What Comes Next for Oregon Basketball?

Ducks discuss game plan before Concordia game

While the Sweet 16 is currently in progress for those still in the tournament, for the Ducks the offseason began after Sunday’s 85-77 loss to Wisconsin. While the taste of a repeat loss to the Badgers is a tough pill to swallow, there is plenty to look forward to in the 2015-16 season. The Ducks are bringing back a youthful, yet experienced roster that will include six sophomores, two (benchwarmer) juniors, two experienced seniors, and a stellar recruiting class. To top it off, four out of the five starters from this season will be returning next season:

Only  Joseph Young (No. 3) does not return.

Kevin Cline

Only Joseph Young (No. 3) will not return.

* Elgin Cook: Future Senior/ Forward/ 6’6″/ 2nd on team for PPG

* Dwayne Benjamin: Future Senior/ Forward/ 6’7″/ 2nd on team for RPG

* Jordan Bell: Future Sophomore/ Forward/ 6’9″/ led team in RPG and BPG

* Dillon Brooks: Future Sophomore/ Forward/ 6’6″/ 3rd on team for PPG

Of course, it is hard to ignore the elephant in the room, the 5th missing starter: Joe Young. Young and Jalil Abdul-Bassit (who is also graduating) accounted for almost 40% of the Ducks’ points per game. What’s even more important to point out is that both Young and Bassit were the most talented and experienced point guards.

Casey Benson

Kevin Cline

Could Casey Benson be the point guard that Oregon needs?

While most of the starting lineup at Autzen Stadium has pretty much been solved, the Matt Court quarterback/point guard competition will begin. Future sophomores Ahmaad Rorie and Casey Benson are the safest candidates for starting point guard. There is also a good chance that 4-star recruit Kendall Small will start at point guard, continuing with Altman’s theme of starting freshmen.

Ahmad Rorie at the Utah game

John sperry

Expect Ahmaad Rorie to have an increased role in the backcourt next year.

Since neither Benson nor Rorie have displayed spectacular shooting ability, and Small hasn’t yet had a chance to, Cook could likely assume the same role he did this year, as a pseudo-shooting guard/small forward hybrid. That is unless, five star shooting guard recruit Tyler Dorsey can shine scoring the deep ball.

The starting guard position for the Ducks may end up being a more complex decision than the starting quarterback for the football team. Nevertheless, it should equate to another 20+ win season for Coach Dana Altman and the Ducks.

Top Photo Credit – John Reed

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Daniel Kantor

Daniel Kantor

Daniel “Kantor” Kantor is a soon-to-be graduating 5th year senior at the University of Oregon majoring in advertising with a double minor in business and music. He hails from Southern California and grew up in a UCLA family, where he learned from a very young age to despise the USC Trojans. He switched to the green side when he committed to attend the U of O and witnessed his first ever Duck game: Oregon: 72, New Mexico: 0. That season turned into the magical roller coaster that was the year of the 2011 BCS National Championship against Auburn (I will argue to the death that he was down). Aside from rooting for the Ducks, you can find Daniel rooting for the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Giants, Dodgers, and the 6th grade Eugene basketball tem he coaches. I also have a husky as a pet, but she’s definitely a husky fan. Daniel plans to move to Portland after graduation to pursue a job in media.

  • Michael Oaks

    I believe the ducks will take what they learned this year from Joe Young and that was: In order for the young players to begin the season with any kind of success at all, they must begin practice among themselves early, and they did, making it almost a requirement for any future teams of Altman’s. Tyler Dorsey is going to be a good one, after he learns Altman’s system. and so far there has been no reason to doubt that Altman will come up with another 20 game winner. Once he gets those three big men into shape, the ducks will do just fine. Go Ducks!