The block party is just getting started at Matthew Knight Arena.
The new-look Oregon men and the reigning champion Oregon women, both picked No. 1 in their respective Pac-12 preseason polls, tipped off their seasons Friday night with Matt Knight Madness.
For the roughly 2,000 fans in attendance, it was a first glimpse of the Ducks’ imposing array of freshmen: 7-foot-2 center Bol Bol, 6-10 forward Miles Norris and 6-9 forward Francis Okoro.
All three contributed during a five-on-five scrimmage, with Bol drawing gasps with an effortless reverse dunk.
“(Bol) is a unique player and someone that can pay a lot of positions, inside and outside,” coach Dana Altman told the crowd. “I think he’s going to be able to make a lot of different plays for us.”
The most emphatic highlight belonged to sophomore Kenny Wooten, who rejected a dunk attempt by Norris at the rim. Okoro was active around the basket with several dunks and putbacks, and freshman guard Will Richardson showed an ability to score in transition. Sophomore Victor Bailey also had two dunks.
Bol didn’t compete in the dunk contest, which saw Wooten and Norris meet in the finals. The judging panel — which included Rob Mullens, Sabrina Ionescu and former Duck Aaron Brooks — awarded a split decision after the final attempts.
Notre Dame transfer Erin Boley, one of the few new faces for the Oregon women, won the three-point contest, knocking down 21 to top Payton Pritchard’s 18.
For the Oregon men, five-star forward Louis King didn’t participate in the scrimmage but did compete in the three-point contest. Altman has said he doesn’t expect King to make his debut until December.
With senior Oti Gildon under the weather and sophomore Lydia Giomi on the mend from a minor injury, the Oregon women scrimmaged shorthanded, too, going four-on-four with former Duck Justine Hall on the floor.
Along with the current Ducks, a few potential ones were in attendance. Among those spotted or believed to be visiting were Malik Hall, a four-star forward for the class of 2019; Isaac Johnson, a 2019 four-star center; small forward Scottie Barnes, the No. 4 recruit in the 2020 class; and N’Faly Dante, a five-star 2020 center.