In a week that both Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks declared for the NBA Draft, junior guard Casey Benson has announced that he will transfer from UO for his senior season.
We may have seen the first two decisions coming, but the third caught us off guard. Benson has been a solid contributor for three years. The 6-foot-3 southpaw will graduate from Oregon, then transfer before the start of next season.
The former 3-time Arizona High School Player of the Year revealed his decision Wednesday evening via Twitter.
During his time with the Ducks, Benson was one of the most efficient players in the country. He led the nation in assist to turnover ratio during his sophomore season (4:1). Not to mention, he appeared in the Elite Eight and Final Four the last two years.
Benson was solid off the bench this season, averaging 20.8 minutes per game. He amassed 4.9 PPG, 1.9 APG, 1.7 RPG and 0.9 turnovers per game in 2016-17. Yet, Benson did not feel he was receiving enough time on the floor.
I respect him for understanding the situation and making the best choice for himself. With the new incoming talent, extra minutes were not shifting his way anytime soon.
Not to take anything away from him, but Benson had reached his ceiling during his sophomore campaign. That was the best version of him. Benson isn’t a game-changer, but more of a role player.
It’s not like he was going to contribute 20 points a night anytime soon. I would rather take a chance on someone new with upside and potential vs someone has who has peaked.
Benson’s brother is an assistant coach at Grand Canyon University in Arizona. Former NBA sharpshooter from the Phoenix Suxs, Dan Majerle is the head coach. A move back to his home state would make the most sense for Benson.
Oregon has now regained three scholarships for next season. On Sunday, the Ducks had zero scholarships to offer. Fast forward three days, and three roster spots have opened up while Jordan Bell is still undecided.
With all due respect to Benson, this could solidify the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation for Oregon. The future prospectus of this program is blinding right now.
After securing the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation, the Ducks want more. Much more.
Not only could Oregon add the No. 6 prospect Brandon McCoy to the mix, but every other UO target is now on the table. The possibilities are endless. Honestly, the departure of Brooks, Dorsey and Benson enabled the Ducks more flexibility for the future. I am going to miss them and Oregon is going to miss their leadership and experience.
Elijah Brown is the graduate transfer from New Mexico that is making people salivate. He averaged 18.8 points per game this season and that was considered a “down year” by Lobo fans. In 2015-16, the multifaceted Brown surpassed 21 points per contest and has room to improve in all areas of his game.
Chase Jeter is a 6-foot-10 freshman from Duke, but he too is transferring. His wish list includes Oregon and Gonzaga. With three openings on the Duck roster, it is realistic to think Dana Altman can sign all three stars.
There is a list of others vying for a final spot on the Oregon bus before it departs for elite territory in college basketball. Don’t forget the emerging pipeline of talent funneling into Eugene from the North. The Canadian connection at Oregon is legitimate, as we’ve seen firsthand with Brooks, Dylan Ennis and Chris Boucher.
Big things are on the horizon for Oregon basketball. This program continues to evolve with each passing day.