The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Oregon solidifies frontcourt with impact transfer Olu Ashaolu

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Oregon's rise from Pac-10 afterthought to outright contender gained momentum Tuesday with a significant addition to next season's roster.

Olu Ashaolu, a Louisiana Tech transfer who averaged 14.2 points and 9.4 rebounds last season, announced via Twitter that he will attend Oregon, selecting the Ducks over Texas, Xavier and San Diego State. The 6-foot-7 forward received his degree already this spring, so he will be eligible immediately at Oregon as long as he picks a graduate program not offered at Louisiana Tech.

The addition of Ashaolu could be what Oregon needs to build upon its modest success in Dana Altman's debut season. A bungled coaching search and a flurry of transfers caused many to pick the Ducks last in the Pac-10, but they exceeded expectations, finishing in seventh place and then winning the CBI tournament.

Although leading scorer Joevan Catron has graduated and starting guard Malcolm Armstead is transferring, Oregon is poised to contend for a top-five finish in the Pac-12 next season. Ashaolu and returning forward E.J. Singler should be a formidable frontcourt duo, while the addition of coveted shooting guard prospect Jabari Brown and Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph fortify the backcourt.

It's difficult to project how Ashaolu will perform against major-conference competition, but there are signs that suggest the Toronto native's production will carry over from the WAC to the Pac-12. Ashaolu performed well in some of Louisiana Tech's biggest non-conference games last season, producing 13 points and 11 rebounds at Texas and 18 and 11 against Iowa.

At the very least Ashaolu is excited about the move to the West Coast.

"Green and Yellow!!" he tweeted. "The Canuck's going Quacking."

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