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:
* 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.
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.
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
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.
FishDuck Going to Articles on Monday and Tuesday Only…
Our off-season schedule begins, and we move from publishing articles seven days a week to Mondays and Tuesdays only. Same great group of writers, and we will have an article on other days on occasion.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
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