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Things just Ducky in Oregon

Coach Dana Altman won’t score enough points to make a dent in the Top 25 in terms of class rankings, but that doesn’t mean good players aren’t coming to Eugene. Over the weekend, the Ducks found Dominic Artis (Oakland, Calif./Findlay Prep) two new teammates in PF Ben Carter (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) and SF Damyean Dotson (Houston/Yates).

Carter and Dotson have something significant in common: neither has ever been “the man.” Carter plays high school ball alongside Shabazz Muhammad, the nation’s No. 1 recruit. In AAU ball, he moonlights alongside Stanford commit Rosco Allen (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman). In watching Carter, there’s little doubt he has high-major ability, but he’s never been able to assert himself enough or consistently carve out his own identity. Ditto for Dotson, who rolls with a high-profile high school team and played for an AAU squad that featured a pair of ESPNU 100 guards in J-Mychal Reese (Bryan, Texas/Bryan) and L.J. Rose (Houston/Westbury Christian). Dotson showed flashes at the Peach Jam but it was clear his playing time wasn’t going to be enough to push schools into a frenzy for him based off the summer.

However, there’s something intriguing about guys like this. For starters, you’d expect them to have no issues transitioning to their roles in college. Having played second or third fiddle yet demonstrating enough to earn a scholarship, has gotten them this far. Now, they’re going to receive high-level coaching.

From an evaluation standpoint, I’ve got a burning question: Do either one of these guys have a chip on their shoulder big enough to allow them to crank up their games to the next level? They will arrive at Oregon with nice résumés but due to the circumstances, there’s part of me that thinks there could be more to these guys. If one of them turns into a classic late-bloomer, Altman will be thrilled.

Anyone else notice UK lurking?

Today we published a list of the ESPNU 100 prospects that haven’t committed. So I’m reading the article, looking at the schools lists and staring me right in the grill is one big fact: Kentucky is involved with the five best prospects that haven’t committed and eight of the 18 undecided. I don’t know why I’m shocked. It was almost like seeing them listed struck a chord.

The Wildcats have a pair of commitments in shooting guard Archie Goodwin (Little Rock, Ark./Sylvan Hills) and center Willie Cauley (Spearville, Kan./Olathe NW). Already, John Calipari’s two-man effort is good enough to garner a No. 11 class ranking and clearly the ‘Cats aren’t finished. Could they really catch Arizona and lock down a fourth consecutive No. 1 class?

To make history (again) and slide past Arizona, UK would need a combination of two of these three guys: Shabazz Muhammad (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman), Anthony Bennett (Ontario/Findlay Prep) and Gary Harris (Indianapolis, Ind./Hamilton SE). The answer won’t come until the spring as Muhammad and Bennett will watch the first signing period pass. They’ll be two of the last men standing in the spring. Harris is trying to decide but doesn’t seem like he can make up his mind. Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana and Kentucky are the crew with a chance at him.

And Ones ...

Torian Graham (Durham, N.C./Arlington CD) was set to take an unofficial visit to Maryland last weekend. For the Terrapins, the timing wasn’t good. Over a week ago, a story broke regarding Michael Beasley and his agent. One of the Maryland assistants was named in the story. Graham will visit Maryland but there was no rush on his part or his guardians to head to College Park with the noise surrounding the situation. Look for the trip to be rescheduled.

Robert Carter (Shiloh, Ga./Shiloh) will decide between Georgia Tech, Georgia and Florida this week. He finished his final visit with the Gators over the weekend.