Comes from: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Duck fans, please give a warm welcome to the Runnin’ Rebels former trigger-man, Amauri Hardy! Hardy announced his intent to play for the Ducks as a graduate transfer on April 12th, giving some depressed Duck faithful something to be excited about in the wake of college basketball shutting down due to Covid-19. Hardy’s status as a grad transfer means he’ll be eligible to suit up right away for Oregon in 2020-21, and he brings some welcome firepower to an already intriguing Oregon lineup. So what can we expect from Amauri now that he’s traded his UNLV red for Oregon green?
Hardy is a scorer, first and foremost. As one of UNLV’s top options, he went from averaging around four shots per game as a freshman to over 11 in his final season in Vegas. Carrying the scorer/playmaker burden for the Rebels came with some average-looking shooting numbers, but make no mistake, Hardy is a great scorer. He’s a guy who isn’t afraid to let it fly and that makes him the heavy favorite to be the Ducks’ new sixth man. Going from a number 1 or 2 option to a 3 or even 4 should help create more open looks and easy opportunities for Hardy, as the scoring burden will also be carried by fellow guards Will Richardson and Chris Duarte.
Hardy’s presence also means that Jalen Terry, the incoming 4* frosh, has another guard to help him adjust his game to the college scene. A prediction of career shooting numbers feels right here, so I’m going on record saying Hardy will have his best shooting year in Eugene, hitting over 36% of his long-range shots.
Huzzah, the Ducks have another senior guard to lean on! Hardy may not be the passer that our beloved Payton Pritchard was, but his experience in the college ranks makes him a great presence in the Oregon locker room. And these Ducks will need it. Sure, Terry is the only freshman, but Hardy, Aaron Estrada, and LJ Figureoa are all new to the program. Eric Williams Jr., and Eugene Omoruyi transfered last year and had to sit out. Lok Wur redshirted. N’Faly Dante missed a lot of time due to injuries. There are going to be a lot of new pieces and roles to fill for the Ducks, and Hardy’s three years with UNLV can be a sturdy base that the team can lean on as they find their footing.
As mentioned earlier, Hardy isn’t a pass-first guard. We might have one player step up as the primary distributor, or there are plenty of talented guards that could form a passing committee for the Ducks. Hardy is more than capable with the ball in his hands, whether as a passer or a scorer. Being surrounded by more talented players at Oregon could help improve his passing chops, and certainly no one will worry about what Hardy does when the ball is in hands.
Hardy is an experienced player whose presence will really bolster Oregon’s depth. Oregon’s lack of big names might mean people will sleep on them, but this team has a chance to really take the Pac-12 by surprise, and Hardy should be a big part of that. Having a senior coming off the bench who can score from anywhere and everywhere is now a luxury that Oregon has, and we can look forward to seeing great things from him when he takes the court at Matthew Knight Arena.