Johnathan Loyd is playing basketball planes above Duck fans’ expectations. Averaging 4.1 points on the season, Loyd exploded over the last two games, bringing Oregon basketball back up to the level it was in early conference play. Shooting 10-17 (59%) and averaging 13.5 points per game against Stanford and Oregon State, Loyd has given fans - and Loyd himself - a glimpse at his potential.
Heavily scrutinized and under the microscope of the Duck basketball community, Loyd is playing first-class basketball. In addition to his 59% shooting over the past two games, Loyd also produced 12 assists and seven steals. Previously overshadowed by the consistent play of starting freshman point guard Dominic Artis, Loyd has proven to himself to be a capable college level point guard by stepping up his play during Artis’ extended injury timeout. His speed is second to none. And when making snap decisions on the court Loyd can be unpredictable, leaving defenses with an insurmountable task of containing the Ducks’ offense.
The loss of Artis momentarily appeared to be a detriment to the season. Loyd has elevated his play to a career-high echelon and shows no signs of stagnant play. If Artis can get healthy and Loyd can continue playing superb basketball, the Ducks will be a force in the conference tournament and March Madness.