By Steve Mims

The (Eugene) Register-Guard

First up

Northwest Christian at Oregon (exhibition)

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 30

TV: Pac-12

EUGENE — The Oregon men’s basketball team opened practice on Friday and then tried to impress a few top 2018 recruits.

The Ducks officially began the follow-up to their Final Four run when they took the floor at Matthew Knight Arena for the first practice of the new season with a roster of 12 players, including the late addition of walk-on guard Will Johnson. Three five-star recruits visited the school over the weekend when Oregon played host to California in football.

Among five players back from last season, sophomore point guard Payton Pritchard is the only returning starter. Forwards Keith Smith and Roman Sorkin helped the Ducks finish 33-6, while forwards M.J. Cage and Paul White each sat out a redshirt year.

Oregon coach Dana Altman added six scholarship players, including graduate transfers Elijah Brown and MiKyle McIntosh. Five-star forward Troy Brown Jr. headlines the class of four freshmen that also includes forwards Abu Kigab and Kenny Wooten along with guard Victor ­Bailey Jr.

The Ducks have six weeks of work before opening the regular season at home Nov. 10 against Coppin State. Oregon hosts Northwest Christian for an exhibition Oct. 30.

Altman has not been made available for interviews to preview the season. He will join the rest of the Pac-12 Conference coaches at media day Oct. 12 in San Francisco.

Oregon is likely to start Pritchard and Elijah Brown, who averaged 18.9 points per game as a junior at New Mexico, in the backcourt, with Troy Brown Jr. on the wing. The Ducks have a variety of options inside with 6-foot-10 Cage and Sorkin along with 6-9 Wooten and White. The 6-7 McIntosh averaged 12.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as a junior at Illinois State.

Kigab helped Canada win the FIBA U19 World Cup by averaging 14.7 points and 10.6 rebounds in the tournament. Smith was injured much of his freshman season, while Bailey is expected to come off the bench at point guard.

Johnson, a 6-1 guard from Pacific Palisades, California, is the grandson of former UCLA and NBA star Marques Johnson.

Elijah Brown, Sorkin and McIntosh are the three seniors, leaving the Ducks with five scholarships available for next season. Oregon recently secured a commitment from five-star forward Louis King after 6-10 Miles Norris earlier committed to the Ducks.

Oregon hosted a trio of five-star prospects over the weekend, according to 247Sports.com, as it looks to add players who can sign when the early recruiting period opens on Nov. 8.

Bol Bol, a 7-1 center from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect in his class, visited Eugene, along with Emmitt Williams, a 6-8 power forward ranked No. 21. Guard Will Richardson is the No. 47 overall player from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

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