Oregon Ducks

Louis King tapping into Dana Altman's advice during transition to NBA

Louis King tapping into Dana Altman's advice during transition to NBA

The Detroit Pistons and former Oregon Duck Louis King are off to a winning 4-0 start in Las Vegas Summer League play.

After a quiet tournament, Wednesday’s victory over Philadelphia featured a filthy King steal and jam.

“(The NBA) is more intense,” said King after the win. “There are more guys that are more active on defense and they are longer (than college). Getting by them and finishing through contact (has been a challenge).”

The 6-foot-9 forward’s goal in summer league is to showcase his perimeter defense, rebounding and ability to score buckets in transition.  King is long, fluid and surprisingly quick and explosive. On the defensive end, he was a menace at Oregon: He had at least one steal in 16 of the 31 games played as a freshman.

Through his transition from college to professional, the former five-star recruit is tapping into advice that Oregon coach Dana Altman gave him.

“(Altman’s advice) is to be a professional… To be aware that not every aspect of the league will be easy for me,” said King. “I’m going to have to grind every day and that’s what I’m capable of doing.”

King agreed to a two-way contract with the Pistons after going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft. King was widely expected to be drafted in the second round, but can still can make a pretty penny and develop into an NBA talent.

King is averaging 12 minutes in three games played in Summer League. He’s scoring an average of 2.3 points on 17 percent shooting and 2.3 rebounds per game.

King's numbers don’t pop but summer league play isn’t over. Continuing to show improvement in Las Vegas would go a long way in proving to the franchise that King is ready for G-League and NBA minutes.

King has the potential to be a force on both ends of the floor if the G-League Grand Rapids' staff can tap into his potential. King is a prospect who is able to play positionless ball and develop into a two-way player. His power forward size, tenacious defense and perimeter skill set make him an attractive pickup for the Pistons.  

Injury updates from Mario Cristobal: Jacob Breeland given green light vs. Auburn

Injury updates from Mario Cristobal: Jacob Breeland given green light vs. Auburn

An injury update on some of the Ducks following Friday’s fall camp practice:

- Wide receiver Juwan Johnson is limited, but just for precautionary reasons, after leaving Tuesday’s practice with cramps. 

“We feel really good about Juwan. Juwan has come along very well. He’s doing some stuff in a limitary mode out of precautionary measures by us,” says Cristobal.

Johnson is expected to play week one against Auburn.

- Senior tight end Jacob Breeland is good to go.

His return is crucial for the Ducks not only for blocking purposes against Auburn's defensive front but also for his route running and establishing a physical presence against the Tigers’ secondary. 

Cristobal went on to say that Breeland has had a really good camp.

- The highly anticipated return of tight end Cam McCormick is a bit behind schedule.

“Cam McCormick is taking part in practice but not full go just yet,” says Cristobal. “Maybe a little bit behind schedule but not by much. We feel optimistic about him because he’s doing all the stuff that he needs to do to get ready."

One-on-one with QB1: Justin Herbert's expectations far different than reality

One-on-one with QB1: Justin Herbert's expectations far different than reality

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert sits down for an exclusive interview with Talkin’ Ducks host Jordan Kent in the UO theater room at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in Eugene, OR.

This six part series will dive into how Herbert became the 6-foot-6, 235-pound passer with the powerful right arm and sneaky fast wheels.

[PART ONE:  Justin Herbert was destined to be a Duck]

Have you ever seen the "expectation vs. reality" memes on social media?

When quarterback Justin Herbert became an Oregon Duck, his expectations couldn't have been more different than his current reality. 

"I didn't expect to play my four years at Oregon," Herbert said in the interview with a smile. "I was so excited to be here and I thought, 'Do your job, learn the offense, be there and maybe there's a time when you can step in and do some work.'"

Herbert became the first Oregon true freshman to start at quarterback since 1983 after replacing Dakota Prukop mid-way through the 2016 season. He started the remaining seven games and finished with 1,935 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and only four interceptions. 

[READ: Justin Herbert and Bo Nix could be a Disney movie]

The Eugene-native was born and destined to be a Duck, but still clearly remembers when he got the call from then-Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich with an offer from the program in his backyard. He didn’t hesitate. In fact, Herbert “didn’t think it was real” until he answered the call in the back of the Sheldon High School parking lot.

“I jumped on the bandwagon as soon as I could,” Herbert said. The three-star prospect had taken visits to Northern Arizona and Portland State.

Was Herbert caught off guard to play as a freshman? Check out the video above for more.

Justin Herbert and Bo Nix could be a Disney movie Pt. 1: History

Justin Herbert and Bo Nix could be a Disney movie Pt. 1: History

The season opener between No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Auburn is beginning to look like the plot of a Disney movie. Two ranked opponents in the national spotlight, led by hometown quarterbacks who have been preparing their entire football career for this moment.

Oregon senior quarterback Justin Herbert and Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix have the opportunity to write the introduction to the 2019 football season. August 31st is the beginning of Herbert’s swan song and the start of Nix’s legacy.

History

Herbert, the 6-foot-6, 237-pound quarterback with the ability to make any throw is a main reason Oregon is the favorite to win its first Pac-12 title since 2014. Before he was projected as a top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Eugene-native was a Ducks fan, a passion passed down from birth.

“I grew up in a family that was Duck fans for as long as they can remember,” Herbert said in a Talkin’ Ducks interview with host Jordan Kent. “I grew up with a grandfather that went to every single game and played (at Oregon). My parents both love Oregon football and my brothers, so I just assumed I had to be a Duck fan.”

Herbert’s grandfather, Rich Schwab, played receiver at Oregon from 1960-63 and introduced Herbert to Oregon football. Herbert remembers experiencing Autzen Stadium with him. As an 11-year-old, Herbert stood next to Schwab in awe during the 2009 Civil War. 

“One of my favorite games was the Oregon-Oregon State civil war game with Jeremiah Masoli,” Herbert said. “I think it was third or fourth down, late in the game and he ran over a guy. I thought that was really cool.”

Schwab passed away in January of 2018, but his impact is everlasting on his grandson.

When Herbert got the call from then-Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich with an offer from the program in his backyard, he didn’t hesitate. It was a no-brainer to follow in Schwab’s footsteps. In fact, Herbert “didn’t think it was real” until he answered the call in the back of the Sheldon High School parking lot.

“I jumped on the bandwagon as soon as I could,” Herbert said. The three-star prospect had taken visits to Northern Arizona and Portland State.

In contrast, Nix was offered by 18 different schools. However, Alabama’s 2018 High School Player of the Year only had eyes for Auburn. The five-star prospect and top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class never visited any other schools.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback is following in his father’s footsteps. Patrick Nix threw for 4,957 yards and 31 touchdowns over 32 games for the Tigers from 1992-95. Patrick met his wife in college and Bo was raised a Tigers fan since birth. (Sound familiar?)

Nix is the first ever true freshman quarterback to start for the Tigers during week one of the modern era. It’s very likely that Oregon will see both Nix and back-up Joey Gatewood at quarterback on August 31. 

Fittingly, Nix’s favorite Auburn memory as a fan includes the Ducks. Nix’s dream to lead Auburn to a national championship intensified while he watched the 2011 BCS National Championship game. From his seat at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, Nix cheered as quarterback Cam Newton and the Tigers defeated the Ducks, 22-19, to win the program’s first national championship game in 63 years.

Nine years later, it almost feels predestined that these two quarterbacks would meet in a nationally televised, primetime game with major legacy and conference implications on the line.

[RELATED: Ducks happy to meet Auburn quarterback Bo Nix in season opener]

The plotline of this Disney movie doesn’t stop there. Neither do the parallels: Both Herbert and Nix were coached by their fathers and will be relying heavily on their father’s advice come August 31 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.  The difference? It’s in the legacy.

Stay tuned for part two.

Ducks happy to meet Auburn quarterback Bo Nix in season opener

Ducks happy to meet Auburn quarterback Bo Nix in season opener

The anticipation is palpable for the season opener between No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Auburn.

Auburn named true freshman Bo Nix as starting quarterback. Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced Nix beat out redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood in a competition that began during the spring and lasted the duration of fall camp.

Nix is not your typical freshman. A former five-star prospect and top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class, Nix enrolled early in January and is poised to have a great career with the Tigers.

He’s looking to start his Auburn career with a bang. Oregon junior cornerback Deommordore Lenoir is looking forward to meeting Nix in his college football debut.

“It actually makes me happy. I want to welcome him to college football," Lenoir said.

I asked, what would be the best way to welcome him to college football?

"Oh a pick-six. Easy," Lenoir said.

Nix has earned the respect of senior linebacker Troy Dye already. Dye has studied Nix’s high school film and will begin a deeper dive on Sunday to start game week.

“Congratulations to him for winning the job. But the game knows no age," Dye said. "Doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or senior, if you’re ready to play, you’re ready to play. We can’t look at him like ‘oh he’s a freshman.’ He’s a great athlete. Top school in a Division I program. He’s the starting quarterback for a Division I team so we can’t ever overlook that stuff. We got to go out there and prepare like he’s been there for four years.” 

Optimism is high for Oregon football’s 2019 season and beating the Tigers will essentially make or break the team’s College Football Playoff hopes. A win sends the Ducks and the Pac-12 Conference into national relevancy, and a loss initiates an uphill fight; no team has ever rebounded from a week one loss to make the final field of four.

One-on-one with QB1: Justin Herbert was destined to be a Duck

One-on-one with QB1: Justin Herbert was destined to be a Duck

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert sits down for an exclusive interview with Talkin’ Ducks host Jordan Kent in the UO theater room at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in Eugene, OR.

This six part series will dive into how Herbert became the 6-foot-6, 235-pound passer with the powerful right arm and sneaky fast wheels.

Before he was a projected as a top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Eugene-native was a Ducks fan, passed down his passion for Oregon football at birth.

“I grew up in a family that was Duck fans for as long as they can remember,” Herbert said in the interview. “I grew up with a grandfather that went to every single game and played (at Oregon). My parents both love Oregon football and my brothers, so I just assumed I had to be a Duck fan.”

Herbert’s grandfather, Rich Schwab, played receiver at Oregon from 1960-63 and introduced Herbert to Oregon football. Herbert remembers experiencing Autzen Stadium with him. As an 11-year-old, Herbert stood next to Schwab in awe during the 2009 Civil War. 

“One of my favorite games was the Oregon-Oregon State civil war game with Jeremiah Masoli,” Herbert said. “I think it was third or fourth down, late in the game and he ran over a guy. I thought that was really cool.”

Schwab passed away in January of 2018 but his impact is everlasting on his grandson.

Mark Herbert, Justin’s father, also had a huge influence on shaping Justin’s approach to the game. Check out the video above for more.

Justin Herbert named to Manning Award watch list

Justin Herbert named to Manning Award watch list

Add another one for QB1. 

Oregon football senior quarterback Justin Herbert is one of 30 quarterbacks to land on the preseason watch list for the Manning Award, presented to college football’s top quarterback after the bowl games.

According to Archie Manning from the Manning Award website: 

“For our Watch List, we aim to recognize players who have already been successful on the field for their teams, but every quarterback in the country remains eligible. We’ll make some midseason additions to the list as some of the younger quarterbacks and the transfers establish themselves. I’m really looking forward to getting the season started this weekend and keeping a close eye on everyone right through the national championship in New Orleans.”

Other quarterbacks on the list include: Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, LSU’s Joe Burrow, Florida’s Feleipe Franks, among others. 

Add the Manning Award watch list to the other preseason honors for Herbert: Davey O’Brien Award, Maxwell Award, Phil Steele All-American third team, Athlon Sports Pac-12 first team, Phil Steele Pac-12 first team, No. 11 on Sports Illustrated Top 100 Players. 

Herbert Quick Hits:

- Owns a streak of 28 consecutive games with a TD pass, good for the longest active streak in the nation.

- Enters 2019 season ranked fifth among active FBS leaders in passing TDs (63) and eighth in passing yards (7,070).

Oregon receiver Juwan Johnson injury scare just "precautionary"

Oregon receiver Juwan Johnson injury scare just "precautionary"

Oregon’s receiving corps received a scare with a possible fifth injury and appears to have dodged the literal largest blow.

6-foot-4, 230-pound senior Juwan Johnson was absent from Wednesday’s practice (during the time reporters can watch) after leaving Tuesday’s practice early with a noticeable limp, according to reports from Eugene.

When asked for an update on Oregon's big-bodied starter, wide receiver coach Jevon Bouknight said it was “precautionary” from cramps, according to reports from Eugene. Johnson is expected to play week one against Auburn.

Oregon needs to find its next leading receiver and the Penn State graduate transfer is looking every bit he part.

He brings needed experience to the position: playing in 16 more games than the Ducks' most veteran wide receiver, senior Brenden Schooler (21 games). Plus, his large, powerful, physical frame is unlike the other receivers currently on Oregon's roster along with his ability to power through and over defensive backs.

The Ducks receiving corps is already coping with the loss of Brenden Schooler, who will be out another five to seven weeks after suffering a right foot injury that required surgery.

The depth took another hit when true freshman receiver Mycah Pittman, who was expected to contribute or possibly start this season, hurt his shoulder while making a diving catch and will be sidelined for at least 6-8 weeks.

Also, freshman wide receiver JR Waters had a lower leg procedure and won’t return for four to six weeks. Freshmen Lance Wilhoit has also been limited with lingering injures.

Stay tuned for more updates, but it appears Oregon dodged a very large bullet. 

Oregon basketball non-conference schedule highlighted by Houston, Memphis, Michigan

Oregon basketball non-conference schedule highlighted by Houston, Memphis, Michigan

The 2019-20 Oregon men's basketball team is reloaded and possibly better than ever

The Ducks have 11 eligible players and are brimming with fresh, elite talent. Oregon’s 2019 recruiting class finished fourth in the country, first in the Pac-12 Conference and second-best all-time for the program, according to 247sports. 

Hopefully the team buys into Oregon coach Dana Altman's plan sooner rather than later, as UO's non-conference schedule is challenging from the start. 

[RELATED: Ducks to open with Seton Hall in Battle 4 Atlantis]

FROM THE UO ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT:

The Oregon men’s basketball team will host 2019 NCAA Sweet Sixteen team Houston at Matthew Knight Arena this season, and will also face Michigan and Memphis, in addition to a loaded field in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis, during the non-conference slate.

In total, the Ducks will play eight games against teams that advanced to the postseason a year ago.

“It’s a very challenging non-conference schedule that we are looking forward to,” said head coach Dana Altman. “Just about every team is coming off a good year and is expected to challenge for a conference title, so we are going to have our hands full. But it is an exciting schedule.”

Oregon will open the season by hosting the first ever Green and Yellow game on Oct. 30, where the squad will be divided into two teams for an intersquad scrimmage.

The defending Pac-12 Tournament champions begin regular season play with back-to-back games against teams from the Mountain West Conference at Matthew Knight Arena. The regular season opener is Nov. 5 versus Fresno State, followed by Boise State on Nov. 9.

Oregon will play Memphis, which has assembled the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the nation under new coach Penny Hardaway, in the Phil Knight Invitational Nov. 12 at the Moda Center in Portland.

The Ducks then host UT-Arlington (Nov. 17) and Houston (Nov. 22) before heading to Paradise Island, Bahamas, for the Battle 4 Atlantis, where all eight teams in the field played in the 2019 postseason.

Following that tournament, Oregon will host Hawaii on Dec. 7 and make a road trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., to play the Wolverines on Dec. 14.

Michigan will return the game to Matthew Knight Arena next year, when the Ducks will also host Baylor; Oregon played in Waco, Texas, last season.

The Ducks close out December at home against Montana (Dec. 18), Texas Southern (Dec. 21) and Alabama State (Dec. 29).

In addition to Houston, Michigan (Sweet Sixteen), Seton Hall, Montana and potential Battle 4 Atlantis foes Gonzaga (Elite Eight), North Carolina (Sweet Sixteen) and Iowa State advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.

Memphis and Alabama, which is in the Battle 4 Atlantis, both played in the NIT in 2019. Texas Southern advanced to the CIT semifinals, while potential Battle 4 Atlantis opponent Southern Miss played in the CBI.

Oregon’s Pac-12 schedule, along with times and broadcast information for all games, will be announced next month.

2019-20 University of Oregon Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

DATE                           OPPONENT                                   LOCATION

Wed., Oct. 30           GREEN & YELLOW SCRIMMAGE     EUGENE, ORE.

Tues., Nov. 5             FRESNO STATE                              EUGENE, ORE.

Sat., Nov. 9               BOISE STATE                                  EUGENE, ORE.

Phil Knight Invitational

Tues., Nov. 12          MEMPHIS                                       PORTLAND, ORE.

Sun., Nov. 17            UT-ARLINGTON                             EUGENE, ORE.

Fri., Nov. 22              HOUSTON                                      EUGENE, ORE.

 

Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis

Wed., Nov. 27          vs. Seton Hall                                Paradise Island, Bahamas

Thurs., Nov. 28         vs. Gonzaga/Southern Miss       Paradise Island, Bahamas

Fri., Nov. 29              vs. TBA                                           Paradise Island, Bahamas

Sat., Dec. 7                HAWAII                                          EUGENE, ORE.

Sat., Dec. 14             at Michigan                                   Ann Arbor, Mich.

Wed., Dec. 18           MONTANA                                     EUGENE, ORE.

Sat., Dec. 21             TEXAS SOUTHERN                        EUGENE, ORE.

Sun., Dec. 29            ALABAMA STATE                          EUGENE, ORE.

Don't overlook Auburn freshman starting quarterback Bo Nix

Don't overlook Auburn freshman starting quarterback Bo Nix

With 11 days until No. 11 Oregon’s season opener against No. 16 Auburn, the Ducks are getting a jumpstart on game prep for the Tigers.  The week one polarizing matchup is the Ducks’ chance to upset a Top-20 ranked team in prime time and become the Pac-12’s best chance for a spot in the playoff.

A win sends the underdog Ducks and the Pac-12 Conference into national relevancy, and a loss initiates an uphill fight; no team has ever rebounded from a week one loss to make the final field of four.

Half of Oregon’s Tuesday practice was Auburn prep; the other half resembled a typical ‘Ducks vs. Ducks’ fall camp practice.

“The urgency is picking up out there,” Oregon linebacker coach Ken Wilson said. “Every practice has got to be their best practice now. “

Now the Ducks know who they are preparing for, as Auburn named true freshman Bo Nix as starting quarterback.

[READ: Injuries piling for Auburn wide receiving corps]

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn announced Nix beat out redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood in a competition that began during the spring and lasted the duration of fall camp.

Don’t count out this freshman. A former five-star prospect and top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class, Nix enrolled early in January is looking to start his Auburn career with a bang. What you need to know:

He knows how to win

Nix led Pinson Valley High in Alabama to back-to-back state titles with his father, Auburn legend Patrick Nix, as the head coach.  The reigning Alabama Mr. Football, Nix broke the state records for career total offense (12,505 yards) and touchdowns (161).

It’s all in the family

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound quarterback is following in his father’s footsteps. Patrick Nix threw for 4,957 yards and 31 touchdowns over 32 games for the Tigers from 1992-95. Patrick met his wife in college and Bo was raised a Tigers fan.

Talent

Nix is a pocket passer that can run zone-read plays to the outside with surprising speed. He excels at reacting in the pocket both to avoid rushers and to deliver the football, which he does with solid accuracy in short and intermediate throws.

Weakness

Scouting reports from scrimmages show that Nix does not have an overpowering arm with a tendency to float long downfield throws.

History

It will be the first time in his head-coaching career that Malzahn has started a freshman quarterback to open a season. Also, it will be the first time Auburn has started a true freshman at quarterback in Week 1 during the modern era.

Team effort

It’s very likely that Oregon will see both Nix and Gatewood at quarterback on August 31. Gatewood is larger and excels at running inside to pick up third-and-short downs. The Ducks will need to be prepared for both.

The juxtaposition will be clear in the season opener; the first time Nix takes the field for Auburn and the start of quarterback Justin Herbert’s final season as a Duck.