Coach Dana Altman filled a big piece of the Ducks’ roster on Saturday. Eric Williams Jr., a 6’6″ shooting guard/wing is transferring immediately to Oregon from Duquesne. The left-handed Williams averaged 14 points and over seven rebounds per game for the Dukes. A Michigan native, he once scored 50 in a high school game and led his team to the state championship. Williams has said he will appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility. He has two years left to play, so the Ducks effectively add a junior to the roster.
If Williams plays this year it would put him in the same class as VJ Bailey and Kenny Wooten, balancing out Oregon’s classes really well. If he has to sit, Oregon has him in the system for three years and he’ll spend his next two years playing alongside Will Richardson and Miles Norris. I don’t see him taking minutes from Bailey, although he could if Bailey’s shooting consistency doesn’t improve. Instead, it appears he’ll battle with Chris Duarte for playing time at the small forward/wing spot in the Ducks’ rotation.
That’s the spot played by Paul White when Oregon decided to go big with Francis Okoro at center and Wooten at power forward. With both expected back, the Ducks will use those two up front and look to fill the small forward and off guard positions with a combination of Duarte, Williams and incoming freshman CJ Walker.
Williams has a nice mid-range game, shoots the three fluidly off the dribble or the pass, and has a nice little one-on-one move where he backs his man toward the basket and spins to free himself at the free throw line or in the lane. Williams had nine double-doubles in his first 21 games and offered two reasons for choosing Oregon. He said he wants to play on a team that’s capable of going deep into the NCAA Tournament, and he wants to work with coaches who can develop his game. He also has good length to play Oregon’s Matchup Zone, as you’d expect from anyone recruited by Altman.
Williams’ final two choices of schools were Missouri and Oregon. He committed just after the Oregon football spring game on Saturday.
More Possible Transfers?
Graduate transfer Jaevin Cumberland is also being recruited. He’s a 6’3″ guard from Oakland University in Michigan who averaged over 17 points a game and shot almost 40 percent from three. He would play immediately and give the Ducks another shooter and depth at the guard spot. Oregon only has four guards on its roster right now: Payton Pritchard, Bailey, Richardson and Duarte, who I expect will play some wing as well.
South Dakota State guard David Jenkins is also being recruited by Oregon. He’s 6’2″ and has averaged around 20 points a game while shooting almost 45 percent from three. A native of Tacoma, Wash., Jenkins is a sophomore who will sit out the 2019-20 season and be ready to play the next season.
Arizona, Kansas, Gonzaga and Notre Dame have all apparently expressed interest in Jenkins. He’s a bona fide scorer and can play right away.
Women’s Recruiting: Angela Dugalic Commits
The 6’4″ post-player Angela Dugalic arrived from Illinois on Thursday and committed on Sunday during a photo shoot. She is the second commit for 2020, joining five-star guard Sydnee Parrish. Dugalic has a lot of the same versatile skills as current Duck Satou Sabally and will play behind her for a year and then likely assume that role.
Coach Kelly Graves and Oregon hosted a pair of four-star players rated in the top 35 for the Class of 2020, and 6’1″ wing Kylee Watson from New Jersey began her official visit yesterday. It looks like the Ducks still have one unused scholarship for 2019 on the women’s side. Unless they can find the right graduate transfer or transfer who’ll sit for one year, I expect them to leave it unused.
Sabrina Ionescu won the John Wooden Award as the nation’s best player for 2018-19. She is the first Oregon man or woman to win the award, and it sets her up as the probable face of women’s college basketball next year.
As always, I’ll see you in the comments section.
Lake Oswego, Oregon Top Photo From Video
Chris Brouilette, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a current student at the University of Oregon from Sterling, Illinois.
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