As Oregon's much-hyped season opener with Georgetown draws near, an absolute bombshell is dropped out of the Oregon basketball program:
While Oregon the best team in the conference with Artis on the floor last season, the Ducks' backcourt depth leaves them in pretty good shape to weather that loss. Pac-12 Tournament MVP Johnathan Loyd likely slides into the starting point guard slot alongside Damyean Dotson, while Joseph Young and Jason Calliste-both big scorers who started at Houston and Detroit, respectively, last season-give the Ducks plenty of firepower at the guard positions.
The Carter suspension is more problematic. The Ducks are not nearly as deep in the frontcourt, where Carter was expected to start alongside UNLV transfer Mike Moser. Transfer Richard Amardi and Waverly Austin are the candidates to slide into that spot, though at this point Duck fans are pretty certain that Austin isn't a guy that should be playing big minutes on a team with NCAA Tournament aspirations.
What we don't know are the specifics of the transgressions. The players sold team-issued gear, which is a no-no, and which they knew was a no-no. They made a conscious decision to break the rules, and will pay a price for that. What we don't know is how much of a price they'll pay, and that likely depends on how much gear they sold and at what price. It's likely that they'll be back before the start of Pac-12 play, but we won't really know for sure until the NCAA makes a ruling, which can be a time-consuming process.
The good thing for Oregon is that this happened before any games were played, thus there are no chances of having to vacate any wins. But on the cusp of the biggest season-opener of the Dana Altman era, this is not the news that anybody wanted to hear.