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Armstead Departure Opens Door at PG

For the second time in less than a year Oregon point guard Malcolm Armstead has decided to leave the Oregon men’s basketball program and the second time it appears to the last time.

Senior Malcolm Armstead's departure opens the door for someone else to excel.

Back in the summer last season Armstead asked for and was granted his release from the Ducks to check out his options after then head coach Ernie Kent was fired and now head coach Dana Altman was hired.

Following a few days to think things over Armstead decided to come back and would go on to start 25 games for the Ducks.

Now and other media outlets report as well Armstead will not be coming back and has been granted a full release and Armstead himself confirmed the news via twitter saying:

“Oregon it's been real how you've treated me and supported me but it's time we part ways... Business move and wanting something else.”

Duckterritory attempted to reach comment from Armstead but was denied.

Armstead leaves the Ducks as the single-season career steals leader with 89 steals, the Pac-10 conference’s third leading assist man, and the Ducks’ fourth leading scorer with 8.6 points a game.

Losing a senior point guard and one that’d be starting his third straight year at any college is a loss and especially big for Dana Altman and his Oregon program.

However the Ducks have options and if the Ducks were going to lose a player you’d choose it from the guard position where Oregon is very guard heavy next season.

Loyd will be one of many hopping to win the starting spot.

The Candidates to Replace Armstead
Johnathan Loyd, Garrett Sim, Bruce Barron, and Brett Kingma.

Sophomore Johnathan Loyd
Altman’s first prep commit ever at Oregon had some BCS offers before picking with the Ducks last spring and now after one year at Oregon the Ducks might look to the 5-foot-8 point guard first to replace Armstead.

An up and down season could be said when describing Loyd’s freshman season at Oregon. His quickness and ability to break a press are better than most in the Pac-12 but a poor shooting percentage and at times out of control nature have set Loyd behind others in the league.

Loyd started 16 games as a freshman and played in all 39 Oregon played this season and averaged 4.7 points, 2.3 assists, and just a tenth under a steal a game.

Certainly the Loyd we saw at the end of the season will need to grow up and make the transition from being a fresh face and adjusting to the college speed to a player who’s been there before and capable of running a team full time.

Loyd’s jumpshot will need vast improvement to keep defenses honest as he shot 32-percent from the floor and 26-percent from three.
Cutting down turnovers will also be a key area to work on in the off-season.

Loyd was tied for ninth in the Pac-10 this past season for assists-to-turnover ratio with 1.7 which happens to be a tenth above Armstead’s 1.6.

Senior Garrett Sim

Can Sim assume the duties of point guard as a senior?

Sim comes off perhaps his best season as a Duck starting 36 out of the 39 games this season and averaged career highs in points, rebounds, (career low) turnovers, steals, field-goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-point percentage, and minutes played.
As a freshman Sim saw action at point guard and then transitioned over to the shooting guard spot as a sophomore while also filling in time to time at point.

Altman might see better results with Sim moving over to point to make room for transfer Devoe Joseph and incoming freshman Jabari Brown to vie for the starting shooting spot. Both players are bigger and better shooters than Sim is.

Plus Sim led all Ducks in assists-to-turnovers with 1.92. That number also lands Sim fifth in the Pac-10 this past season and third in players returning next season in the Pac-12.

Sim however will have to keep those turnovers down next season while also proving he can create looks for the rest of the team. When he played extensive time at the point as a freshman he averaged two turnovers a game and two assists.

Proving he can become a player who can break his defender down and get an open look for himself or cause a defender to leave their man and force an open look for a teammate are a must for Oregon’s 2011-12 chances of success and Sim’s chances as well.

Freshman Bruce Barron

Oregon’s had some mild success starting true freshman at the point guard position in the past decade. Luke Ridnour and Aaron Brooks were members of the All-Freshman team in the Pac-10 as the starting point guard for Oregon and while Tujuan Porter was listed as a shooting guard former head coach Ernie Kent cited Porter’s ability to run the point opened up the success for Brooks as a senior.

Can Barron be the next freshman to become a starter at the most important position under Dana Altman?

Barron looks to make a lasting impact at Oregon as a freshman.

No one will know that until Barron gets onto campus and gets acclimated into the system. A trip to Italy this off-season will give Altman and his coaching staff extra practices and games to transition Barron from prep school to division one basketball.

One thing that is in favor of Barron is that he presents a different type of point guard Oregon’s never seen before in recent memory.

Standing 6-foot-3 and nearly 200 pounds Altman had described Barron as a physical and attacking point guard that can become a nightmare matchup at the point guard position.

However the scouting report on Barron is that he can tend to play one smidge past out of control and when he does the turnover numbers rise and his shooting percentage falls.

However when he does play under control and within the system Barron can almost be unstoppable to stop due to his physicality and elite quickness.

A strong summer, trip to Italy, and finishing with a strong fall camp will be key for Barron to insert himself into the starting lineup.

Freshman Brett Kingma

Brett Kingma comes to Oregon as the starting point guard for his Friends of Hoop AAU team and Jackson High School basketball team.

Will Kingma play strictly at point or will he shift to the shooting guard spot?

Yet because Kingma is more of a score-first point guard who is better suited to be a scorer than a distributor at the next level he also gave way to the point and moved over to the shooting guard position.

An elite shooter with almost unlimited range would be deadly but is he quick enough and strong enough to run the point guard position is the key question heading into college.

Kingma has great vision and feel for the game and is great with the pick-and-roll but against elite level competition the jury is still out if he’s good enough to play full time at the point.

When looking to compare Kingma to a former Duck the comparison of Anthony Lever and James Davis both come to mind. Both were players who could hit threes from almost anywhere on the court and also were relied upon to run the point from time to time.

Kingma could see the same role at Oregon since he is capable of being a scoring under-sized shooting guard or running the point.

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