Oregon Basketball: Ducks Look For Consistency With Young Lineup

Payton Pritchard lines up a free throw vs Portland State at Matthew Knight Arena.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Payton Pritchard lines up a free throw vs Portland State at Matthew Knight Arena.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

Oregon Basketball will need youth to lead the rest of the season and the Ducks have enough talent to get to the postseason.

The Oregon Men’s Basketball team may be in some trouble for the rest of the season. With the departures of Bol Bol and Abu Kigab, Dana Altman will have Starters, but a bench that will need to find their niche to compete. While Oregon has some proven veterans on the bench Victor Bailey Jr. is the player that immediately comes to mind, the Ducks will need to be healthy over the next two months.

The players of the Ducks future should gain a lot of experience this season. Will Richardson will continue to be groomed for the point guard position. Louis King will have key time in the Dana Altman system and has already shown plenty of flair and the ability to create his own shot. Francis Okoro will likely find himself gaining more experience over the next month than anyone else, being the lone big man on Defense with Bol gone and Kenny Wooten out with a broken jaw. The experience this team will be important regardless of the team picks up wins or losses this season.

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No one could have predicted the injury to Bol Bol. His nine game in an Oregon Uniform will be remembered. He had double-digit points in nine straight games and was a 5-Star talent and may have opened the door for future recruiting classes. However, that does not help this season.

Oregon has an advantage in my eyes since the Pac-12 Conference is really truly terrible in basketball this year, at least on the Men’s side. The highest-ranked team this week in the AP Poll is Arizona State – with ONE vote in the poll. Looks like a win over Kentucky last week doesn’t mean much if you can’t back it up.

As it stands, the best chance to make the post season is to win games. Oregon needs to focus this season on playing with the competition and building chemistry with a young group led by Senior Paul White along with Payton Pritchard the rest of the way. The winner of the Pac-12 Tournament may very well be in line for the NCAA Tournament Play-In Game, but we have seen late-season momentum take teams pretty far.

Oregon continues the Pac-12 slate with UCLA and USC this week at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks and Bruins tip at 6 pm Thursday night on ESPN.