The Pac-12 preseason buzz will be centered heavily around Arizona, a possible top-five team, and the new coaching situations in Los Angeles, where Steve Alford tries to makeover the Bruins while West Dunk City launches across town. But it would be a fool's mission to ignore Oregon, especially now that the Ducks have landed UNLV transfer Mike Moser, as initially reported by 247 Sports' Matt Prehm.
After a breakout redshirt sophomore season in Vegas after transferring from UCLA, where Moser displayed tremendous rebounding acumen along with a profound ability to run the floor, he had a very disappointing junior campaign, with injury and roster management by head coach Dave Rice leaving Moser sometimes out of position and often out of sorts. This reboot for his senior season, going back home (Moser is from Portland), especially to a team that plays at the tempo Oregon likes, looks like a strong fit. The Ducks were in nation's top tier in adjusted tempo last season, per KenPom.com, and bring back quicksilver point guard Dominic Artis and athletic wing Damyean Dotson, among others.
Oregon badly needed frontcourt reinforcements after the departures of transfers Tony Woods and Arsalan Kazemi, along with forward E.J. Singler, which explains why the Ducks are also trying to lure Memphis transfer center Tarik Black to Eugene. Moser, assuming he's fully healthy should certainly help, even if he's a classic case of a player who should be playing the 4 at the college level but will have to play the 3 as a pro. Moser doesn't have the consistent perimeter shooting and handle to be able to play primarily at the 3 at this stage, but his length, athleticism and ability to run make him a nightmare matchup for opposing power forwards. The Ducks probably would have taken at least a share of the league regular-season title this past season had Artis not gotten injured, and then they won the Pac-12 tournament title and made the Sweet 16 after receiving an inexplicable 12-seed in the NCAAs. Now, with Moser in the fold, they have three very explosive pieces in place to make another run at a league that should be pretty wide open, even with Arizona looking rather imposing as a preseason favorite. It should be a fun season out west as the Pac-12 continues its recovery, and Oregon could end up being the most fun team of them all.