The Oregon Ducks basketball team was able to win the opener against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, but it wasn’t the most convincing of wins. Still, a win is a win, and the 83-73 victory for the Ducks was in double-digits. Even so, the fact that this team turned it over 18 times is an early warning flag.
Five of those turnovers came from freshman point guard Dominic Artis, who was the Ducks top commitment in the 2013 class as a four-star, top 50 recruit (top five PG). There are going to be some growing pains for Artis as evidenced by the turnover totals, but he was one of four starters to hit double-digits. Fellow frosh Waverly Austin also had five turnovers in 11 minutes off the bench, which is ten minutes less than what Artis played.
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Fellow freshman starter Damyean Dotson also figures to be used heavily here on out, and he was the most efficient player on the Ducks in a 5-8 day with six rebounds. Tony Woods is going to be a huge part of the team’s success this year, and the top defensive big led the way with two blocks and had seven rebounds. He led the team with 14 points.
As a team, Oregon hit 48.3% of their shots and controlled the glass with 42 rebounds. However, turnovers kill teams and Oregon was down 67-66 at one point later in the game. In fact, the Ducks turned the ball over on one-fifth of their possessions. Other than that, they dominated Northern Arizona in every other facet of the game and averaged 1.04 points per possession (.92 for the Lumberjacks).
It was a solid win for the Ducks, but it was too close for comfort at points in the second-half. The MVP of the game was clearly Woods, who was solid on the glass, dominant on defense, and he was efficient on offense with a team-high 14 points.
The freshmen impressed me in this one, and it’s tough not to feel great about the future of Oregon basketball. The five of them combined for 101 minutes of action and 43 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, five steals, but also 12 turnovers.
247Sports reported that four-star wide receiver MarQuez North has co-leaders in UNC and Tennessee, and that both teams are even at the top of his recruitment. However, the Oregon Ducks could get an official visit from the top 75 2013 prospect. North has an official trip scheduled to Columbus to visit the Ohio State Buckeyes, and he also has interest in the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs. The Clemson Tigers were also mentioned as a team that could get a visit from North in the 247 piece.
It’s going to be interesting to see if the Ducks can get an official visit from him, because North is the top prospect in the state of North Carolina in this class and is a top ten wideout overall. He runs a 4.4 forty time and is a big-play threat who gets to the end zone often for Mallard Creek.
The California Golden Bears 59-17 blowout loss at home did not affect their standing with high-end three-star cornerback Cameron Walker, as the talented L.A. recruit put Cal in his final three. He has his final visit scheduled for the Wisconsin Badgers next week after visiting Cal and Boise State. All three of those teams are in his top three. Cal’s loss is definitely defensible, because an incredibly high amount of their best players were out for this game and the Oregon Ducks are just insanely good.
Walker is rated as one of the best 40 CBs in the 2013 class, a top 50 recruit in the state of California, and a top 500 recruit overall.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.