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MBB update: Locked and Loaded

So far, it looks as though 2023 will be a fun season to witness.

Nike Hoop Summit Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Spring is here and basketball may seem a bit far off, but for any avid hoop fan who bleeds green and yellow it’s always nice to hear some news regarding Dana Altman’s men of Oregon.

A week ago, Oregon Men’s Basketball received a double-dose of positive news. First, it was big man N’Faly Dante, who thrived in his first full season unhampered by injuries, announcing via Twitter that he would be returning for the 2022-23 season.

Last season, Dante came into his own, starting 27 games and averaging 8.1 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds per game. He also led the Ducks in blocked shots and field goal percentage. With the departure of Franck Kepnang and Isaac Johnson, the return of Dante keeps Oregon solid at the center position as he joins fellow 7-footers Nate Bittle and Kel’el Ware on the roster.

Along with the news of Dante’s return came the announcement that a recent Pac-12 foe would be joining the Ducks as former Colorado guard Keeshawn Barthelemy officially signed with Oregon.

With the departure of De’Vion Harmon and Will Richardson testing the NBA Draft waters, Oregon was in need of a strong addition at guard. Now they have one. Barthelemy averaged 11.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists last season for the Buffaloes while shooting 47% from the field and 35% from 3-point range.

Finally, it was announced that Oregon signees and 5-star blue-chippers Kel’el Ware and Dior Johnson have been invited to USA Basketball’s U18 training camp. The camp runs from May 26th to June 2nd, and will conclude with a final 12-man roster that will compete in the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in Mexico on June 6th.

The Oregon recruits are a part of only 11 players from the 2022 class invited to the camp.