Oregon Week: Players Not ReturningPosted by Connor Pelton on August 8th, 2012
Last year eight players earned significant playing time for the Ducks. Of those eight, four are now gone — three have used up their eligibility and will be playing for a paycheck in one place or another next year. Also gone is a man who only played in two games for the Ducks, but was a major part of the rotation before transferring to Missouri. With three recruits coming in expected to play immediately, there will be no problem finding bodies to replace the departed, but the experience and savvy they possessed is not something that can be expected of most freshmen. In other words, these guys will be missed.
Devoe Joseph – Joseph played just one season in Eugene after transferring over from Minnesota, but he had a big impact in his single year. Despite not being eligible for the team’s first six contests, Joseph came in and rolled off seven straight games in which he scored in double figures. It took him just two games to go from a role player coming off the bench to a full-time starter. Behind Garrett Sim, Joseph was second on the team in three-point percentage; a great distributor as well, he averaged 3.3 APG and kept opponents on their toes whenever he had the ball. Perhaps the quality that will be missed most, however, is the energy that Joseph brought night in and night out. On defense, Joseph led the team in steals and was one of just two players to average more than a theft per game. When he wasn’t actually stealing the ball from an opponent, his annoying, in-your-face defensive style at least got everyone out of their seats. Perhaps showing Duck fans what they’ll be missing in the coming years, Joseph closed out the year by averaging 19.3 points, 5.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in Oregon’s Pac-12 Tournament and NIT contests. His contributions led Oregon to the quarterfinals of the NIT, and subsequently earned him a spot on the Toronto Raptors summer league team. Joseph impressed with the Raptors, scoring in double figures three times in seven games. He signed with the Ukrainian club Khimik-OPZ Yuzny about a week after the conclusion of summer league.
Garrett Sim – Sim is the guy that could be counted on to step up when nothing was going well. If Joseph was being double-teamed and E.J. Singler couldn’t get a shot to fall, the ball would go to Sim and he would pull the Ducks out of their funk. He was single-handedly responsible for the road wins against Nebraska and Oregon State, and he stepped up huge in the final minutes of a nailbiting win at home against USC. And against Prairie View A&M, when nothing would fall early on for the entire roster, Sim led the Ducks out of their fog and propelled them to a blowout victory. Needless to say, the Ducks lost an integral part of their offense with his graduation.
Jabari Brown – The prize of last year’s recruiting class only played in two games for the Ducks before cleaning out his locker and disappearing from campus. Brown played 25 minutes and got a solid amount of touches in the season opener against Vanderbilt, but his role in the offense decreased in Oregon’s second game against Eastern Washington. Apparently, the freshman had seen enough of Eugene, and announced that he was transferring to Missouri a month later.
Olu Ashaolu – Ashaolu was eligible immediately after transferring in from Louisiana Tech. Earning solid minutes early on due to a lack of bigs on the roster, he impressed by averaging 9.2 PPG and 5.2 RPG. Ashaolu played on the Milwaukee Bucks summer league team, but only played garbage minutes.