Oregon pegged as fourth-best team in Pac-12 by conference media

No team in the Pac-12 has to replace more talent and production than Oregon, but that didn’t stop the league’s media members from expecting big things from the Ducks in 2017-18.

The Ducks still managed to rank ahead of two-thirds of the league’s teams despite losing four starters off last year’s Final Four squad, which shared the Pac-12 regular-season title with Arizona and finished with a 33-6 record. Gone are Jordan Bell, Casey Benson, Dillon Brooks, Chris Boucher, Tyler Dorsey and Dylan Ennis, who combined for more than 80 percent of Oregon’s starts and nearly 83 percent of their scoring.

Sophomore guard Payton Pritchard is the only returning starter but Oregon adds the No. 13 recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports, along with a pair of graduate transfers in former New Mexico guard Elijah Brown and ex-Illinois State forward MiKyle McIntosh.

Oregon has never finished lower than its projected spot in the preseason poll during coach Dana Altman’s tenure, per Steve Mims of the Eugene Register-Guard, and the last time it was predicted fourth (in 2015-16) it won the regular-season title.

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