Suffering through this last week after the Ducks’ football loss to Stanford has been miserable. There was a silver lining, however, in the form of Oregon’s newly-renovated basketball team. There always seems to be at least one week each year where I can’t read anything about football without getting sick to my stomach. This last week was just that. With Oregon’s basketball season now under way, I thought this would be the perfect time to spread the love. The following are my picks for the top 5 impact players for this season:
5. Johnathan Loyd
Loyd really came on when the Ducks needed it most toward the end of last season. With Artis out for the first 9 games of this year due to suspension, it will be crucial for Loyd to run the point and add some baskets, as well. Last year Loyd averaged 5 points and 2.9 assists.
What Loyd brings to the table goes beyond stats though. He is the spark plug for Oregon . . . literally. He can get up and down the court as fast as anyone in the nation. If Loyd can turn a few of those trips into points, Oregon will be well off. I predict Loyd will have a big impact for Oregon this year.
4. Damyean Dotson
Dotson was a big player for Oregon last year as a freshman. Averaging 11.4 points and 3.5 rebounds, Dotson proved himself as one of the better underclassmen in the conference. With the addition of so much talent from transfers this year, I believe that will open the court up for Dotson to go about his business. Another reason Dotson will have more open looks is the quality of guards that Oregon now has. The sophomore is going to have a big year!
3. Mike Moser
The first transfer on my list. Mike Moser came to Oregon from the UNLV Rebels. Last year, due to a dislocated elbow, was a bit of an off year for Moser. He has, however, proven he can average a double-double. For the 2011-12 season, he averaged 14 points and 10.5 boards. Moser could step in to fill the role of Arsalan Kazemi. I would say that Kazemi was a little better of a rebounder, but Moser is a much better scorer. Also, being so tall and mobile allows him to transition to different defensive positions. Moser’s all-around game will be key for Oregon this year.
2. Dominic Artis/Ben Carter
I am sure most of you have heard by now. Carter and Artis were suspended for the first nine games for violating NCAA rules. I have these two in my No. 2 spot because of the impact and depth they will bring when they return.
Carter adds much needed height and good passing from a bigger guy. Artis brings great shooting, game managing, good defense. He pretty much controls the flow of the game. Luckily, with the incoming transfers, Oregon has enough depth at the guard position to deal with this blow until Artis is back.
1. Joseph Young
Joseph Young is the player I am super excited about. He reminds me a lot of Devoe Joseph, but might actually be a better scorer. Young knows how to put up the points. Last year for Houston, he averaged 18 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Young is a very quick player and, at 6-foot-2, has great size for a guard. Not only do I predict that Young will be Oregon’s leading scorer for the next two years, but with the temporary loss of Artis, I believe that he will be the No. 1 impact player for the Oregon Ducks going forward.
What are your takes, readers, on who you think will have the biggest impact. Will he be a new face, or an old friend?