Oregon's chances of catching Pac-12 favorite Arizona improved mightily Friday after the NCAA granted a waiver to Houston transfer Joseph Young to play immediately for the Ducks, Young told ESPN.com in a text message Friday morning.
Young, who averaged 18 points a game for the Cougars last season, will give the Ducks -- ranked 18th in the USA Today preseason coaches' poll -- another perimeter scorer in an already-deep backcourt.
"Offensively, he's a handful," Ducks senior forward Mike Moser said, according to the school's website. "Nobody wants to guard him; nobody can guard him."
Moser said Young isn't a one-dimensional player like many playmakers tend to be.
"He's the exact opposite," Moser said. "He can score and also lock guys up on the other end."
Oregon was picked fourth in the Pac-12 in last week's preseason poll at the conference's media day.
Young, 6-foot-2, will fit in with Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Johnathan Loyd on the perimeter. The Ducks also added Moser, a UNLV post-grad transfer who is expected to be an impact frontcourt player.
Oregon has had a flurry of transfers under fourth-year coach Dana Altman, including former Ducks Arsalan Kazemi, Tony Woods and Devoe Joseph.
Young's premise for an immediate waiver without sitting out was based on his father, Michael Young, being reassigned on the Houston staff.
The decision on Young comes two days after Georgetown -- Oregon's season-opening opponent at the Armed Forces Classic at Camp Humphreys in South Korea on Nov. 8 -- received news that UCLA transfer Josh Smith was eligible to play. Smith received his waiver despite playing in six games for the Bruins last year in the fall.
Smith got two full seasons of eligibility, which means he'll play in a somewhat unprecedented four-and-a half seasons of eligibility, or nine semesters.