Northwest

Chris Duarte, Eugene Omoruyi pen emotional parting messages to Duck Nation

Northwest

Oregon seniors Chris Duarte and Eugene Omoruyi are expected to move on to the pros following the Ducks loss to USC in the Sweet 16.

While neither of them have officially announced they are declaring for the NBA Draft, both players shared posts on social media Wednesday thanking their Oregon family for their time in Eugene.

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“To the Duck fans, thank you for sticking with us through the ups and downs,” Duarte said in his farewell letter. “We missed you at MKA this year, but knowing we had your support meant everything to us this season.”

Omoruyi added, “coming to Oregon as a transfer was the best decision I made for myself...I’m proud to be a Duck for life and will continue to cheer them on forever. Eugene from Eugene in Eugene out.”

 

After Oregon fell 82-68 to USC on Sunday, coach Dana Altman said neither Duarte nor Omoruyi would return to Eugene, despite the NCAA allowing all players to have an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19.

Both seniors left it all on the court this season. Omoruyi averaged 17.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 47.3 percent from the field in 28 games for Oregon this season. In his final game as a Duck, the senior forward had a double-double, 28 points and 10 rebounds as Oregon’s Sweet 16 loss.

Omoruyi spoke after the game about his future plans, which included getting “back in the lab and ready for the next level.”

Duarte added 21 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals in his final game for Oregon. His run with the Ducks in the NCAA Tournament was an impressive one. Overall, he had 44 points on 17 of 28 shooting, 13 assists, eight rebounds, four steals and just three turnovers in Oregon’s wins over No. 2 Iowa and No. 6 USC.

After a senior season that included being named AP Pac-12 Player of the Year, earning four Pac-12 Player of the Week nods, and being named a Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year finalist, Duarte has been rising up draft boards. He is expected to be a first-round pick in 2021, should he take his experience to the next level.

Best of luck to Eugene & Chris!