Pac-12 Senior Days: Oregon and Transfer UPosted by Connor Pelton (@ConnorPelton28) on March 11th, 2014
Oregon locked up a bid to the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in its upset win over Arizona, and six Seniors played their final game at Matthew Knight Arena in the process. We break them down below:
Hopes were high when Mike Moser announced his intentions to transfer from UNLV to Oregon last summer, and expectations immediately rose for the Ducks. There were talks before of a top-four finish to follow up their Sweet Sixteen appearance, but with the addition of Moser, competing with Arizona for a conference championship seemed achievable. And for the first two months of the season, things were great. The forward dropped 15 points in the first game of the season against Georgetown, and added another 24 in a huge road win in overtime at Mississippi. The Ducks were riding high, but the losses began to accumulate rapidly as Moser’s production waned. He hit a nasty shooting slump and lost all confidence while Oregon dropped six of seven games in the month of January, but as he slowly began to get his stroke back, Dana Altman‘s team finally started to pull out the close games that they had been losing before. They are now a lock for the NCAA Tournament, and it’s no coincidence that Moser has averaged 16.8 PPG since February 8, a stretch where his team has gone 7-1.
Jason Calliste is cold-blooded; literally. It’s why he wears long sleeves for every game and has earned the nickname, “The Sleeved Reaper” from Duck fans. One of the best pure shooters in the conference, Calliste has come up clutch at numerous moments throughout the year, including just this weekend when he hit the go ahead and-one jumper against third-ranked Arizona. The Detroit transfer has become arguably one of the top sixth mans in the Pac-12 and will be exciting to watch in the final month of the season.
Hey, a non-transfer! Johnathan “J-Lo” Loyd has been in Eugene for four years, a rarity in the Altman era. After a mediocre three regular seasons with the Ducks, the Las Vegas native had his coming out party back home last year at the Pac-12 Tournament. He dropped ten points in a blowout win over Utah in the semifinals, then added another 19 in the title game against UCLA, letting everyone know who’s city it was. He’s emerged as the go-to point guard this season, and has kept producing despite a minor setback in late January with a broken nose.
Richard Amardi has been exactly what Altman and the Ducks needed in the one-year transfer from Indian Hills CC. A reliable forward to fill out the eight man rotation, and huge performances in overtime road wins against Utah and UCLA. Things have been a little less bright for Waverly Austin, who was looking for more court time in his second year after transferring in from Palm Beach State. The center is only averaging 1.9 PPG in 11.1 MPG, but he did go out on a high note with 10 rebounds in his penultimate home game against Arizona State.
One player that knew his role when he signed with Oregon is guard Nicholas Lucenti. The grandson of former Duck women’s basketball coach Paul Westhead, Eugene was a natural fit for Lucenti, and while he has only played a total of 48 minutes in four seasons, he understands the part he plays on the team and enjoys it, at least as much as a walk-on can. He’s one of only two players on the current roster that can boast the feat of having played in both McArthur Court and Matthew Knight Arena, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.