Shooting guard Joseph Young put together two productive seasons at the University of Houston, averaging 14.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game under head coach James Dickey.
But, a decision by the program to not retain his father and former Houston great Michael Young after he refused to accept being assigned to a new position resulted in Joseph deciding to transfer.
On Friday it was reported by Matt Prehm of Duck Territory that Joseph has decided to transfer to Oregon (subscription required), picking Dana Altman’s program over Arizona.
In landing Young, Oregon has itself a player who can give them instant offense on the perimeter. As a sophomore Young averaged 18.0 points per game, shooting 45.8% from the field and 42% from beyond the arc and earning third team All-Conference USA honors.
In his 32 games last season Young failed to reach double figures just three times, scoring a season-high 32 points in Houston’s regular season finale against Tulane.
This is the second consecutive year in which Altman has landed an impact transfer from a school located in Houston, with former Rice Owl Arsalan Kazemi joining the program last season.
Young may apply for an immediate eligibility waiver due to the circumstances surrounding his decision to transfer. If that request is denied Young would have two years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2014-15 season.
Young joins freshman A.J. Lapray and junior Jalil Abdul-Bassit (North Idaho College) as newcomers in the Oregon backcourt, with Dominic Arits, Damyean Dotson and Jonathan Loyd being the returnees. Loyd is the lone senior in that group.
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.
Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.
“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”
Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.
As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.
Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.
“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.
“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”
Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group. Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.
As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.