Throughout the 2022 season, Oregon Men’s Basketball struggled with consistency, and those inconsistencies seemed to be staying put at the tail end of 2022.
However, senior point guard Will Richardson closed out 2022 in a big way and will be pivotal for Oregon in 2023.
The Ducks collected a bit of revenge for the football Civil War by beating Oregon State 77-68 on the hardwood just as the year was drawing to a close. After jumping out to a big lead that they squandered, Oregon needed a go-to guy and Richardson was just that, scoring 12 of Oregon’s final 20 points and finishing the game with 22.
It was the third time this season Richardson has gone for 20+, and he’s averaging 15.6 points per game this season.
Oregon has a strong nucleus with twin towers N’Faly Dante and Kel’el Ware complimenting veterans Richardson and Quincy Guerrier. The problem was never the talent on the court, it was how consistently that talent played up to their abilities.
Last season for the first time in a while Oregon had lacked a go-to guy who could create shots for himself and come through big in the clutch, and the hope was that Richardson could be the man to fill that role.
So far this season, he’s been doing just that, and that will be crucial as Oregon heads into the rest of their conference schedule this week. The Ducks head to Boulder on Thursday, where they won for the very first time just last year. After the rocky mountain swing, perennial power Arizona visits Eugene the following week.
So far, Richardson has been consistent and effective as “the guy”, and for Oregon to continue to have success and get back to the big dance, he will have to carry that over into 2023.