Eugene, Ore. -- Before Oregon men head to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament, the Ducks have two more games.
Oregon is set to host the Bay Area schools during senior week. Seniors, Payton Pritchard, Shakur Juiston, and Anthony Mathis will be honored Saturday night in Matthew Knight Arena for their playing time in the green and yellow. This is Juiston and Mathis first year with the program after transferring from UNLV and New Mexico. Pritchard on the otherhand, is the most winningest player in Ducks' hoops history. His first season, he started alongside current NBA players, Dillon Brooks, Tyler Dorsey, Jordan Bell, and Chris Boucher. That year the Ducks went to the Final Four, losing to North Carolina by one point.
"I know I put in the work the four years, so definitely wasn't rewarded cause I just stayed," he said. "I put in more time than anybody, I outworked everybody here. And I think that's what I was rewarded."
After last season, Pritchard tested the waters entering the NBA Draft before ultimately withdrawing from consideration. He returned this season, recording 20 points, five assist, and four rebounds per game. From the start of the season, he elevated his game and took a more aggressive approach on the offensive end and leading by example with his dominance on the floor.
"Every situation is different," said head coach, Dana Altman. "I'm really glad that he did stay cause he had a very lucrative offer he could have taken a year ago and he decided to stay so. We're very grateful that he did and I think it will benefit him."
While Pritchard will look to lead the Ducks to another deep run in March, Oregon is hoping another starter will rejoin the lineup during the NCAA tournament. Altman announced junior, Chris Duarte will sit out the remaining two regular season games and the Pac-12 tournament. Duarte broke his finger in practice prior to the Civil War game in early February. He went on to play five games before having a procedure on the finger and being sidelined. Altman said they are not ruling him out completely for the year, in hopes that he may return some time during the tournament.
Oregon will host Cal, Thursday, March 5th at 8:00 p.m. That game is set to air on ESPN 2. That following Saturday, the Ducks will hold Senior Night as they take on Stanford, March 7th at 8:00 p.m. That game is set to air on Fox Sports 1.