Oregon secured their final scholarship spot with the transfer of Arsalan Kazemi, who leaves Rice University for Eugene. Kazemi visited the Ducks last Saturday for Oregon’s football game against Arizona, and chose Oregon over Kentucky and Ohio State.
Kazemi has lead Rice in points and rebounds the last two seasons, and was a preseason candidate for Conference USA Player of the year. Last season the 6’7″ Kazemi put up 12.1 points per game and 10 rebounds respectively. During the 2010 season Kazemi put up 15 points and 11 rebounds.
“I decided to come to Oregon,” Kazemi told Fox26 Houston. “I had to a look at a lot of schools, and I think this was the best situation for me.”
With a year of eligibility remaining, Kazemi will seek a hardship waiver in order to be able to play immediately for the Ducks. If Kazemi is unable to receive the waiver he will have to sit out a year before playing in an Oregon jersey.
Kazemi has made news in College basketball within the last few years for being the first Iranian born player to play Division 1 basketball. Nickamed “The Beast of the Middle East” Kazemi is a very athletic power forward that can run the floor and should fit into the Ducks system well because the Ducks are at their best when they force turnovers and get out in the open. Kazemi will now challenging for the starting power forward spot for the Ducks.
With the addition of Kazemi and Waverly Austin, another recent transfer from Palm Beach State College, Oregon is stacked on the frontline with tremendous depth. Senior Tony Woods returns to be the man in the middle, while Redshirt Freshman Austin Kuemper was widely expected to start at power forward.
This upcoming season should be the deepest for Dana Altman and the Ducks, with depth at every position on the floor. With the improved depth on the frontline and the signing of four star recruit Dominic Artis, Oregon should improved upon their 24-10 record last season.
After recently receiving two incoming transfers in Waverly Austin and Arsalan Kazemi, the Ducks received an outgoing transfer in shooting guard Devon Branch. Branch came to Oregon in the summer after transferring from Cloud County Community College in Concordia Kan., where he scored 20.4 points in his sophomore season.
After the NCAA ruled Branch only had one year of eligibility remaining, Branch opted to transfer to a Division II school where he will have two years of eligibility.
With his quick first step and long wingspan, Branch was slated to help replace all the senior scoring Oregon lost last year in the backcourt in Devoe Joseph and Garrett Sim. Joseph and Sim combined for almost 29 points a game last season for the Ducks.
Incoming freshmen Damyean Dotson, Fred Richardson III and Willie Moore will fight for the starting spot. Seniors Carlos Emory and EJ Singler also have the opportunity to move to the off guard spot if necessary. With all the depth Dana Altman has this upcoming season, he will certainly have room to be creative with his lineups.