The Oregon Ducks basketball team has lost out on a major talent as guard De’Vion Harmon confirms he will be transferring to Texas Tech Red Raiders. That makes it the second big loss in as many days as centre Frank Kepnang left for the University of Washington. The Ducks will need to be looking for replacements for next season’s roster if they want to stay competitive and have a chance of reaching the March Madness NCAA tournament. This season they missed out, finishing sixth in the Conference, and will need to rebuild if they want to improve.
The Ducks will be big outsiders to win the 2023 NCAA Championship, but they’ll still be hoping for a better season with the right improvements. Major upsets do happen, too, with 15-seed Saint Peter’s beating 2-seed Kentucky in the first full day. Next season’s tournament odds aren’t out yet, but Betway will be offering odds on the Ducks’ games throughout the season.
Harmon was widely regarded as one of the Duck’s best players. He started his college career at Oklahoma before joining Dana Altman’s squad last season. He was a crucial scoring option for the Ducks, averaging 10.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game as a backup to Will Richardson. Now he’ll play for Mark Adams’ Texas Tech club, which is known for its excellent defense and style of play that grinds out wins at all cost. The Red Raiders reached the Sweet Sixteen of March Madness, and Harmon will be hoping he can help them reach the final next season.
The Ducks have already brought in Keeshawn Barthelemy from Colorado, who will play alongside freshman Dior Johnson. However, further reinforcements are expected, as big players who can step up and perform throughout the season are needed. Harmon’s sudden departure has left a hole in the roster that will need filling. Below are some of the best prospects who could do the job.
Harmon came to the Ducks from Oklahoma, so why not turn to the state once more? Umoja Gibson would be a great candidate, with the guard currently available through the transfer portal. While he’s only been recently added to the portal, Gibson has three solid seasons under his belt for Oklahoma. In addition, he formerly starred for North Texas. His excellent outside shooting and defense on the perimeter would mean he fits into Oregon’s team nicely. His stats from last season were 13.3 points, 1.5 assists, and 39% three-point shooting.
Currently playing for South Carolina, guard Jermaine Couisnard has been listed on the transfer portal and lists Oregon as one of seven schools he’d be interested in joining. Couisnard is leaving the Gamecocks after two seasons, most likely as a result of head coach Frank Martin’s firing. Last season, the six-foot-four guard from Indiana averaged 12 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game and will be eligible for two more seasons wherever he ends up. With one of Couisnard’s old coaches now working for Oregon, he could be persuaded to join.
Devin Askew was a top-30 prospect in the class of 2020 and started 20 games as a true freshman for Kentucky, averaging 6.5 points and 2.9 assists. After one year, he transferred to Texas and sat on the bench for coach Chris Beard, averaging only two points and 1.3 assists in 15 minutes a night. He does struggle with outside shooting but clearly has a lot of talent. If the Ducks can unlock his potential, he could become a real asset to the team, competing for minutes with Johnson and Barthelemy.