The N0. 18 ranked Ducks introduced six different players in their season opener against Northwest Christian. Two of them combined for 40 points. Jason Calliste and Joseph Young, who just got cleared from the NCAA for eligibility, shot a combined 9-18 from the field and led the Ducks on both ends of the court with ease.
Having just transferred from different schools, both Calliste and Young already appear comfortable on the floor, something the Ducks can rest easy about with the large number of new transfers.
After losing E.J. Singler and Carlos Emory last season, the Ducks understandably needed to fill the void on both defense and scoring department. Tonight, Young and Calliste did just that. In addition to scoring nearly half of Oregon’s points, Young finished with a season-high five steals, showcasing his quick hands on the defensive end.
“There’s a lot of potential,” Young said in reference to the Oregon defense. “We tried to bend our knees like coach said, stayed low, deflected all the passes and picked up the intensity on the defensive end. Defense wins games, so if we do that, we’re a good ball club.”
With good length and the ability to stretch the floor, the Ducks found the very components that made Singler and Emory so successful during their stay in both Young and Calliste. While Young and Calliste may be different players, their production on both sides of the ball was a pleasant surprise early in the season.
“Those two guys (Singler and Emory) are hard to replace, but I think Jason and Joseph are different types of players,” Dana Altman said. “But I think they can do some of the same things. I think they both shoot the ball well, they’re both quick, so I like them. They’ve both been good in practice, they’ve really worked hard, but they’re different kinds of players.”
This season, the Ducks’ success will largely be based on how well they incorporate the new transfers. Calliste and Young appear to have the tools to do provide starting minutes and it was a small, but good step towards finding a sweet spot with a 8-9 man rotation. With the depth of this team, finding a consistent rotation will be key and that will presumably take some time.
“We got a long way to go there,” Altman said about finding a rotation. “It’s October 27th and I think a lot of that (rotation) will be determined in practice. We’ll work through it in November and December and hopefully by the time conference season gets here, we’ll have the combinations that work best together.”