Dillon Brooks

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks celebrates during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duke in the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 24, 2016, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Report: Oregon’s Brooks “almost certain” to miss start of season

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Oregon will start this upcoming season with national title aspirations. The Ducks may also start the season without one of their stars.

It is “almost certain” that the foot surgery undergone this summer by Dillon Brooks will keep him out of the lineup when Oregon opens the season in November, the Register-Guard reports.

“That’s up to the doctors and we will be real conservative with it,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “As much as we want to win those early games and have him ready to go, the majority of our games are in January, February, and March, hopefully.

“We’re going to have to really adjust some things not knowing exactly when he’s going to be back. If you think to last year’s team, we had Elgin (Cook) and Dillon and Dwayne (Benjamin) , three guys in the 6-6 range. Now we just have Keith Smith, an unproven freshman, so that is a big void.”

Oregon’s non-conference schedule is built to help the Ducks with seeding as the Ducks have Baylor (Nov 15), the Maui Invitational that guarantees games against Georgetown and either Tennessee or Wisconsin (Nov. 21-22),  Alabama (Dec. 11) and UNLV (Dec. 17). The Ducks will certainly have plenty of firepower without Brooks, but his absence for a big chunk of the non-conference could have ramifications further down the line. The even scarier proposition for the Ducks is if it sidelines him deeper into the season. Given Brooks’ injury has already been an issue for months, it’s becoming one of the more interesting and impactful subplots of the off-season.

Brooks, who declared for the NBA draft before deciding to return to school,  averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists for the Ducks last year.

Oregon’s Brooks undergoes foot surgery

Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, left, reacts after scoring a basket against Utah during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Oregon defeated Utah 77-59. (AP Photo/George Frey)
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The mysterious foot injury ailing Oregon star Dillon Brooks has taken a bit of an ominous turn.

The 6-foot-6 junior underwent surgery last week and will not participate in the team’s upcoming tour of Spain, Steve Mims of the Register Guard reported Monday.

There’s still be no clarification of the exact nature of the injury other than coach Dana Altman saying last month that Brooks did not have a broken foot. There’s currently no timetable for his return, according to Mims.

We’re still months away from the start of the 2016-17 season so there’s plenty of time for Brooks to recover from his injury – whatever it is – but it’s hard not to be concerned about his health now that’s he’s spent the whole of the summer off the court. The Ducks are a likely top-five preseason team and Brooks’ decision to forego the NBA and return – along with his 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game – is a big reason why,

Whatever the extent of Brooks’ injury and the invasiveness of the surgery, this has not been the summer the Ducks were hoping for. Whether it will impact their hopes for the upcoming season will remain to be seen.

Ducks’ Brooks sidelined with foot injury

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Oregon got Dillon Brooks to return to school for his junior year, but it currently doesn’t have him back on the court. The 6-foot-7 All-Pac-12 performer has been held out of summer workouts dealing with an unspecified foot injury.

“He has had a problem with his foot so we have held him out,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said Tuesday, according to The Register-Guard. “He is still under evaluation to see what the next step is.”

Altman said Brooks, an NBCSports.com second-team preseason All-American, doesn’t have a broken foot, but otherwise was vague as to the exact nature of the injury.

“It is too early to tell,” Altman said. “I have not heard from the doctors one way or another. We are trying to give him and the doctors time to figure out which way to go.”

Brooks decided to take advantage of new NCAA legislation this past spring and declared for the NBA Draft before ultimately deciding in late May to return to the Ducks. That decision is a large reason why we have Oregon slotted fifth in our Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25.  

While it certainly too soon and there is not enough information to draw any serious conclusions about the severity of the injury, the fact that Brooks, who averaged 16.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season, isn’t practicing and there isn’t yet a diagnosis is certainly a situation worth closely monitoring, given Brooks’ importance to the Ducks, and, consequently, the larger college basketball landscape.

Three collegians selected for Canada’s Pan-American Games squad

SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 22:  Kyle Wiltjer #33 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts after points in the first half of the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the third round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KeyArena on March 22, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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With the ongoing Pan-American Games and the FIBA Americas Championships scheduled for late August, this summer is an important one for Canada Basketball as head coach Jay Triano looks to lead the team to a spot in next summer’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. Saturday the team for the Pan-American Games was announced, and among the 12 players who will suit up for Triano are three who will play college basketball next season.

Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer, Oregon’s Dillon Brooks and Kentucky’s Jamal Murray all made the cut, as did current NBA players Anthony Bennett (Minnesota), Andrew Nicholson (Orland0) and Sim Bhullar (Sacramento).

MORE: The United States Pan-Am roster | Delgado, Morillo named to Dominican Pan-Am squad

There are other recent ties to college basketball on the roster, with guards Junior Cadougan (played at Marquette), Brady Heslip (played at Baylor) and Daniel Mullings (played at New Mexico State), and forward Melvin Ejim (played at Iowa State) being selected. Aaron Dornekamp and Carl English complete Canada’s roster for the Games, with competition in men’s basketball beginning July 21.

All three current college players on the roster have prior international experience, with Brooks being a member of Canada’s U19 team that played at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Crete earlier this summer. Brooks was one of the top scorers in Crete, averaging 18.8 points (second in the event), 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Wiltjer represented Canada at the World University Games two years ago, and Murray played for Canada’s U17 team in last summer’s FIBA U17 World Championships.

Oregon’s Dillon Brooks soars for a two-handed dunk in Canada U19’s win over Australia

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Dillon Brooks and the Canadian U19 team began the preliminary round in the 2015 FIBA World Championships with a narrow 74-71 win over Australia in Group C play at the Heraklion Indoor Sports Arena on the island of Crete in Greece.

Like last summer at the FIBA U18 Americas Championships in Colorado, Brooks was the star, scoring a game-high 22 points and throwing down this thunderous two-handed dunk in traffic early in the first quarter.

Brooks, who averaged 11.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season at Oregon, headlines a Canadian team that includes UNLV commit Justin Jackson, a four-star commit in the Class of 2016, Harvard forward Chris Egi and incoming Harvard sharpshooter Corey Johnson.

Canada continues pool play on Sunday against Tunisia, which lost to Italy earlier in the day.

Canada’s U19 World Championships tryout features multiple Division I players

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FIBA has the World Championships for U19 in late June and the Canadian national team has a number of Division I college basketball players trying out for its team. A 19-man tryout group was assembled for June 6-10 and Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, Harvard forward Chris Egi, Missouri wing Montaque Gill-Caesar, UNLV guard Jalen Poyser and Seattle guard Jadon Cahee made the list.

UNLV commit Justin Jackson is also trying out for the team and there are a few other potential Division I prospects among the group. This same Canada group captured the silver medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 championships in Colorado Springs, so they’re going to be one of the stronger teams in the field.

Some of these players could greatly benefit from playing in this competition and it’ll be interesting to see if Canada can make a push for another medal.