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MBB: Practices get underway for season loaded with potential

Brimming with talent yet again, can the Ducks make a run in March?

Syndication: The Register Guard Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s October (though it feels like August outside), and believe it or not we are less than a month away from NCAA Basketball.

Dana Altman has once again compiled a great squad on paper, with veteran leadership mixed with top-tier recruits. Coupled with a summertime bonding session in Canada, the potential for the 2022-23 Men’s Basketball team is sky high.

Still, the work has to be put in to yield the desired results.

“We were a very inconsistent team last year,” said Altman. “Part of that was our rebounding and defense. Our rebounding numbers weren’t good, our defensive numbers weren’t good, and on the nights we weren’t shooting well, it really cost us.”

In 2021-2022, Men’s Basketball, at least in the eyes of many, underachieved. The talent was on the floor, but they didn’t mesh the way most Altman-coached teams have in the past, particularly towards the end of the season.

“I feel like last year we didn’t play hard enough and we didn’t come together enough,” said Senior guard Will Richardson, “so we’re big on that this year.”

Richardson, along with Quincy Guerrier and N’Faly Dante, will be the veterans leading a blue-chip recruiting class into the grind.

For Richardson, it will be a chance to end his Oregon career on a positive note. Last season, he was sick with mono and spent the last games of the year at home recovering. Had the pandemic not happened, Richardson wouldn’t have any other option. But given that extra year of eligibility, he can now go out statistically as one of the greatest in Ducks history.

“Just another step in the journey,” said Richardson. “I feel blessed.”