After a suspension cost him the first nine games of the season, Dominic Artis, arguably the best player on the Oregon Ducks’ roster, got his first minutes against the University of California at Irvine Anteaters.
His minutes—small in amount—helped him ease into the Ducks’ rotation against a lower-tiered Big West Conference team. He’s the game changer and tempo-maker that coach Dana Altman needs in his offense.
Artis tallied five points while shooting three shots, making two. He also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds—something his small 6-foot-1 frame is not known for.
While Artis came off the bench, he looked primed and ready to go. He might have to accept his sixth-man role as the team already features a three-guard offense in the likes of Johnathon Loyd, Joseph Young and Damyean Dotson. The three guards combined for 36 points and seven assists.
The Ducks cannot wait to have their star back in shape and ready to take on Pac-12 Conference play, easing him into a game against UC-Irvine was the right thing to do by coach Altman. It allowed his player to see minutes, score points and get in a rhythm, all while his team was ahead.
The 10-0 Ducks look for a magical season and hope for a conference title run.
Oregon already had a good chance of winning the Pac-12, adding Artis to the mixture can just make the Ducks more deadly. However, Artis must be ready Jan. 5 when the Ducks travel to the University of Colorado to play the Buffaloes.
John Lloyd is a PAC-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII