Oregon men’s basketball may be back at home this week for its games against Colorado and Utah, but the squad’s biggest issue — injuries — will still play a factor for the reeling Ducks, who dropped both games in the Bay Area last week.
Oregon will look to put its poor performances against Stanford and Cal in the past, but the Ducks have no quick-fix for a foot injury that has meant three missed games for Dominic Artis. His replacement, Johnathan Loyd, continues to deal with a wrist injury suffered against Cal.
Ducks’ head coach Dana Altman said he was unsure of either player’s status for Thursday’s game with Colorado. Artis has not practiced and was wearing a boot at practice on Tuesday, while Loyd did practice with a taped-up wrist. Willie Moore is the third-string point guard with forward E.J. Singler as the contingency plan.
It also became apparent at Tuesday’s practice that freshman Arik Armstead will redshirt this season for basketball. A highly-touted defensive recruit for the football team, Armstead was unable to join the hoops team until January, and the Ducks’ rotation in the post didn’t allow Armstead to see playing time.
Minus a scoring threat (Artis) for the last few games and presumably some more, Ducks’ forward Arsalan Kazemi is being told by his coach and teammates to step it up on offense.
“We need Arsalan to be more aggressive on offense,” Singler said.
“If we want to be a good team, we can’t let one player affect the whole team,” said Kazemi in regards to Artis’ absence. “Obviously coach wants me to be more aggressive on the offensive end. I can make shots, I just look to pass and I have to get better.”
Kazemi is scoring 8.8 points per game with his season high standing at 20 against UTSA and 16 against Washington State. Prior to transferring to Oregon, Kazemi averaged over 10 points in each of his three seasons at Rice.