After missing out on the NCAA Tournament, head coach Dana Altman and the Oregon men’s basketball team have reason for optimism entering the 2018-19 season.
It appears the rest of the nation has belief in the Ducks as well as Oregon will begin play ranked No. 14 in the nation — per the preseason AP Poll.
The Ducks received 638 votes in the poll, the most by a Pac-12 team. No. 21 UCLA and No. 25 Washington are the remaining Pac-12 teams in the poll while Arizona, USC and Arizona State are all receiving votes.
The reason for optimism for the Ducks stems from their incoming recruiting class, ranked No. 4 in the nation. Five-star center Bol Bol is said to be a transcendent player while five-star wing Louis King is expected to be a high-scoring wing when he returns healthy.
Oregon returns point guard Payton Pritchard, shooting guard Victor Bailey Jr., power forward Paul White and center Kenny Wooten Jr. from last season’s 23-13 squad.
Six different teams are receiving first-place votes to begin the season but it’s Kansas who’s in the No. 1 overall spot. The Jayhawks are followed by Kentucky, Gonzaga, Duke and Virginia to round out the top-five.