With signing period starting tomorrow, Sabrina Ionescu’s impending return was great news for the Oregon Duck program. Louis King’s announcement on Twitter that he’s hiring an agent was not. The men have two or three spots they can fill, and the women still have one.
King has clearly been told by someone that his stock could rise at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp. For some reason he believes he could be drafted in the first round. Maybe he will be, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I think he’s got Europe written all over him right now. He’s too lean and not strong enough to defend big NBA small forwards, and is not a consistent enough jump shooter to threaten anyone on offense, especially from NBA three-point range.
If anyone was ready, it was Ionescu, not King. But let’s move on. We should have a poll on where King will go. I’ll say he’s the 60th player drafted, and I think I’m being generous. There are 18 small forwards ranked ahead of him right now. I hope I’m wrong. I’m rooting for him. I am. But in 2020 he’d be a possible lottery pick.
Quack!!!!! Sydney Parrsh Is A Duck!
Sydney Parrish, the nation’s number one guard in the class of 2020, committed to Coach Kelly Graves and the Ducks on Monday night. Parrish is 6′ 2″, a five-star rated player, and was offered by basically everyone of course. Her final list also included UCLA, Tennessee, Indiana and Maryland. She made the announcement on her Twitter feed.
Parrish plays for Hamilton Southeastern in Indiana and averaged 21 points and almost seven rebounds a game last year. With Jaz Shelley, Morgan Yeager and Taylor Chavez on Oregon’s roster already, Parrish could play the point guard or shooting guard spots, or on the wing for Coach Graves. She’s that talented, she’s that versatile. Just a huge commitment for the Ducks.
The Men’s Roster
Here we go again. Oregon loses (at least) four players off this year’s roster with two one-and-dones and two seniors. There’s also the possibility that at least one player will transfer. Every year we think nobody will, and then Keith Smith, Abu Kigab or someone else thinks that he hasn’t gotten enough playing time or doesn’t like how things look going forward and decides to move to a smaller school where he can start.
This year’s best candidate for that is Victor Bailey. He has all the talent in the world, and more athleticism than one person should ever have, but his jumper isn’t consistent enough and he struggles to keep some guys in front of him on the dribble.
Despite all of that, Bailey could be a terrific player for the Ducks next year. Freshmen become sophomores, sophomores become juniors. We all remember the growth of Aaron Brooks, Dillon Brooks and others as they stayed with it for a few years under Dana Altman. Bailey would be no different and he should get all of Ehab Amin‘s minutes next year.
Graduate transfer recruit T.J. Holyfield of Stephen F. Austin was in for a visit last weekend. He’s a really nice player with great length and a decent three-point jump shot. He could fit nicely into the role Paul White filled this last year. He shoots just under 54 percent from the field and almost 38 percent from three. He has also averaged about 12 boards a game over the past two years. He actually sat out last year with an injury, so he’ll need some reps to shake the rust off. He’s considering Oregon, Texas Tech, Kansas, Illinois and Miami. He feels like a Texas Tech kind of guy. We’ll see, though.
Cole Anthony’s parents were apparently on campus last Friday. At least, his father Greg Anthony was. The announcers on the Nike Hoop Summit game, Fran Fraschilla in particular, believe Anthony’s commitment to North Carolina is all but a foregone conclusion. Again, we’ll see.
If the Ducks don’t land either Anthony or Holyfield — or both — they’re going to need more help, and fast. They currently have nine players on the roster: Bailey, Kenny Wooten, Payton Pritchard, Will Richardson, Francis Okoro, Miles Norris, and the three incoming guys, C.J. Walker, Chandler Lawson and Juco transfer Chris Duarte. Duarte won the Juco Player of the Year award this year, just as Chris Boucher did a few years back. They’re all legit for sure, but that’s not even enough to scrimmage. Oregon needs two or three more guys on this roster.
The current starting five as I see it is Pritchard, Wooten, Walker, Okoro and either Bailey or Richardson. Norris should get 20 to 25 minutes a night behind Okoro and Wooten. Whichever guard doesn’t start will play a lot of minutes with the other two, and Duarte can play the guard spot as well. But with King leaving, Duarte’s a wing player until they sort it all out.
Lawson is 6′ 8″ as well, so Oregon’s going to have a wall up front and very little room for defenders to drive. What they don’t have are shooters, and that’s where Holyfield or Duarte can help the Ducks a lot. They need three-point shooters to stretch the floor on offense.
This assumes both Pritchard and Wooten return, of course. Barring something crazy I expect them to; neither is projected to be drafted right now.
The Women’s Roster
The Ducks lost Maite Cazorla and Oti Gildon. Atlanta drafted Cazorla in the second round of the WNBA Draft last week — a good fit for her, and another Duck to the professional ranks. I expect Gildon will have a chance to play overseas somewhere.
Jaz Shelley is another Cazorla in the making. Lucy Cochrane is a 6′ 5″ bruising Australian center who should get a lot of minutes backing up Ruthy Hebard. Coach Kelly Graves is also bringing in Holly Winterburn, a tremendous shooter who can play the big guard spot or the wing. She’s solid at both ends, and you’re going to love the energy she brings to the team.
The Ducks’ front line next year will be 6’4″, 6’4″, and 6’4″, with 6’4″ and 6’6″ post players behind them. An enormous front line for a women’s team. Ionescu, Erin Boley, Chavez, Yeager and Lydia Giomi; obviously, this team is loaded.
And they still have a scholarship spot for 2019 open. Stay tuned.
Water Cooler Notes
The best men’s high school players I saw in person this year were Vernon Carey Jr., Scottie Barnes and Anton Watson. Carey is headed to Duke and Watson to his hometown Gonzaga Bulldogs. Barnes is being recruited by two dozen schools and took a trip to Oregon last year for an official. Oregon has been in on Barnes for a while.
Barnes is currently a top-five rated player in 2020 on every board you look at. So much to love about his game. He’s basically a point-forward who can defend three positions. And he’s a very good passer and finishes in transition really well. I’m sure he’s at the top of the Oregon coaching staff’s list.
More recruiting news as it arrives. It all starts Wednesday. I’ll see you in the comments section.
Lake Oswego, OregonTop Photo From TBS Video
Bob Rodes, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is an IT analyst, software developer and amateur classical pianist in Manchester Tennessee.
A native Oregonian, Bob’s spent 16 years covering Duck football and basketball for AOL Fanhouse, OregonLive and Rivals.com. He’s also hosted a sports talk show on ESPN Radio and led marketing for the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.
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