Oregon Ducks

Atlanta, GA - SUNDAY, MAY 29: Nike EYBL. Victor Bailey Jr #10 of RM5 Elite Session 4. (Photo by Jon Lopez)

Oregon gets four-star commitment

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Oregon just got a pledge from a player who knows exactly what it takes to be an elite athlete.

V.J. Bailey, the son of an Olympic medalist and NFL wide receiver, committed to the Ducks on Tuesday evening, according to multiple reports.

The four-star recruit is a consensus top-100 player in the 2017 class out of Austin, Texas, with offers from Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Nebraska, among others. He becomes Dana Altman’s first commitment in the Oregon 2017 class.

V.J. Bailey is an elite athlete who can to improve his skill level to become a great perimeter PAC-12 player over time,” NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said of the 6-foot-4 guard. “If Bailey can become a consistent shooter, he can be a really tough cover at the next level.”

Bailey certainly comes from a prolific and impressive athletic family. His mother, Tonja Buford-Bailey, won a bronze medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games in the 400-meter hurdles. His father, Victor Sr., played in the NFL for four seasons for the Eagles and Chiefs.

My parents both instilled in me that hard work always pays off,” Bailey told the Austin American-Statesman in 2015. “Both are very competitive people and push me to do my best in the classroom and on the floor.”

Bailey averaged 16.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game playing in the EYBL this past season.

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

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)
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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.

Former Washington commit narrows list to five

Atlanta, GA - MAY 27: Nike EYBL. Session 4. Daejon Davis #3 of Seattle Rotary Select (Photo by Jon Lopez)
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A top-50 recruit has narrowed his list of college to five, including a school he de-committed from earlier this year.

Daejon Davis, a 6-foot-3 guard, will consider Washington, Gonzaga, Oregon, Arizona and Stanford as his five finalists, he announced Tuesday.

The Class of 2017 prospect from Seattle was previously committed to the hometown Huskies, but re-opened his recruitment in April. He said at the time he would still seriously consider Washington as his ultimate destination.

His five schools certainly have  a west-coast bent with four Pac-12 schools and the home state ‘Zags still in the mix.

“Thank you to all the great schools that have recruited/offered me thus far,” Davis wrote, “I am so blessed to be able to narrow my recruiting down to just these five schools.”

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.

Boise State hangs on for quality win over No. 24 Oregon

Anthony Drmic, Nick Duncan
Associated Press
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With three of their four losses on the season coming against No. 13 Arizona (twice) and No. 1 Michigan State, Saturday night’s matchup with No. 24 Oregon provided Boise State with another opportunity to add a quality win to its résumé. And in spite of a shaky final two minutes in which they nearly lost the game, Leon Rice’s Broncos managed to hang on for the 74-72 victory.

And Boise State managed to win despite getting a relatively quiet night from forward James Webb III, who battled foul trouble for a significant portion of the game and finished with 12 points on 3-for-9 shooting to go along with five rebounds.

Senior guard Anthony Drmic, who still isn’t back to full strength after having to take a medical redshirt last season, scored a team-high 19 points with Mikey Thompson adding 11 and Chandler Hutchison (eight points, seven rebounds) making some key plays on both ends of the floor. Boise State didn’t have its best offensive night, shooting just 42.6 percent from the field and 11-for-29 form three. But they took a step forward defensively, which is key for a team with hopes of contending for a second consecutive Mountain West title.

Oregon finished the game shooting 43.1 percent from the field and they made half of their shot attempts in the second half. But it was Boise State’s defense for much of the game’s first thirty-four minutes that produced the hole that proved too deep for the Ducks to climb out of. Oregon shot 35.7 percent from the field in the first half, and while their turnover count of 11 isn’t a huge issue those mistakes resulted in 20 Boise State points on the other end.

When you’re having issues offensively as Boise State was, having those extra opportunities can be critical. Boise State led by as much as 17 in the second half before the shorthanded Ducks made their furious rally.

Did Boise State beat a full-strength Oregon? No. Jordan Bell’s finally returned to the lineup, and guards Tyler Dorsey and Dylan Ennis missed Saturday’s game. But that isn’t Boise State’s fault, and the Broncos themselves are still working to discover who they can be as a full unit. Boise State is still looking for the option who can fill the shoes left vacant by the loss of Derrick Marks, last year’s Mountain West POY who served as the team’s closer late in games.

That likely factored into their struggles down the stretch against Oregon, but with Drmic, Webb and even Thompson the Broncos do have players who could potentially fill that role. The finish wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but Boise State managed to hang on, adding a much-needed quality win to its résumé.