Snakebitten Men’s Basketball, Recruiting and Women’s Hoops

Bob Rickert Editorials

First Louis King was out, then Bol Bol, then Abu Kigab. Now, word comes that Kenny Wooten broke his jaw in the Baylor disaster.

Oregon may have only three substitutes when they face Boise State, and there’s still a minute limit for King. Yikes. Word is Wooten may be out a month. A week after deciding not to redshirt, Miles Norris will get to do his best impersonation of Wooten.

Miles Norris will figure big in Oregon’s plan while Bol and Wooten injured.

Oregon’s offense is in disarray. They have no consistent shooters aside from Bol and Payton Pritchard. VJ Bailey and everyone else are streak shooters who need a layup, a free throw, or a bucket of some kind to get going. Instead, Oregon comes out in every game and just starts firing up jumpers. That’s a sign that seniors like Paul White aren’t leading. Paul White is … Paul White. I’m going to set that down before I continue this rant.

Is there good news? Yes. Remember, the Ducks only have three upperclassmen — total. They’re playing four sophomores, four freshmen, two seniors and a junior. Oregon’s recruiting has been spectacular; they have seven young players on the current roster who will all be going forward with them. The future is bright, even if it’s hard to see right now.


The Ducks have at least five scholarships to give, maybe six. Two seniors are most likely to depart along with Bol. Oregon currently has one unused scholarship, and there’s a special situation with one 2019 commit. (I’ll get to that in a second.)

Oregon has signed four players in the early period. CJ Walker is the nation’s 30th ranked player, a 6′ 8″ power forward out of Orlando, Florida. Chandler Lawson is also a 6′ 8″ power forward. He’s from Memphis, Tennessee, and the 70th ranked player nationally.

CJ Walker will add more scoring punch in the open court.

Chris Duarte was set to commit to Syracuse out of high school, but wound up at Northwest Florida. That’s the same junior college that produced Elgin Cook. Duarte is a 6′ 6″ combo guard who can shoot it. And we know how much the Ducks need that! Finally, Isaac Johnson is a 6′ 11″ center from Utah, who will go on a two-year mission before joining the Ducks in 2021. He’s the 71st ranked player nationally.

Johnson’s recruitment counts toward this year’s rankings, but his scholarship doesn’t count toward Oregon’s total until he enrolls. The result is that Oregon can take at least five guys in the 2019 class, maybe six. Every signed guy so far is a Top 100, four-star rated player. But let’s all remember that most of them are 18 years old, and they won’t all make an impact until well into their freshman year.

Who Else Might Be A Duck?

Cole Anthony (NBA player Greg Anthony’s son) and Cassius Stanley are two five-star guards Oregon is chasing. Stanley’s team will be at the Les Schwab Invitational this week in Hillsboro. So will his teammates Scottie Pippen Jr. and Kenyon Martin Jr. (Yes, they are the sons of those NBA stars.)

Cassius Stanley is one of the best shooting guards in this class.

Oregon is also interested in a few graduate transfers that I know of. We’ll talk about those guys if and when the time comes (March or April). Oregon needs shooting guards and shooting wings. Where is the Mike Moser of the Class of 2019?

Women’s Basketball Could Contend for a National Title

Meanwhile, over on the women’s side, things couldn’t look better. They’re now 11-1, and this week’s win over 4th-ranked Mississippi State demonstrated again that they’re a national title contender. Baylor’s loss to Stanford this week means Oregon should jump at least two spots, back into the top five.

In the rout over UC-Irvine, Sabrina Ionescu recorded her 13th triple-double, and now holds the all-time NCAA record for triple-doubles for men’s and women’s basketball. But the team is more than Ionescu. It’s a terrrific team, and if you love basketball watch every game you can.

Your Water Cooler Note

Just one note this week. Oregon now has four players injured. Those four were set to play about 120 of the 200 total minutes of every game. Three of them were scheduled to be starters. It’s not an excuse, but it’s going to be tough sledding from here.

Bob Rickert
Lake Oswego, Oregon

Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson

Bob Rodes, the Volunteer editor for this article, is an IT analyst, software developer and amateur classical pianist in Manchester Tennessee.


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