After giving a scouting report on three players who signed with Oregon on Monday, coach Dana Altman was asked if he was done adding recruits during the early signing period.
“You’re never done,” he said. “We’ve still got a couple days here if something does break.”
That happened Wednesday when the Oregon men's basketball team added its top-ranked recruit to the 2019 class. C.J. Walker, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, Fla., announced his commitment on the final day of the early period.
“I am proud to announce that I will be attending the University of Oregon,” Walker said on a video to announce his decision.
The four-star recruit is ranked as the No. 24 prospect in his class by Rivals and listed at No. 30 by 247Sports.com. Walker picked the Ducks over Miami and LSU and his addition moved Oregon up to No. 9 in the recruiting rankings by Rivals.com.
"We are really fortunate to add C.J. to this class," Altman said. "He is a highly skilled player from a great basketball family. Coach Tony Stubblefield developed a strong relationship with C.J. and his family and we are really excited to have them join our program."
Walker gives Oregon four players signed for next year when he arrives along with junior-college guard Chris Duarte and power forward Chandler Lawson out of Tennessee. Isaac Johnson, a 6-11 center from Utah, has signed with Oregon but will take a two-year church mission before enrolling in 2021.
“Really excited about those guys,” Altman said. “Even though Isaac won’t be here for a couple years, I think all three of those guys are a great fit for our program.”
Lawson is listed at 6-8 and 200 pounds, the same measurements as Walker. The four-star recruit won three straight state championships at Memphis East High School before transferring this year to Wooddale High School, where his father, Keelon, is the coach.
“I love his ability to go get the ball, he is a tireless worker at getting the ball and rebounding,” Altman said. “His skill level will continue to get better, his dad is a coach. He shoots the three and is going to continue to get better at putting it on the floor. I like his versatility as a power forward.”
The 6-6 Duarte is a native of the Dominican Republic who is averaging 20.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game as a sophomore at Northwest Florida State, the same school that sent Elgin Cook to Oregon. He averaged 12.1 points and 6.7 rebounds as a freshman.
“Chris is real versatile, he can play a number of spots for us,” Altman said. “He is tough and he wants to be a player. I was really impressed with what he has done at Northwest Florida. I think he can really grow into a very good player for us. Elgin Cook came from there and had a great career for us so I hope Chris, with his versatility, can do a lot of things for us. … He’s a different player than Elgin, a little more skilled coming in but because of his size he does give us great versatility. He will continue to work on his ball skills and three-point shooting and at 6-6, that is valuable.”
Johnson is a four-star recruit who averaged 18.2 points and 5.8 rebounds last season at American Fork (Utah) High School.
Johnson’s scholarship will not count against the Ducks until he enrolls in two years, so Oregon currently has 12 of 13 scholarships filled for next season, including nine players who could return from the current roster. However, the Ducks will likely have additional openings as freshman center Bol Bol is expected to declare for the NBA Draft following his freshman season and five-star freshman Louis King may also have an opportunity to turn pro after one year.
The Ducks are a finalist for four-star guard Cassius Stanley out of Chatsworth, Calif., who is also considering Kansas and UCLA. The 6-5 Stanley is expected to sign during the early period but may not announce his decision until a later date.
Oregon is also in the mix for five-star guard Cole Anthony, who is not expected to sign until April.