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.