Oregon's Kel'el Ware, former top-10 recruit, to enter portal

Oregon freshman Kel'el Ware, a former top-10 recruit, plans to enter the transfer portal, he told ESPN on Monday.

Ware, a 7-foot center from Arkansas, averaged 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in a mostly reserve role during his freshman campaign for the Ducks. He showed considerable promise early in the season, going for 18 points and nine rebounds against UConn, 17 points and nine rebounds against Michigan State and 13 points and seven rebounds against Villanova during a three-game stretch at the Phil Knight Invitational in late November.

But Ware's role and minutes declined as the season progressed, bottoming out late in the Pac-12 campaign. He bounced back with 11 points in 16 minutes against UCF in the NIT.

Ware was ranked No. 8 in the ESPN 100 for the 2022 class and was selected a McDonald's All-American. While his NBA draft stock dropped during the season, he's still the No. 5 center and No. 35 overall in ESPN's NBA draft rankings.

Oregon's season ended last week with a 61-58 home loss to Wisconsin in the NIT, after which head coach Dana Altman expressed displeasure at the lack of fan support.

"If it's me, then get rid of me," Altman said. "If it's me, then make the change. Make the change. Somebody will hire me somewhere. I'll go coach junior college ball."

Ware is the second Oregon player to make his intentions known, with guard Tyrone Williams entering the transfer portal last week.