You thought I was going to lead off with Portland Trail Blazers legend Arvydas Sabonis, didn’t you? What! This is football season… oh, just you wait.
Oregon is waist deep in two-a-days, and a clearer picture of the 2013 campaign is rapidly taking shape. Headliners of head coach Mark Helfrich’s first recruiting class, running back Thomas Tyner and linebacker Joe Walker, are the talk of Eugene halfway through Week 2 of fall camp.
Known more for his top end speed, Tyner is flashing his hands in passing situations and spent a considerable amount of time with the first team offense over the weekend. His teammate on defense, Walker, is quickly evolving from a contributor to a play maker in linebackers coach Don Pellum’s scheme. A question mark entering the season, the linebacker corps appears to be in good hands with the rotation of Walker and returners Boseko Lokombo, Tyson Coleman, and drop-end Tony Washington.
Wideout Alex Van Dyke (3-Star/Elk Grove, CA) received an Oregon offer in May and could potentially quack at anytime. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound route runner is playing the dark horse recruitment card and may be one of the top steals in the class of 2014. Having already scheduled an official visit, expect Van Dyke to commit soon after his exposure to what the Ducks have to offer.
Back to the bear, The Dancing Bear’s son that is. Domantas Sabonis (NR/Unicaja Malaga, Lithuania) is primed for an Oregon visit following a successful string of FIBA U18 matchups where the youngster averaged 14 points and 10.5 boards.
Standing 6-foot-9, Sabonis is a bit shorter than his father (7-foot-3) but shares the ability to pass and move to and from the basket with or without the ball in his hands. Down low, Domantas is quick to impress with swift, effective post moves and a high-end motor when going after rebounds. Equally venerable is his ability to see the floor both on the break and when setting up on offense.
A young prospect with tremendous upside and family pedigree to boot, head coach Dana Altman would do well to pair Sabonis with returning point guard Dominic Artis in what could be a tremendous inside-outside threat.
“(Michael) has a tremendous upside and skill set, savvy IQ game and a great motor,” said AAU coach Kenny Mullins. “He’s 6-10, can put the ball on the ground and shoot the three. He just needs to gain some muscle and some weight but that will come in time. With the skill set he has and his demeanor and how he plays the game, and his grades… there is not a lot to not like about him.”
Humphrey already possesses an Oregon scholarship nod and could easily be part of Altman’s first wave of recruits heading into 2015, stay tuned!
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Mark Flores, a Salem, OR resident, is a Firefighter/Paramedic and an avid Oregon Ducks supporter. A graduate of nearby Corban University with a Bachelors Degree in English-Journalism, Flores is a Ducks football season-ticket holder (since 2010) with plans of pursuing his masters degree at the U of O. A passionate and knowledgeable Ducks fan with a heavy interest in Oregon athletics and recruiting, Flores, a former lacrosse player, brings a wealth of knowledge of Oregon teams not readily covered by the media.
Flores has over seven years of professional journalism experience, including writing for the Statesman Journal in Salem and holding the position of Sports Editor for the Hilltop News (Corban University). He brings his detailed knowledge of recruiting and athletics to the FishDuck team, and welcomes your feedback.
Author’s Note: “I do not capitalize our rival, “that other school”, nor any other institution outside of our beloved UNIVERSITY OF OREGON. WTD!!!”
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