Oregon sophomore forward Jordan Bell, a Pac-12 all-Freshman Team selection, is in jeopardy of missing the start of the season when the Ducks host Jackson State on Nov. 13.
In May, Bell underwent surgery to repair a broken right foot. At the time, head coach Dana Altman expected Bell to be ready for the start of the season. On Friday morning, Altman told reporters that Oregon’s top rebounder will continue his recovery for at least the next four weeks.
“Hopefully we will get him back here before too long,” Altman said via Steve Mims of the Register-Guard . “He won’t do anything in October. November 1 is looking like maybe we can start getting him some time, but definitely nothing this month. It’s something we won’t rush, we will be pretty conservative with it.”
Bell 5.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per contest in 35 games (20 starts) for the Ducks, blocking a program-record 94 shots. Oregon’s frontline returns Elgin Cook, Dwayne Benjamin and Dillon Brooks. Big men Trevor Manuel and Roman Sorkin and newcomer Chris Boucher, the NJCAA Player of the Year, can contribute on the interior in Bell’s absence.
Oregon’s opener is three days before a big non-conference clash at home against Baylor.
Having already landed two talented prospects in the Class of 2016, Oregon reeled in a third Saturday afternoon.
6-foot-10 power forward M.J. Cage, the son of former NBA power forward Michael Cage, made his pledge to Dana Altman’s program on Saturday. This decision comes a week after Cage took an official visit to Oregon.
Cage, who is ranked 54th in the Class of 2016 by Rivals and attends Mater Dei HS in Santa Ana, California, joins point guard Payton Pritchard and wing Keith Smith as Oregon commits. News of Cage’s verbal commitment was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
As a junior Cage was a first team All-CIF Open Division selection, as he averaged 13.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. Among the other programs considered by Cage were Arizona, San Diego State (his father’s alma mater) and UCLA, but it was Oregon that won out in the end.
The Ducks, who in the last two classes have managed to add some much-needed size to their front court (Roman Sorkin, Chris Boucher and Trevor Manuel), add a skilled prospect in Cage who can help them on both ends of the floor.
Video credit: Courtside Films
Payton Pritchard, rated a top-50 recruit in the Class of 2016 by Rivals, decided to remain in-state, committing to Dana Altman and the Ducks on Friday evening.
Reggie Rankin of ESPN.com first reported the news. Evan Daniels of Scout.com also reported the commitment.
The 6-foot-1 Pritchard had originally committed to Oklahoma. He reopened his recruitment in July.
Pritchard averaged 16.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, shooting 49 percent from three in the Nike EYBL with Seattle Rotary this summer. In the adidas Gauntlet with Team Fast Elite, he averaged 22.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.
One of the top shooters in the high school ranks will join a backcourt in 2016-17 that loses graduate transfer Dylan Ennis but will likely return Tyler Dorsey, Casey Benson, Ahmaad Rorie and Kendall Small
The No. 46 overall player in the Class of 2016 joins four-star small forward Keith Smith in Oregon’s 2016 class. Smith is ranked No. 73 overall in the Class.