Oregon needed help in their back court after the dismissal of Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin and they got it on Thursday, as three-star point guard Ahmaad Rorie announced that he will be attending Oregon.
Rorie is a Washington native that was originally signed to Cal’s 2014 recruiting class. But when Mike Montgomery retired earlier this spring, Rorie asked for and was given a release from his letter of intent.
Rorie will become the seventh new face on the Oregon roster this season, turnover that was needed after the Ducks lost ten players from last year’s team. Oregon’s class will be headlined by five-star combo-guard JaQuan Lyle, but it also includes three-star recruits Ray Kasongo, Jordan Bell and Casey Benson as well as JuCo transfer Michael Chandler and Dwayne Bennjamin.
The only returnees that saw major minutes a season ago are star guard Joseph Young and athletic big man Elgin Cook.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: