As per usual for the Oregon Ducks men’s basketball program, the offseason is for reloading.
The latest new addition to the Men of Oregon is St. Johns guard LJ Figueroa who will have one year of eligibility remaining after playing three seasons on the East Coast.
“First and foremost, I want to thank St. Johns for the last two seasons; it was an incredible time both personally and athletically,” wrote Figueroa in his announcement. “I’ve truly enjoyed NYC, the fans, the atmosphere, and most importantly my teammates. In addition, I want to thank Coach Mullin for recruiting me and Coach Anderson for this past season. Unfortunately, circumstances which were out of my control, forced me to transfer and look for a new opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to joining the University of Oregon and competing for a National Championship. Go Ducks!”
[Be sure to listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former Oregon men’s basketball head coach Ernie Kent].
To play in 2020-21, he would need the NCAA to accept his waiver for immediate eligibility, or else he will need to sit out a season and play in 2021-22. Per Zach Braziller of the New York Post, schools in contact with Figueroa were saying he could get immediate eligibility if he transferred “based on the coronavirus’ impact” in New York City.
Schools have been in LJ Figueroa’s ear that he would be able to get a waiver if he transferred based on the coronavirus’s impact in NYC. Huge news that he’s in the portal obviously. #sjubb
— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) May 26, 2020
Figueroa, a top-100 recruit in 2017, signed with New Mexico State but never played a minute for the Aggies instead opting to transfer to St. Johns where he was one of the best scorers in the Big East. As a sophomore, Figueroa averaged 14.4 points per game shooting 51.3% from the field and 38.3% from three while serving as a role player. Then, as the Red Storm’s primary option last season, he averaged 14.5 points per game on 37.9% from the field and 36.5% from three.
At Oregon, he won’t be asked to be “the guy” but rather play his role as a deadly 6’6″ shooter from the wing which he should excel at. Think of him stepping up into the Anthony Mathis role from last season.
If the NCAA grants him immediate eligibility, the Ducks should have one of the nation’s best backcourts with Figueroa, Chris Duarte, Will Richardson, four-star transfer guard Amauri Hardy and four-star incoming freshman Jalen Terry, the nation’s seventh-ranked point guard in the 2020 class.
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St. Johns guard LJ Figueroa set to transfer to the Oregon Ducks originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest