Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series. Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days. Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.
We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
Last Season: 2nd, 13-5 in Pac-10, 24-10 overall
Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 10th
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Tony Woods (Sr)/Austin Kuemper (Fr)/Arik Armstead (Fr)
F: Carlos Emory (Sr)/Ben Carter (Fr)
SF: E.J. Singler (Sr)/Damyean Dotson (Fr)/Fred Richardson (Fr)
SG: Devon Branch (Jr)/Willie Moore (Fr)
PG: Johnathan Loyd (Jr)/Dominic Artis (Fr)
Gone: PF-Olu Ashaolu, PG-Devoe Joseph, SG-Garrett Sim, G-Jabari Brown (transfer-Missouri), PF-Jeremy Jacob, PF-Tyrone Nared, SG-Brett Kingma (transfer)
Dana Altman loses three of his top four scorers which will put E.J. Singler in the spotlight during his senior season. He is nowhere near the level of his older brother, but Singler is still a quality all-around player who will have to truly emerge as a leader this season.
He will be joined in the starting frontcourt by seniors Tony Woods and Carlos Emory. Woods was serviceable in the middle in his first season in a Ducks’ uniform has been rather underwhelming in his college career. Emory was a key reserve last year and can step away from the basket and knock down open shots.
Redshirt freshman Austin Kuemper, true freshman Ben Carter, and two sport athlete Arik Armstead will compete for minutes off the bench. Armstead will suit up for the Oregon football team in the fall and at 6-8, 280 pounds, bring a ton of physicality in the paint.
Point guard Jonathan Lloyd is the lone returning playing in the backcourt. He started 11 games a year ago and is more of a pure distributor than scorer. Former UCLA commit Dominic Artis will push Lloyd for playing time at the one. Artis decided to re-open his recruitment after UCLA landed Kyle Anderson and is Oregon’s top recruit in the 2012 class. He lacks the ideal size for a high-major point guard but uses his quickness to be highly effective on the floor.
JUCO transfer Devon Branch brings his inspiring story to Eugene where will likely start at the two guard from the opening tip of the season. A trio of freshmen; Damyean Dotson, Fred Richardson, and Willie Moore will all battle for playing time behind Branch and Singler on the wing.
If the seven newcomers can quickly acclimate themselves to Pac-12 level basketball, Oregon could surprise some people this season. With a very inexperienced bench though, this will more than likely be a season of growing pains for the Ducks.
Player to Watch: Devon Branch
Branch didn’t qualify academically after high school so actually worked at a Holiday Inn while taking a year off of school. He eventually enrolled at Cloud County CC where he averaged 20 points per game and shot around 41% from distance. Without a ton of proven scorers on the roster, Oregon will need Branch to make an instant impact.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/16 vs. Vanderbilt
12/15 vs. Nebraska
12/19 at UTEP
OTHER 111 IN 111′S:
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.