Posted on: October 17, 2008 7:48 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2008 12:35 am

Oregon Ducks '08-'09 Preview

Oregon Ducks

Head Coach: Ernie Kent
Last Season’s Results: Conf. 9-10 (6th), Overall 18-14. Post Season: None?


Backcourt: The Ducks are built around speed with Kamyron Brown and Tejuan Porter being the feature guards. Porter is better without the ball, so despite being a meager 5’6” he is the shooting guard. He has great range and lightening quick moves. His lack of height will be problematic at times for the Ducks, especially against some of the taller teams in the nation.

 LeKendric Longmire will likely get the nod as a starter early on, but depending on how Matthew Humphrey and the other freshmen guards progress he could find himself coming off the bench relatively quickly.

Frontcourt: It appears as though the Ducks will have a problem on the low block after the departure of Maarty Leunen.  But they have their first true center, in Michael Dunigan, who should be able to match up with every center in the PAC-10. Joevan Catron looks to have a break out year as he will be an every-day starter, and expected to provide leadership in the paint. Catron has improved continually throughout his college career under Ernie Kent.

Bench: Matthew Humphrey, Teondre Williams, Garrett Sim, Josh Crittle, and Frantz Dorsainvil will be the primary bench players as the Ducks are a very young team. Because of the combination of youth and average talent on the bench expect extremely varying effectiveness from bench players. Ernie Kent will have to change his rotation consistently throughout the season to whoever is successful at the time.

Key Departures: Malik Hairston, Maarty Leunen, and Bryce Taylor were a major driving force for the Ducks. There is a lot of talent and scoring that has to be found somewhere. Ernie Kent had a special recruiting class four years ago. Will he do it again this year?

Key Recruits:
C- Michael Dunigan - Will be a brick on the low block. While he’s not the tallest guy, he has the weight to fight efficiently on the low block for position on both ends of the floor.  He’s the first true big man that has suited up in an Oregon jersey in a long time. It should be interesting to see how Ernie Kent can utilize him.

C-Josh Crittle - Another big man recruit for Oregon that  looks to be just another big body down low and a decent role player. Look for Crittle and Matthew Humphrey to help build team chemistry as they played high school ball at Hales Franciscan together.

SG- Matthew Humphrey - Hard working shooting guard  with a long reach. He’s a great long-ball shooter and should claim a starting spot before conference play begins.

SG - Teondre Williams - This kid has great leaping ability, and is a true threat with the ball in his hands. He can get to the rim and create his own shot. Unfortunately he can over-penetrate and doesn’t always make the right decision.

PG - Garrett Sim is a very knowledgeable player with great floor vision. He’s a bit undersized, but with time will be a solid combo guard for the Ducks.
*Click on linked recruit names for their highlight videos.

Strengths: Oregon’s strength under Ernie Kent has always been speed. Oregon is once again loaded up on guards. They can shoot the three, and create shots for themselves as well as teammates.

Weaknesses: Oregon has two major flaws. The low post will be a big problem as they lack depth and experience. Although Dunigan and Catron should develop nicely throughout the year and will be a pleasant surprise for the team. The biggest problem Oregon has is their youth. It will be a bumpy season filled with learning experiences for the Ducks. Teams will try and exploit this, pressuring the young Ducks into poor decisions and turnovers. The lack of experience will be prevalent late in games and on the road.

Key Dates:
Nov 25 @ Alabama
Dec 7 vs. Kansas State
Jan 4 vs. UCLA
Jan 24 @ CAL

Outlook: Despite Oregon’s weakness and youth they will be a competitive team who is learning a lot. Oregon will need to grow as a team if they want to continually push the ball and force the tempo. Like many of the PAC-10 teams Oregon is rebuilding this year. This team is a year or two away from competing with the elite teams in the conference.

Projected Finish: Fifth  in the PAC-10. NIT

Category: NCAAB
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