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Oregon Basketball

Oregon MBB: Season Grades

March 24, 2020

It was a bit of a rollercoaster of a season with Oregon jumping into the top-10 early in non-conference play before falling back to being ranked in the mid-teens for most of conference play. They were starting to build momentum and they were riding a 4 game winning streak into the Pac-12 tournament. They had a chance to fight their way back into the top-10 before the NCAA tournament.

It was tricky giving grades out to some of these positions. I didn’t just grade the starter, I also took into consideration the bench players at that position.

Point Guard: A+

When you have a (likely) consensus all-American player at a position, it’s hard to pick nits. Seriously, Pritchard may have had the best individual season I’ve ever seen from an Oregon player.

Now, I am a bit younger, so I know there’s been some greats I wasn’t able to watch. But the senior from West Linn rarely had a bad game and was in total command of this team. And on the rare occasions when he went to the bench, Richardson did a great job running the point.

Shooting Guard: B+

This one was difficult for me. At times this group earned an A, but there was just a little bit too much inconsistency, especially early in conference play.

Anthony Mathis was awesome at times, but he also would have games where it seemed like he disappeared. It was a great move to start Richardson in his stead, as he provided a much more reliable second scoring option alongside Pritchard.

Small Forward: B

When healthy, Chris Duarte was an absolute stud. Sure, he struggled at times from deep, but he was one of the few players on this team who could create his own shot.

Duarte also was a solid passer, and he was the team's best wing defender. He could man up on guys attacking the hoop, and he had a great eye for jumping into passing lanes to get steals.

Problem was, when Duarte wasn't on the floor there wasn’t another true “3” to be had. Addison Patterson got some solid minutes, and while he was ineffective most of the year, he really came on late.

Power Forward: C

This group wasn’t terrible by any means, but it also wasn’t particularly special.

Early on, grad transfer Juiston looked as if he would be a big-time contributor. But then an injury derailed him for a bit, and it took a while for him to get back to full speed.

Chandler Lawson started a number of games, but was more of a defender than a scorer – although he proved to be a surprisingly good passer. He has long arms and smarts, so I’m sure he’ll continue to grow.

Overall, this group was solid and gave Oregon some solid contributions at times.

Center: D

This was tough, but I ultimately couldn’t give this group a passing grade.

You never really saw the full potential of Dante, ineligible for the first nine games, only to get hurt and miss another month and a half. When he came back he looked fine, but he never played more than 16 minutes.

I’m a huge fan of Francis Okoro as a person, but he had to battle through so much adversity this season (including a freak vehicle-pedestrian accident and the death of his father in Nigeria) that it was tough to watch. He had terrible awareness on offense, and he would consistently miss outlet passes to open guys on the wing.

On defense he was solid, as he’s super physical, a solid rebounder and the team's best shot-blocker. I’d like to see him work on his offensive awareness, as I think he can be a solid contributor for the next two seasons.

Coaching: A

Dana Altman was pretty great all year at making adjustments to the lineup and tinkering with different plays on the court.

Oregon suffered a lot of injuries during the season, and Altman had to make a lot of adjustments on the fly. He had to start a ton of different lineups as well. Starting Addison Patterson in a few games and giving him a bigger role off the bench seemed to pay-off well as he provided a huge spark towards the end of conference play.

My only reason I’m not giving him an A+ is because it took a little too long to bench Mathis for Richardson. I understand why he kept him as a starter so the offense had more spacing, but once Richardson took over Oregon finally had a consistent third scorer alongside Pritchard/Duarte.

Do you guys agree with my grades? How would you grade each position?

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