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Oregon loses another key player as Ray Kasongo is denied admission

It was a streaky season for the Ducks
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Oregon head coach Dana Altman looks down as he walks off the court after a third-round game against Wisconsin in the NCAA college basketball tournament Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Milwaukee. Wisconsin won 82-77.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The way things are going at Oregon this offseason, the Ducks may not have enough players to field a team next season.

Oregon lost another potential key player Wednesday when it learned three-star power forward Ray Kasongo has been denied admission and will now look to play elsewhere, DuckTerritory.com reported. The site also noted that four-star wing JaQuan Lyle also has yet to be admitted.

The loss of Kasongo and uncertainty surrounding Lyle is especially damaging for Oregon because of the flurry of transfers and dismissals the Ducks have endured already this offseason.

Starting point guard Dominic Artis and wings Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin each were dismissed from the program after being accused of rape this spring. Prior to that, forward Ben Carter and guard A.J. Lapray transferred and five other players from last season's team exhausted their eligibility.

Those losses leave Oregon with only four returning players from last season: All-conference guard Joseph Young, forward Elgin Cook and seldom-used guards Jalil Abdul-Bassit and Theo Friedman. To even remain competitive in the Pac-12, the Ducks are going to have to rely heavily on their newcomers, which is why the loss of Kasongo and the uncertainty surrounding Lyle is such a huge blow.

Kasongo, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Canada, chose Oregon last October over a handful of other top programs including LSU, DePaul, USC and UConn. He has an excellent all-around game and would have helped immediately as a physical rebounder and defender.

Lyle, a talented wing who once committed to Louisville, had been considering Oklahoma State and Memphis before choosing Oregon. If he is able to play for the Ducks, he'll be a perfect complement to the sweet-shooting Young with his ability to overpower opposing guards with his size and strength.

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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