Elgin Cook and Jason Calliste have been great early-on additions for the Ducks this season. In the absence of Dominic Artis and Ben Carter, the two have emerged as the early centerpieces of a deep Oregon bench. This was shown in Suday’s 100-82 win over San Francisco.
In a game where six different Oregon players scored in double-digits (the most since 2010), Cook and Calliste stood atop the list. Cook finished with a team-high 18 points and six rebounds, while Calliste added 16 points and two assists.
The two were active on both sides of the ball this game, and it is the very reason why they landed a combined 54 minutes on the floor. Whether it be their ability to crash the boards or their hustle, both Cook and Calliste look to have found their niche within the Oregon system. Especially Cook.
“He’s definitely our x-factor,” Mike Moser said. “The way he can defend one-through-five and rebounds. He’s just so versatile. He brings this whole new dimension to our team.”
Considering the Ducks are still in the process of figuring out roles and minutes for their new players, the pair has come as two less things to worry about.
For Cook, it’s been a game of finding out how to provide a spark off the bench. Head coach Dana Altman has been raving about Cook’s talent and work ethic and believes he has the potential to be an important figure on this Oregon team. In the first four games, Cook is averaging 7.7 points and 4.7 rebounds. He is also shooting 67 percent from the floor.
“Elgin is really talented,” Altman said. “Elgin really gets focused, intense and puts everything together.”
For Calliste, it’s simply been a time of adjustment as he tries to convert his polished game over to the Ducks.
“We know how he can play,” Moser said. “Just be a leader, hit open shots and create for others. That’s just what he’s been doing out here. Considering everything he’s been through with his hip surgery it’s pretty impressive how he can guard guys the length of the floor.”
Both Altman and the players already had high expectations for the senior heading into the season and he has done nothing short of meeting them. On the season, Calliste is averaging 8.7 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds off the bench.
“Jason is a really vet player,” Altman said. “Jason just knows how to play. He’s tough and he’ll give us a lot.”
As the Ducks continue to test new rotations and combinations, Cook and Calliste will assumedly be in the mix in one way or another. They have been solid third and fourth options for the Ducks thus far and there’s no reason why they can’t do more.
While there are still five more games remaining on the suspensions of Artis and Carter, it will be interesting to see what the rotation will look like for the Ducks when they return.
Follow Hayden Kim on Twitter @HayDayKim