What is the impact from landing Chandler?
How does the commitment of four-star junior college transfer Michael Chandler impact Oregon's remaining push for the 2014 class? With the addition of Chandler the Ducks now have two available scholarships to issue out, if they so choose to do. 2013 signed power forward Jordan Bell hasn't joined the team yet and Dana Altman says at the earliest Bell could join the Ducks is in January. The Ducks will need to decide if they want to wait for Bell in 2013, save his scholarship for 2014, or send Bell to JUCO. As of now the plan according to sources is for Bell to arrive in Eugene in January and then redshirt to improve his strength, game, and adjust to the college landscape.
That leaves the Ducks with one available scholarship to issue for the 2014 class.
As of right now the Ducks only have two juniors on roster this season in guards Joseph Young and Jalil Abdul-Bassit. Abdul-Bassit could redshirt this season since the Ducks already have a lot of guards available this season. In fact it would be the ideal situation, but injuries and the like could force Oregon to use him this season if they arise. Damyean Dotson could potentially go pro after his sophomore or junior seasons and open up another spot as well for the coaching staff for the 2015 class.
As of right now the Ducks have landed a starting caliber center in Chandler, a freshman post who is physically ready to start from day one in Ray Kasongo, a junior college swing player in Dwayne Benjamin, and their future point guard in Casey Benson. All the holes along the Oregon roster are filled heading into next season. Now Oregon's staff can shoot for the stars and find that last piece for the 2014 class.
I expect Oregon to go for a big splash commitment and it likely will come from a player most have Oregon on their radar right now. Dana Altman and his staff have been known to make something out of nothing in his previous three years, and I expect the same this season. Jabari Brown was a shock, Dominic Artis was a shock, Arsalan Kazemi was a impressive landing, Joseph Young was a nice surprise, and Mike Moser was a big get. History suggests something will happen, and my money is it being on something from out of left field.
Oregon has landed commitments from all their spots and can now go after a player regardless of position as well. That will make their final push very interesting, especially if Oregon starts their season with a big run.
If I was forced to make a guess on what type of player the Ducks would go after I’d say someone with length, size, and athletic ability. I wouldn’t pigeonhole that player to being a center or power forward, nor would I say he has to be a shooting guard. I’d wager the Ducks will try and find someone who can play multiple spots, and most importantly give the Ducks a scoring threat.
One other option for 2014
One option that Oregon has in their back pocket is three-star power forward Cameron Oliver who Oregon's Dana Altman saw workout and offered on the same day. Oliver is a 6-foot-7 power forward from Grant high school in Sacramento, CA. While he doesn't fit the criteria that I believe Oregon will go after in terms of star power right now, I have a feeling he will by spring. Oliver will get a visit from Arizona this week while UCLA and Cal are already starting to show serious interest in the player. He missed his entire junior year of high school and AAU basketball with a torn ACL and is just coming back. He'll skyrocket up the recruiting rankings moving forward.
Oregon offered him first and sources say that has always left a big impression for Oliver. He is also tied with Bay Area Duck Dominic Artis.
One big fish the Ducks won't get is Stanley Johnson
Last week multiple media reports stated the nation's No. 2 ranked recruit Stanley Johnson was visiting the Ducks. He was slated for it based on interviews one, two, or three months ago but no one actually checked with Johnson if that trip was going to happen or not.
It didn't by the way.
In fact when I checked with a source if he was on campus this past weekend I was told that source had no clue when he would be coming to Oregon. If the Ducks were a serious player wouldn't people inside and outside of the program know about it? Wouldn’t there be a plan of sorts?
Word is starting to trickle out as well that the Ducks don't view Johnson as a serious option when the likes of Arizona and Kentucky are fighting against each other for him. In fact Dana Altman hardly watched him play this past summer.
That's a telling sign if you ask me.
With a foundation developed and four more commits coming in Ducks can push focus to future years
For maybe the first time since Dana Altman and his coaching staff have been at Oregon they now can start focusing on future recruiting classes instead of the current class about to sign. That is huge for developing relationships with coaches, finding players earlier and starting the recruiting process earlier, and most importantly making bigger impressions with recruit sooner.
The Oregon coaching staff was in Seattle, WA, Las Vegas, NV, Portland, OR, and in Southern California these past two weekends seeing kids from future classes and making offers.
The first player Oregon visited for the 2015 class was Smith and that's a telling sign. Oregon views Smith as a Paul George clone and told him they'd recruit him to play both small and power forward positions. Smith however is certain he wants to play power forward at the next level, which is a very refreshing statement since most bigs want to become small forwards who hang out on the wing and not on the block.
Jeter was the second recruit Oregon saw this week and the Ducks are very high on the 6-foot-10 player out of Bishop Gorman high school. Yes, the same school as senior Johnathan Loyd and Ben Carter. Oregon isn't in the driver seat, but they'll be a player. Jeter made it a point to pay for his own ticket to every Pac-12 Tournament game last season and broke down each game on his own. He was front and center for every Duck game and recently brokw down all the film with Oregon coaches, which blew them away how attentive he is.
Mayor of Las Vegas
When Oregon won the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas last spring Oregon senior point guard Johnathan Loyd was heard screaming “This is my city” and deeming himself the Mayor of Las Vegas. Earlier this month at the Pac-12 media day in the Bay Area a Pac-12 spokesman introduced Dana Altman and Loyd while throwing in the “mayor of Las Vegas” to Loyd’s byline.
Speaking with several sources in the Las Vegas area that term and title fits Loyd perfectly and is a big reason why the Ducks landed Ben Carter in the 2012 recruiting class and why they’ll be players in Vegas again soon. I am told every player that is a legit D1 prospect that is coming out of Las Vegas looks up to Loyd and knows where he is playing basketball and how he is doing. If Oregon has a big season and Loyd puts together a big senior year the Ducks could make a lot of inroads into Vegas.
Ray Smith is being talked about by recruiting circles to being that next “Mayor of Las Vegas” type player, FYI.