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The Next Step: Oregon Ducks
by Brian Flinn, Future150 (7:28 PM CT, Sat March 26, 2016)
Pritchard will give Dana Altman a very good shooting PG
Pritchard will give Dana Altman a very good shooting PG
Brian Flinn
Brian Flinn:

Future150 National Recruiting Analyst. Covering high school basketball nationally.

Eugene, OR (Future150) --  The Big Dance is finally here and while everyone would like to cut down the nets, there can only be one champion. That being said, there is always the chance that the next season could be better than the last. With that in mind, Future150 would like to introduce "The Next Step", a segment dedicated to breaking down each program's recruiting class as they bow out of the tournament; because theres' always next season.

Oregon hasn't been to the Final Four since 1939, and will have to wait at least one more year before breaking that streak. The Ducks ran into a red hot Oklahoma squad and couldn't fight back from a slow start. 

The good news is that is good as the Ducks were this year, they may be better next season. Elgin Cook, Dylan Ennis and Dwayne Benjamin all graduate, but a talented 2016 class is on the way. 

Payton Pritchard is a talented point guard who is nearly automatic from beyond the arc. His play making ability will be very welcome in Eugene, and he is the ideal replacement for Ennis. 

M.J. Cage has great size at 6-foot-10 and has good touch out the 16 feet. He is skilled on the low block and can score with either hand. Cage won't be a 30 minute a game player next year, but the big man will be a nice compliment to Chris Boucher and Jordan Bell. 

Perhaps the player with the most upside is wing forward Keith Smith. Standing at 6-foot-9 now, he has great size for the perimeter. Smith can shoot it or put it on the floor and get to the rim, making him an ideal fit for Altman's system. 

Oregon will have a chance to get back to the second weekend of the season, and perhaps further, if no one leaves early on transfers. Freshman guard Tyler Dorsey had a great year as did Chris Boucher. Both should return, but weird things can happen in the off season. Assuming the Ducks can return a majority of their core, they will be dangerous once again next season. 


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