The Oregon Ducks will enter next season without their five leading scorers, and graduate transfer Elijah Brown will reportedly fill that void

After losing a heart-breaker to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Final Four, Dana Altman’s Ducks squad was stripped of almost all of its scoring. Dillon Brooks, Tyler Dorsey and Jordan Bell all declared for the NBA Draft, and Dylan Ennis and Chris Boucher graduated. The quintet accounted for 64.3 of Oregon’s 78.9 total points.

They balanced each other out. Brooks, Dorsey and Ennis were deadly from the perimeter while Bell and Boucher did their damage inside. Additionally, the trio of guards could wriggle their way to the cup, making their offense a nightmare to defend.

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Brown isn’t the efficient scorer that the others were, but he gets buckets. And he gets them often. After two years with New Mexico, the 6-4 guard averaged 20.3 points on 40.4 percent from the field. He notched a career-best 21.7 points as a sophomore, and that came in his first season after transferring from Butler. This year, he put up 18.8 points on a meager 37.9 percent shooting. Brown finished second and third in the conference in points per game, respectively, and he has an incredible knack for drawing contact and getting to the free throw line.

In two seasons, he’s attempted 475 foul shots and has made 84 percent of them. Over that span, just two players have gone to the line more times: Nigel Hayes and Rashawn Thomas. Among that same group, Brown sits at the top with 399 makes.

At his core, he’s a gunslinger. Brown doesn’t shy away from taking a ton of shots, and that was the luxury he had with the Lobos. Outside of him and Tim Williams, New Mexico didn’t have many weapons, and coach Craig Neal had no other option but to let those two go out there and do their thing. Next season with Oregon, it’s going to be much of the same. In all likelihood, Brown will initiate the offense most of the time down the floor, whether he puts his head down and gets fouled or starts chucking up triples remains to be seen.

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Hopefully, it’s more of the former. If Brown didn’t have that ability to draw fouls, we’d be talking about him in an entirely different light. No matter how you slice it, his inefficiency can be a problem. There were just eight games this year where Brown posted an overall field goal percentage above 45 percent. He played in 31.

Regardless, defenses still need to account for him on offense because he can cause headaches. If the Ducks are lucky, he’ll play like he did as a sophomore where he was radically more efficient and was almost unguardable because his game was so well-rounded. The campaign before last saw his true shooting percentage crack 60 percent (60.4), and it was mainly due to his lethality from behind the arc. Brown was voluminous and efficient, knocking down 89 triples at a 39.4 percent clip.

He won’t have to do everything alone, which is great. Oregon will have others step up, and their incoming freshman class isn’t too shabby. According to 247Sports, they have the 10th-best group in the nation, and Troy Brown is the highlight. The 6-7 five-star recruit is Nevada’s top player, and his point-forward skill set is going to be an outstanding complement to Elijah. Hopefully, Troy develops a reliable outside shot that opens the floor, because it’s clear Elijah’s at his best when going downhill.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and see Elijah play like a point guard and show an improvement in creating for others; that would be a great counter to his inconsistency and make him an even more deadly scorer. Furthermore, it’d improve his NBA stock and maybe even draw some eyeballs that aren’t on him.

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