Lack of Clutch Player Dooms Ducks

Darren Perkins Editorials

Will Richardson is a very good college basketball player. It has been a joy to watch him grow and develop over the past few years and carve out his place as one of the better Oregon basketball players during the Dana Altman era.

He is unselfish, a great teammate, a hard worker, and has represented the Oregon program with class and dignity. Unfortunately, he is a dying breed. In an era of one-and-done prima-donnas, transfer portal turbulence, and NIL nauseousness; he represents everything that is still good about college sports.

But, a “go-to guy” he is not.

Richardson was not able to even get a shot off or kick it out to a teammate to take a potential game-tying three-pointer on Saturday night as the Ducks crumbled in the final moments against Arizona. (Even Charles admits he’s rather have some fun at than watch the end of an Oregon Mens Basketball game!)

Altman was not able to secure a “go-to guy” for this Oregon team.

My biggest concern coming into this season was who was going to be “the guy” for this Oregon team. Richardson had developed into the perfect second option to the likes of past Altman go-to guys such as Joseph Young, Dillon Brooks, Peyton Pritchard, and Chris Duarte. By default, Richardson fell into the position because there was nobody else to fill the void after Duarte’s departure into the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft last summer.

My hope was that perhaps incoming transfer Quincy Guerrier would be the guy, or that Jacob Young could maybe recreate the magic of his big brother Joseph, but it was not to be. So, Richardson it was. Altman has had a nice streak at Oregon via recruiting or transfers of making sure his team has consistently had “the guy.” But, he simply fell short this season.

Next season the Ducks will welcome five-star, and potential future first-round picks, center Kel’el Ware and point guard Dior Johnson, along with top juco player in shooting guard Tyrone Williams. This provides Oregon fans with plenty of optimism that the Ducks will have that “go-to guy” next season — heck, maybe even have two or three.

If only the Ducks could have taken out a loan for one this year.

Darren Perkins
Spokane, WA
Top photo credit: Twitter

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