Already, Oregon is going to be without one of the two major pieces they brought in to replace last year’s Pac-12 Player of the Year Joseph Young.
After last night’s 92-44 drubbing of Northwest Christian, Ducks’ coach Dana Altman announced that guard Dylan Ennis will be out for upward of a month with a foot injury.
Steve Mims of the Register-Guard has more information:
The Oregon coach learned he will be without senior transfer Dylan Ennis for at least one month and maybe longer because of a foot injury. Although new to the team, Ennis had already become a vocal leader for the Ducks and was likely the starting point guard.
“I’m not sure what we are going to do to be real honest,” Altman said after Oregon beat Northwest Christian 92-44 in a men’s basketball exhibition game Tuesday night in front of 5,499 at Matthew Knight Arena. “I had Dylan playing quite a few minutes. We will have to re-evaluate a lot of things and make some adjustments.
“You go through the month of November and we practiced one way for the last four weeks and now we have to change. It will be interesting to see how we handle it.”
“He’s going to be out for a while,” Altman said. “I am not sure how long, but we won’t see him in November for sure and maybe not even December. The doctors still have not decided what procedure to go through. I feel bad for him. He worked so hard and he’s such a great kid. You hate that for his senior year.”
It sure seems like Ennis was living up to his billing as one of the better graduate transfers on the market this offseason. The 6-2 guard, who played the last two seasons at Villanova after starting his career at Rice, averaged 9.9 points and 3.5 assists last year while starting all 36 games for the Wildcats.
However, Ennis wanted the opportunity to play more of a traditional point guard role than the off-ball role he was playing next to Ryan Arcidiacono. Also, he was essentially recruited over this season, as Jay Wright and company decided to bring in Jalen Brunson, one of the top freshman point guards in the country. So Oregon became the beneficiary of Ennis’ arrival, and it couldn’t have come at a better time given Young’s departure to the NBA.
With his injury, you’d think that the lead ball-handling responsibilties will fall to freshman Tyler Dorsey. Dorsey was a highly sought-after recruit that improved his stock this summer after a terrific showing with the Greek national team at the U19 World Championships. But he’s still a freshman, and it’s hard to put the sole playmaking responsibilities on a first-year player.
Given this injury along with center Jordan Bell’s broken foot, it wouldn’t be crazy to imagine the Ducks faltering a bit out of the gate. The team has a tough schedule set, with Baylor, Valparaiso, Boise State, UNLV and UC Irvine in the first month, all of whom have NCAA Tourney aspirations. But if they can get through that and get Ennis back early enough, they could mesh later in the season just like last year.