Oregon may be without two of its freshmen when it opens the men's basketball season against Portland State on Tuesday.
Guard Will Richardson suffered a foot injury that is keeping him out of practice.
“Nothing serious, but he’s going to be out a while,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said Tuesday.
Richardson did not play in Saturday’s closed scrimmage against Kansas State in Denver. Five-star forward Louis King also remains out while recovering from a torn meniscus suffered last year in high school.
“We were shorthanded obviously,” Altman said of the scrimmage when Oregon played all nine scholarship players available and its two walk-ons.
Oregon faces Western Oregon in an exhibition game Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena. After opening the season against the Vikings, the Ducks host Eastern Washington on Nov. 9 before heading to New York for two games in the 2K Classic on Nov. 15-16.
The 6-foot-5 Richardson, a four-star recruit out of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, was expected to be the primary backup for junior point guard Payton Pritchard. Senior grad transfer Ehab Amin, who could start in the backcourt with Pritchard, can move over to the point while freshman walk-on Will Johnson may also get time behind Pritchard.
“We keep Payton out there because we depend on him, but we will also depend on Ehab and Will Johnson,” Altman said. “Will (Richardson) was doing a nice job. His assist-to-turnover ratio was good so we are anxious to get him back.”
The 6-1 Johnson practiced with the Ducks last year while sitting out a redshirt season.
“Will works extremely hard,” Oregon sophomore guard Victor Bailey said. “He is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. If he keeps that up, he’ll be fine.”
Johnson was named most valuable player of the Western League as a senior at Pacific Palisades (Calif.) High School. His father, Kris, played on UCLA’s 1995 national championship team while his grandfather, Marques, also won a national title with the Bruins before spending 11 years in the NBA and playing in five All-Star Games.
"Will worked his tail off a year ago and he works his tail off now," Altman said. "I wouldn't have any reservations throwing him out there at all."