2007 Oregon Ducks Basketball Preview
After finishing tied for third in the Pac-10, the Oregon Ducks (29- 8 overall, 11- 7 Pac- 10) went on a solid run in the NCAA tournament, taking out Miami (OH), Winthrop and UNLV before succumbing to Florida 85- 77 in the regional finals. Under veteran coach Ernie Kent (193- 120 in 10 years at Oregon, 283- 200 in 16 years), Oregon went from 14 and 15 win seasons over the past two years to notching 29 victories in 2006- 2007 and several of our free college basketball picks!
Oregon certainly put up balanced numbers last year, placing third in the conference in scoring (75.9 PPG), fifth in scoring defense (66.2 PPG), fifth in rebounding margin (plus-2.0) and third in turnovers (12.5 TPG). With 13.9 APG, they ranked sixth. They shot free throws at .761, which was second only to California that hit .769. This year expect more of the same from the Ducks and NCAA basketball betting trends.
Let’s start with the frontcourt wild card—big man Frantz Dorsainvil, a junior transfer who will use his 6’ 8”, 270-pound bulk to post up, block shots and rebound. This addition will only make this team and the college basketball betting lines better. Dorsainvil will help senior Maarty Leunen (10.8 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 47.0 FG%) move to the perimeter this season, allowing him to exploit his strength. Senior Mitch Platt (1.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 47.6 FG%) at forward and senior Ray Shafer (1.3 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 63.6 FG%) at center will be asked to step up.
The guard positions are manned by a shooting duo that can be lights out. Malik Hairston (11.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 52.3 FG%) and Bryce Taylor (14.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 51.7 FG%) are both solid scorers. Hairston may move into the frontcourt this season, while Taylor exploits his ability to slash and score. Tajuan Porter (14.6 PPG, 2.0 APG, 41.2 FG%) , a diminutive player at 5’ 6”, starts at the point. Porter, who has no fear of throwing up threes, may be the one to replace the scoring acumen of former Duck guard Aaron Brooks (17.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4,3 APG).
Can the Ducks do it again this year? They certainly can. If they can replace the contributions of Brooks and play solid “D,” this team will be a contender and a top finisher in the Pac-10. Look for coach Kent’s club to go deep into the tournament brackets.