Dana Altman's 2015 class is off to a fast start.
Mayfair High School (Lakewood, Calif.) point guard Kendall Small had offers from around the country, including programs like Connecticut, Gonzaga and Stanford, but on Tuesday, he gave his verbal to Altman and the Oregon Ducks.
He announced his decision via Twitter:
I would like to officially announce that im verbally committing to the University of Oregon #goDucks— Mr.BIGGS (@kendallsmall17) April 29, 2014
I liked the weather out there. I love how it's very secluded. You don't have to go anywhere. It's a small town that has an NBA feel to it since Oregon is the only team in town. I mean Portland is up the road and such, but everyone there supports Oregon and their teams. They are the only team in town.
247Sports' composite rankings list Small as the No. 56 recruit overall in the 2015 class, as well as the No. 14 point guard and No. 7 prospect out of the state of California. If he continues to build off a tremendous 2013-14 campaign, though, those rankings will only improve.
The junior averaged 21.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 steals per contest last year, per Prehm, leading his school to a seventh consecutive league title and beating out guys like Daniel Hamilton and Tyler Dorsey for Player of the Year.
Prehm noted the magnitude of this acquisition for Altman and his staff:
Kendall Small won POY honors in a league with a 5-star UA commit, a 5-star UCONN commit, a 3-star USC commit. Huge get for Oregon.— Matt Prehm (@Prehmmr247) April 29, 2014
Although Small lives up to his name (6'0", 160 pounds), he is tailor-made for Oregon's up-tempo style of play. He is extremely quick, likes to push the pace, is a good distributor and will make those around him better.
By the time Small gets to campus, Dominic Artis will be a senior, so if everything holds, he'll likely have to wait a year before making a major contribution. Once Artis is gone, he'll have to contend with 2014 point guard recruit Casey Benson, but according to Small, Altman sees that duo playing together:
Dana Altman said I could play point when I get there and Casey will play some shooting guard. They see us both playing on the court at the same time because we are different players and we do things that compliment each other.
That's still a ways away, though, and for now, the Ducks can revel in the fact that they've secured the commitment of one of the most dynamic, electric true point guards in the country.
Altman has been steadily improving his recruiting classes, and it looks like 2015 will be no different.