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Pac-12 Basketball Recruiting: Taking a look at Oregon’s Class of 2016

The Ducks had great success last year. Can their recruits help them replicate it?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Duke vs Oregon Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of their first Elite Eight appearance in a decade, the Oregon Ducks look ready to make another run this season. They have a nice mix of returning players, losing just Elgin Cook and Dwayne Benjamin, and they have three recruits coming in who can make an immediate impact.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at those three recruits.

Payton Pritchard

Pritchard’s story is probably the most interesting of any of Oregon’s three recruits. Pritchard is a four-star guard from West Linn, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. He committed to Oklahoma in November 2014, then reopened his recruitment in July 2015. Shortly after, he committed to his in-state Ducks.

Pritchard is the best player in the state of Oregon per the ESPN100, and checks in at #54 nationally on the list. It’s easy to see why, as he impacts the game on both sides of the ball, which you can see in his most recent highlight video below. He also brings a championship mentality to the Ducks, having won the state championship in all four years of high school.

Also, having an experienced point guard like Dylan Ennis on the same team should aid Pritchard’s development in a big way.

Keith Smith

Another player from the Pacific Northwest, Smith is a 6’7 forward from Seattle. Smith is the third best player in Washington in the class of 2016, per ESPN.

Smith originally committed to Steve Fisher and San Diego State before re-opening his recruitment.

If Dillon Brooks’ foot injury lingers through the opening portion of the season, Smith might see action sooner than anticipated.

Smith’s most recent highlight video can be found below.

MJ Cage

If you followed the NBA through the late 80s and early 90s, Cage’s name may ring a bell. The big man is the son of former Supersonic (among other teams), Michael Cage.

It’s easy to compare Cage to his father, as both were big men who played down low. If MJ is anything like his father, the NBA’s rebounding leader in 1988, Oregon will have a two-headed monster on defense with Cage and Chris Boucher.

Similar to Keith Smith, Cage considered San Diego State, his father’s alma mater, before committing to Dana Altman and the Ducks.

Cage’s most recent highlight video can be found below.