Future Without Joseph Young Will Hurt, but Duck Basketball Set for the Long Run

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During the 2014-15 Oregon Duck men’s basketball, Joseph Young was the acknowledged leader of the team. He was handed a Duck team with three returning contributors, and in the Pac-12 Preseason Poll Oregon was predicted to finish eighth. He knew he’d be double-teamed all season long and that there was no true point guard for the team, he had to change positions on the fly. No matter the challenge put in front of him, however, Young passed it with flying colors.

Young did it all for the Ducks.

Donald Alarie

Young did it all for the Ducks.

The senior finished with a season with a 20.7 points per game, and averaged 28.5 points/4 assists/3.5 rebounds in the NCAA tournament. In his last five games, Young scored 25 points or more four times.

The leadership void will be hard to fill, but here’s a quick look at how Young affected key players going forward:

Dillon Brooks: According to an excellent article by Connor Letourneau of OregonLive, Brooks said, ”I’m just trying to be like Joe.” Well, Oregon’s star freshman appears to be well on his way. Brooks finished third on the team in scoring, also making top five appearances in the rebounding, blocks, and field goal percentage categories. Young clearly worked with Brooks throughout the season, showing him what it’s like to be the center of a team’s offense.

Dillon Brooks soaked up as much as he could from Young.

Donald Alarie

Dillon Brooks soaked up as much as he could from Young.

Ahmaad Rorie: Rorie was a touted point guard coming out of high school, but he struggled in his first season at Oregon. The hope was that he would command the point so Young could work off of screens as a pure shooter. Instead of dogging Rorie for struggling, Young worked with him and showed him to make the smart passes instead of the pretty ones.

Jordan Bell: It’s hard to imagine that a guard would have a huge influence on a center, but that’s just what happened this year in Eugene. Bell came in as primarily a shot blocker, but after working with Young throughout the season, the 6-10 freshman showed off some sweet touch toward the end of the season. If Bell can become as big a threat on offense as he is on defense, the Ducks will turn some heads next season.

Top photo from John Sperry

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Caleb Couturie

Caleb Couturie

Caleb is a sophomore at the University of Oregon intending to double major in Journalism and Sports Management. He is the Managing Editor for FishDuck.com, along with being a lifetime Saints and San Francisco Giants fan, as Caleb fell in love with sports at a young age and developed that love into a passion for sports analysis. He is looking forward to cheering on the Ducks throughout his career at Oregon, and is always willing to talk sports with any fellow fan.

  • Blindly B Blindly B

    Duck fans need to wake up and get a deeper understanding of just how great a coach altman is. It is Altman that takes whatever he has, year to year, and makes the most of it. Which is to say he is such a good coach that he gets more out of less as well as any other coach in the nation. And, he is a superb tactical game strategist, who knows how to maneuver his pieces and to maximize his players when they play an opponent. That combination makes his an elite level coach. Oregon basketball fans should more appreciate and recognize that the most valuable part of the basketball team and its consistent over-achievement and competitiveness at a high high level is Coach Dana Altman.

    • Jerry C

      Good post, I agree with your analysis. But next year Dana won’t have to “get more out of less” because the Ducks will be one of the most talented teams in the Pac-12 as well as one of the tallest. Two 6’10”, two 6’9″ and 6’6″ guys who play bigger. If Tyler Dorsey steps in for Joe Young, the Ducks could be elite.