Football season is in full swing around Eugene, but before we know it, the Ducks will be hitting the court in an attempt to make a deeper run in the NCAA Tournament.
Like football, recruiting will be imperative to the success of the basketball team. Looking at the state of the roster come the end of the season, the one major loss will be senior guard Joseph Young. As a junior in 2013-14, Young averaged a whopping 18.9 points in his first season as a Duck after transferring from Houston.
There's no way around the fact that Young was one of the offensive leaders last year, and likely will be again in 2014-15 barring any drastic changes. The team will likely have some players on the team now that will have a chance to step up come the fall of 2015, like Jordan Bell and Casey Benson, two highly touted recruits who will both be starting their freshman campaigns this season.
Experienced talent or not, a solid year of recruiting could do wonders for the Ducks basketball program.
Tyler Dorsey: The 6'4", 180 pound point guard is among the best in the nation at his position. The 18-year-old Pasadena native is a high-volume scorer with the ability to light it up from deep. Due to his height, he could play both guard positions at the NCAA level, but it's too early to project where he predominantly plays, especially if he lands at Oregon. He was reportedly offered by Oregon, and visited on September 5th.
Eric Bossi of Rivals.com described Dorsey pretty simply in a scouting report:
High scoring lead guard has excellent size and is capable of playing as a point or shooting guard. Scores from deep, off the dribble and at the rim. Rebounds extremely well for a guard who is as prolific a scorer as he is.
Kendall Small: The four-star point guard recruit is arguably the Ducks biggest commitment so far. As opposed to Dorsey who is a scoring-inclined guard, Small is more apt to pass, and paired with his incredible court vision, he's one of the best dime-droppers in the class of 2015. Small actually committed to Oregon way back in April, over schools like UConn and Gonzaga.
Trevor Manuel: Switching from small-ball to big men, Oregon was one of the many schools in pursuit of the Oak Hill product. To their delight, the 6;9" big man committed to Oregon on September 11th. Manuel is a talented rebounder, with strong defensive abilities. He's strong in the post and can play above the rim. While he may not light up the scoreboard points-wise, he's the type of fundamentally sound player that teams need to survive.
Antonio Blakeney: This one may be a bit of a pipe-dream, but it would put Oregon over the top. Blakeney is a five-star shooting guard out of Sarasota, Florida. He's an excellent shooter, and not that bad of a ball-handler for a shooting guard. He's got the makeup of a guy that could come in and be an immediate impact scorer for the Ducks. While the Ducks have offered Antonio, they're competing with schools like Kentucky and LSU for his talent.