Dana Altman wanted West Linn’s Payton Pritchard. And when the 6-foot-1, 175-pound point guard became available again, he made sure he got him.

“Payton is someone that we needed to have here,” the Oregon basketball coach told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “He is a really good player and his instincts are really good.”

Pritchard had originally committed to Oklahoma last year but decommitted in July. Oregon was able to beat out powerhouses like Kansas and Michigan for the local star.

Pritchard is the No. 43 player in the ESPN 100 for 2016 and the No. 8 point guard overall.

He averaged 22 point and 5.8 assists per game last season in leading West Linn to its third consecutive Class 6A championship.

“He is very competitive,” Altman said. “He has won three state titles already so I like his fight. He is a really skilled player and a good guy.”  

Pritchard is the top-ranked recruit from the state of Oregon, something Altman said was an added bonus.

“You want to get good players from the state and Payton is a good one,” Altman said. “We are excited about having him here.”

In total, Oregon signed three players to its 2016 recruiting class, one that 247sports.com ranks 13th (10th by Scout, 30th by ESPN) in the nation. In addition to Pritchard,the Ducks signed a pair of forwards in M.J. Cage (4 star, 6-9) and Keith Smith (4 star, 6-7). The Ducks have two open scholarship left to fill for 2016.

“We’re really excited,” Altman said. “I think all three of those guys are going to be solid players for us. I don’t want to put the expectations too high on those guys, but they’re all three good basketball players. All three seem to be really excited about being here.”

Onto the links:

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Royce Freeman is a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award.

Don Pellum on defending USC.

Ducks and Trojans overlap off the field.

Buckner leads “Gratifying” turnaround.

Ducks hoping to get injured players back down the stretch.

Kani Benoit earned praise for game-saving tackle.  

Ducks and Trojans focus on what can be gained.

Is DeFo the best defensive player in the Pac-12? 

— Tyson Alger
[email protected]
@tysonalger

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