With freshmen JaQuan Lyle and Ray Kasongo not being admitted into school, Oregon head coach Danal Altman has some depth issues to address in the weeks leading up to the team’s first game of the season on November 14. And according to a report Wednesday, there’s another ongoing issue that currently has the Ducks practicing with just seven scholarship players.
According to Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com, junior college transfer Michael Chandler has yet to practice due to a knee issue that was first addressed in July. Chandler underwent a procedure on his knee in July, and in regards to when the Northwest Florida State product could take the court Altman told Rothstein the following:
“It could be a while,” Altman said. “He’s rehabbing and trying to get it better but he hasn’t practiced. He’s going to be way behind on conditioning and everything that we’re putting in right now.”
Just before Oregon began practice in early October the thought was that Chandler wouldn’t have to wait much longer to be cleared medically, and it was deemed unlikely that he would miss any game action. Based upon Altman’s quote that doesn’t seem to be the case at this point, which is a major concern when taking into consideration the fact that he was expected by some to be the starter at center.
Oregon may have one of the best guards in the Pac-12 in senior Joseph Young, but what they don’t have is depth. If Chandler’s knee forces him to miss game action, Oregon would be forced to field a lineup that was already expected to be small by college basketball standards. Forwards Elgin Cook and Jalil Abdul-Bassit return from last season’s team, with junior Dwayne Benjamin and sophomore Jordan Bell joining Chandler as the team’s front court newcomers.
And of those four remaining front court options, the slender Bell is the tallest at 6-foot-7.