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Oregon Basketball

Recruiting Comparison: Oregon vs. Washington Men's Basketball

December 12, 2020

Oregon and Washington won't face off at Autzen Stadium this weekend, so the rivalry shifts to the hardwood in Seattle. Dana Altman and his squad will go toe-to-toe with the Huskies inside Alaska Airlines Arena in a game televised on the Pac-12 Networks beginning at 5 p.m.  

To get familiar with these squads, let’s turn back the clock and examine the talent each program has accumulated in recent cycles. Oregon has attracted a lot of big-time talent, but Washington also has been able to send a number of players on to the NBA.   

Oregon 2018 class: Ranked No. 3 nationally, No. 1 in Pac-12; average commit rating 0.9857; top commit 5-star C Bol-Bol; enrolled 5. 

The Ducks made headlines when Altman brought the most talented group to Eugene since 2004, when Ernie Kent’s class ranked No. 6 in the country. The headliner was towering 7-2 stretch 5 Bol Bol. Altman beat out Kentucky for the McDonald’s all-American, the No. 4 player in the country.  

Bol was the first of two 2018 players that Altman would prep for the NBA that season, with 5-star small forward Louis King being the other end. 

King, the No. 20 player nationally, chose the Ducks from eight schools that included Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina State, Purdue, Seton Hall, Syracuse and UConn. The Las Vegas (Nev.) native would spend just one season in Eugene before declaring for the NBA draft, and he now plays for the Detroit Pistons. 

2018 also brought the Ducks 4-star point guard Will Richardson from national power Oak Hills Academy in Midway (Ga.). Richardson had his pick of elite college programs before ultimately choosing Oregon over Gonzaga, Georgia and Ohio State.  

Additionally, top 100 prospects Francis Okoro and Miles Norris would commit to Altman. Okoro spent two seasons in Eugene before transferring to Saint Louis University, and Norris would be here just one before heading to UC-Santa Barbara. 

Washington 2018 class: Ranked No. 41 nationally, No. 8 in Pac-12; average commit rating 0.8971; top commit 4-star SF Jamal Bey; enrolled 5. 

The Huskies have become a popular West Coast destination for top talent. Bey, from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High, would commit to Washington over Arizona State, USC and hometown UNLV.  

Mike Hopkins imported a 7-footer to the Pac-12 in 4-star center Bryan Penn-Johnson. He has since transferred to LSU. 

The class also featured a strong point guard in 3-star Elijah Hardy from Oakland (Calif.), whom the Huskies swayed from attending USC and St. Mary’s. It looks like things didn’t work out in Seattle, as Hardy has since transferred to Portland State.  

To round out the class, Hopkins and his staff opted for more length, bringing in 3-star centers Nate Roberts  and Riley Sorn (7-3). 

Oregon 2019 class: Ranked No. 4 nationally, No. 1 in Pac-12; average commit rating 0.9512; top commit 5-star C N’Faly Dante; enrolled 6. 

Altman continued his recruiting dominance with another pair of 5-stars: N’Faly Dante and forward CJ Walker

The nation’s No. 14 player, the Dante took trips to LSU, Oregon and Kentucky before committing to the Ducks – despite his final visit being to Baton Rouge.  

Walker, ranked No. 28 in the country, held 37 total offers highlighted by Auburn, Florida and Louisville. The 6-8 power forward took official visits to LSU, Miami and Oregon, which would become his top suitors. 

Walker has since transferred to UCF, likely with the intention of being closer to his family in Florida during the pandemic.  

2019 saw the Ducks bring in a second player they’d lose to the transfer portal: top 50 guard Addison Patterson. Patterson is now with Nevada.   

Altman also landed commitments from 4-star forward Chandler Lawson from Memphis (Tenn.), JUCO guard Chris Duarte and 3-star forward Lök Wur. And fans shouldn’t forget about top 75 center Isaac Johnson, who signed with Oregon over Gonzaga, BYU and others before leaving on an LDS mission. 

Johnson should be eligible for 2021.  

The Ducks were incredibly active in the transfer portal as well, with their multiple additions making up a large portion of today’s team. Altman brought in guard Amauri Hardy from UNLV, forward Eugene Omoruyi from Rutgers, and guard Eric Williams Jr. from Duquesne.  

Washington 2019 class: Ranked No. 10 nationally, No. 4 in Pac-12; average commit rating 0.9597; top commit 5-star C Isaiah Stewart; enrolled 4. 

The Huskies took a big jump from 2018, bringing in two future NBA first-rounders, starting with Stewart from Indiana. The No. 3 player in country only played one season in Seattle, as the Detroit Pistons selected him with the 16th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. 

The star power continued with 5-star forward Jaden McDaniels from nearby Federal Way (Wash.). The nation’s top power forward chose the Huskies over blue bloods Kentucky and UCLA.  

The class was strengthened by the addition of 4-star guard RaeQuan Battle and 3-star guard Marcus Tsohonis. The top player in Oregon and No. 41 point guard, Tsohonis also drew interest from Arizona State, USC and Washington State.  

Finally, Hopkins would land another pair of former top 100 prospects via the transfer portal: Kentucky point guard and 5-star Quade Green, who would be granted immediate eligibility; and USC power forward J’Raan Brooks, who must sit one year before playing.  

Oregon 2020 class: Ranked No. 103 nationally, No. 10 in Pac-12; lone prep commit 4-star PG Jalen Terry; enrolled 1 (plus 2 transfers). 

The Ducks took a step back in recruiting in the most recent cycle, landing just one high school commit in Jalen Terry from Mount Morris (Mich.). 

Terry was a top 100 prospect who has proven to be a tough defender with the ability to shoot. He was at one point committed to the in-state Spartans and Tom Izzo, but he reconsidered and took trips to LSU, Louisville and Oregon before finding his new home in Eugene. 

Altman looked to shore up the roster’s depth with the additions of L.J. Figueroa from St. Johns and guard Aaron Estrada from Saint Peter’s. Figueroa has since proven a welcome addition to the Ducks squad, but the team is still waiting for an update on the status of Estrada’s transfer waiver; it seems likely he will redshirt this season.  

Washington 2020 class: Didn’t sign any high school recruits, but landed 2 transfers in former 4-star SF Cole Bajema (University of Michigan)

Prior to committing to the Wolverines, Bajema was an elite prospect from Lyden (Wash.) who entertained offers from Oregon State, Virginia and Washington. It appears he wanted more minutes, as he was used infrequently in Ann Arbor.  

Washington also added former 3-star shooting guard Erik Stevenson. Stevenson didn’t draw major buzz as a recruit, but he did hold offers from Hawaii, LSU, Utah and the Huskies before signing with Wichita State. 

Both Stevenson and Bajema had their transfer waivers approved and are eligible for this season. 

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