So, it’s 2023, and the Oregon Ducks season is over. While the fans are disappointed, plenty still needs to be decided regarding the 2023-24 Oregon basketball roster. The National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals ended on Tuesday with a disappointing finish in their matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers, bringing to an end a grueling season for the team.
But, as forgiving as it was, doubt and questions remain for some. In the past, the NIT ended Dana Altman and the Ducks’ season rather than the NCAA Tournament. However, considering that the program has had five Sweet Sixteens, and we cannot forget about the final four runs, it seems that more is needed.
Having completed this season, Altman will evaluate the program from the ground up, trying to make the program successful again and make a run at the tournament, once again reaching the standard. When considering the future, plenty of exciting options will be at his disposal, but with that comes the uncertainly of the Oregon basketball roster as some players are still undecided about their future.
In the Oregon basketball roster 2023-24, the Ducks can utilize 13 scholarships. Some players have already pledged to Eugene for a second season, while others will be handed to recruits from high school enrolled in the 2023 recruiting group. In a press conference on Tuesday, Altman stated that the rest would go to those determined to be there. Despite that, who will make up the Ducks’ roster in the upcoming season? The future is unpredictable, that’s for sure. Nevertheless, here are some predictions about how things will go and what players plan to do.
Returning: Jermaine Couisnard
Jermaine Couisnard has one year remaining on his eligibility, with 92 games, 2.8 REB, 11.8 PPG, and 3.0 AST.
It was welcoming news for the Ducks when Jermaine Couisnard announced he would return for his final season of eligibility. Even though he had a bad knee injury in the 2023 season, that didn’t stop him from being one of Oregon’s top scorers, with a point total of 12.8 in 19 contests. The Ducks will be fortunate to have him again on the Oregon basketball roster as one of their best leaders in 2024.
Returning: Nate Bittle
Nate Bittle luckily has two more years of eligibility after 51 games, 3.7 REB, 4.8PPG, and 0.5 AST.
Bibttle’s career stats at Oregon aren’t eye-popping, but what he proved in the second half of last season is unquestionably notable, especially as N’Faly Dante was injured in the NIT. The moment Bittle got his chance as the team’s sole center, his performance soared, producing career-high performances back-to-back and earning the honor of being the spiritual leader. As it stands, Bittle looks to have a promising career in Eugene, and the Ducks fans have welcomed him.
Leaving: Will Richardson
Will Richardson has no eligibility years left. He has played 148 games, with good stats at 3.6 REB, 10.6 PPG, and 3.4 AST.
We regretfully announce that after becoming the longest-tenured Duck in Oregon history, Richardson has reached the end of his eligibility. He doesn’t have a really high chance of the NBA draft, but he’s more likely to choose playing overseas next year. It will be hard to forget Richardson’s Oregon career; however, he struggled during his last two seasons at Oregon.
Recruiting Prospects: 5-star Mookie Cook
5-star Mookie Cook has a national ranking of 25 no. 5 SF
In my opinion, it’s hard to predict how Mookie Cook will perform on the Ducks’ roster next round, yet given his high school record, I believe he will definitely be able to contribute to the Ducks’ success.
Recruiting Prospects: 4-star Jackson Shelstad
Jackson Shelstad is sitting at a national ranking of 48 overall, number 8 PG.
Oddly enough, Oregon’s lowest-rated signing class 2023 player is most eagerly awaited by Duck fans. A Gatorade Player of the Year award was just given to Jackson Shelstad twice in a row, and his performance at West Linn has been remarkable; following in the Taking the lead with the Lions, Payton Pritchard became a legend in Oregon football, and it seems Jackson is following his path. Shelstand’s ability to establish himself in the point guard position in his freshman season is still in question, yet Duck fans seem eager to make Shelstad feel as welcome as Pritchard had.
Possibly Returning: N’Faly Dante.
N’Faly Dante has one more year of eligibility left. Playing 81 games with 6.6 REB, 9.8 PPG, and 0.8 AST.
There are several current Oregon players considering returning to Eugene or leaving, N’Faly Dante is one of them. In 2023, he had an outstanding season, great stats, and was the Ducks’ best scorer and demonstrated his ability to dominate. There is no guaranteed he will make it to the NBA draft, but he will have the chance to play professionally overseas. However, he can improve his draft standing if he returns to Oregon for another year.
Take his long history of injury into account, which tells you he should take the opportunity, which it’s still there.
Possibly Returning: Quincy Guerrier
Quincy Guerrier has one more year left of eligibility, with a huge 131 games, 5.8 REB, 9.8 PPG, and 0.8 AST.
The Ducks used Guerrier well this year, though his role waned late in the season. The end of his college career seems inevitable. However, there is still the possibility that he will be able to take advantage of his COVID year to keep going. Transferring to another school is also an option while still having the option of looking for an overseas team to play for.
The prospect of Guerrier returning to Eugene isn’t surprising, and if I had to guess, his next move would likely be elsewhere, perhaps as a professional.
Possibly Returning: Rivaldo Soares
Rivaldo Soares has one more year of eligibility left after 71 games, 3.0 REB, 6.0 PPG, and 1.3 AST.
It was a big year for Rivaldo Soares in Eugene. However, he still showed not to be the perfect player, especially when he is in the spot of shooting from the deep. After two years of playing junior college ball, Soares is eligible for one more season. Next year, he’ll likely be a 6-man, having seen a bigger role this year.
Transfer: Jadrian Tracey
Jadrian Tracey has two years of eligibility left with 5.7 REB, 14.4 PPG, and 4.5 AST.
It was announced that Jadrain Tracey was transferring to Oregon. He had the stats that would work and a 43 percent shooting percentage. Those who can shoot well and spot them up are essential for the Ducks. If Tracey can do that, then Eugene will accept him. Anything else is just another addition.
Possibly Returning: Kel’el Ware
Kel’el Ware has three years of eligibility left. With 35 games, 4.1 REB, 6.6 PPG, and 0.5 AST.
Kel’el Ware had an unusual season. When Ware was admitted to Eugene, he was a 5-star prospect who ranked seventh in the 2022 class. There was the fact that many felt he could have made more contributions to the team’s success. The team continually sought more enthusiasm and effort. Ultimately, the team’s draft stock declined from a possible lottery pick to now below the first round. It is up to him what he decides to do — make a return to Eugene, find a different school, or enter the NBA Draft.
I would not be surprised if Ware doesn’t return to Eugene next season. Ware was unhappy with the treatment he had received previously. He was concerned it would negatively affect his relationship with Altman.
Recruiting Prospects: 5-star KJ Evans
5-star KJ Evans is number 11 in general, number 3 PF
It seems a valid question as to whether the true first-year student can immediately impact at a collegiate level. However, Evans looks like someone who can contribute immediately next season and is possibly a one-and-done prospect, headed to the NBA after the 2024 season. Evans could find himself in the starting line for Oregon sooner rather than later.
Possibly Returning: Keeshawn Barthelemy
Keeshawn has one year of eligibility left. He has played 87 games and stats reading at 1.7 REB, 8.1 PPG, and 2.0 AST.
Keeshawn Barthelemy’s comments on Tuesday tell us that he has not decided what he wants to do. However, if he returned to college, Oregon would be his choice. Keeshawn still hasn’t decided whether he is playing professionally overseas. He is staying open to all possibilities. If he returns in 2023 – 2024, he will become a valuable offensive asset. He shot over 35% from deep for the Ducks last year.
It is believed that Barthelemy will return to the Ducks for another season. He suffered an injury at the start, which led to his season getting cut short. However, he made a good comeback once he had recovered.
Possibly Returning: Tyrone Williams.
Tyrone Williams has two years left after 23 games with 2.0 REB, 2.5 PPG, and 0.2 AST.
As a JUCO player for three years before joining the Ducks, Williams didn’t anticipate playing a significant role. In the season’s final weeks, he started getting more playing time and made valuable contributions. Overall, he was mostly a bench player. Most people wouldn’t be surprised if he drifted away to a new team. We are likely to see him do another year.
Possibly Returning: Brennan Rigsby
Brennan Rigsby has two years left, having played 21 games with 2.3 REB, 4.2 PPG, and 0.8 AST.
Suffering an injury at the beginning of the season meant he needed time off. Rigsby played eight games with the Ducks. He finished the season off the bench. He eventually suffered another injury that led to the end of his season. He performed well in his role as a player overall. With his playing time being reduced throughout the season.
There were some flashes of his potential, and the team is at least interested in using him if he delivers.
Possibly Returning: Lök Wur.
Lök Wur has two years left of eligibility with 51 games and 1.6 RED, 2.0 PPG, and 0.2 AST.
His first two years at Oregon were largely spent on the bench, but Lök Wur emerged as an important reserve this year and eventually made the starting lineup towards the end of the year because of an injury. As long as he is eligible for another two years, he can continue with Eugene or opt to find something more significant. Not many think he will transfer schools or even seek something more when his career is going forward especially continuing for another year.
Possibly Returning: Ethan Butler
Ethan is still a baby with four years remaining. He has played two games but no points, assists, and only one rebound.
In his freshman season, Butler appeared in two games for the Ducks, deciding to redshirt to keep his four-year eligibility. Instead, he will return to his career and continue with Eugene.
Possible Recruit 4-star Bronny James
Bronny James ranks no. 35 overall.
Oregon still has the potential to attract him. In recent months, LeBron James’ son has listed the Ducks as a final school, and an official visit is expected soon. So, despite the Ducks signing three players for the 2023 Oregon basketball roster, keeping an extra scholarship handy might be a good idea in case James joins.
We know of six players who are on the playing Oregon basketball roster so far. However, they still have a few scholarships they need to confirm. In addition, several players still need to decide what they want to do. Some will decide to leave, but that doesn’t matter overall, as the transfer portal players will be the cherry on the top for the Ducks.
You have a small idea of the predictions, but for now, we know six players are ready to start.
It will be a while until we determine what the remainder will do.
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