Oregon picked up an expected but very important commitment from Michael Chandler Tuesday night. The news was first reported via Twiter by Brad Winton of JucoRecruiting.com, and quickly confirmed by other news outlets.
Michael Chandler (6-10/F/C/2014) of NW Florida State has committed to Oregon.— Brad Winton (@JucoRecruiting) October 30, 2013
Once again, Oregon scores big in the Junior College ranks. JUCO PF Michael Chandler has committed to the Ducks.— Alex Kline (@TheRecruitScoop) October 30, 2013
Chandler was a four-star center and top 50 player nationally out of high school and originally committed and de-committed from Xavier, Louisville, and UCF, before failing to qualify academically. Instead he went the junior college route and played for NW Florida State, the same team that current Duck Elgin Cook played for before coming to Eugene.
Chandler is a true college center at 6'10, 240 lbs and will give Oregon a legitimate presence in the paint. He can guard the rim like Tony Woods but should also provide more of a scoring presence down low. Talent-wise he reminds me a lot of former Duck Michael Dunigan when he came out of high school.
Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports spoke with Chandler's junior college coach, Steve DeMeo, on Tuesday night, who had this to say about Chandler's decision:
"Coach [Dana] Altman and his staff will help Michael become a special player and a really special person," DeMeo said. "We are very excited that Michael is going to such a special place like Oregon."
"Michael's upside is very high," DeMeo said. "He will help defend the post and can score well around the basket. He also has range to 17 feet."
Chandler is known as an immensely talented player who has never had any issues competing on the floor but has struggled academically. However, it sounds like his grades are in order and he is on track to join the Ducks in 2014.
Chandler is Oregon's fourth commitment in the 2014 class, joining JUCO transfer Dwayne Benjamin, and prep players Ray Kasongo and Casey Benson, all of whom are expected to sign during the early signing period in November. Chandler chose Oregon over interest from Arizona, Pittsburgh, and Memphis, among many others. You can watch his high school highlight tape below.