Brandon Gruber

Brandon Gruber

Brandon is a senior at The University of Oregon majoring in Film Studies and minoring in Communications. Brandon has been a Duck fan for ten years since he moved from southern California to Salem, Oregon, and quickly realized the Ducks were the missing piece in his life. A Pac-12 fan since birth, much of his family attended UCLA and has since converted all of them to the Quack Attack. Brandon interned for the Statesman Journal covering the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and hopes to work for the Pac-12 in the near future. He also hopes to see the "Flying-V" formation played out on the football field in the fall of 2013. Brandon would love your feedback on any and all articles. Tweet me: @BrandonGruber