The Mighty Ducks: Dana Altman is quietly building a giant in Oregon

25 Aug

By Brian Flinn
National Hoops Report

One of the biggest storylines last season was the search for a new head coach in Oregon. Candidates ranged from established coaches like Tom Izzo to Brad Stevens. In the end the Ducks ended up with Creighton head man Dana Altman, it was regarded as a solid, if unspectacular hire.

In his first season the Ducks were slated to finish in the bottom of the Pac-10 and the Ducks ended up over-achieving behind the likes of forwards E.J. Singler and Joevan Catron and won the CBI over Altman’s former team, the Creighton Bluejays. Catron may have graduated but there is still plenty to be excited about in Eugene.

The most impressive part of Altman’s first year was quite possibly on the recruiting trail, where he signed top 20 player Jabari Brown as well as Bruce Barron and Minnesota transfer Davoe Joseph. Now Altman is continuing to show that he can be a power on the recruiting circuit with the many resources that comes with taking the Oregon job.

The Ducks are involved with some of the top players on the West Coast, including two top ten players in Brandon Ashley and Anthony Bennett.

Ashley recently cut his list down to four schools, Oregon, Kentucky, UCLA and Arizona. He has also said that the idea of building a power house in Oregon is something he is really interested in although he maintains that he doesn’t have a favorite. Furthermore, Ashley and Jabari Brown were former AAU teammates on a loaded Oakland Soldiers squad, making Oregon more attractive to the talented forward.

Bennett has been quieter about his recruitment but when he cut his list to ten earlier this month Oregon squarely made it through. The native of Canada might be attracted to Oregon because it is close to his home, but with Brandon Ashley set to join him at Findlay prep it will be easy to see if the two can play in the same front-court. If they can it wouldn’t be surprising to see them go to the same school, especially if they build good chemistry right from the get-go.

It is easy to see that Altman is focusing on the front-court this season as Oregon are also involved with Top 100 small forward Roscoe Allen and highly touted center Landen Lucas, who is back to his native Oregon for his senior season, which bodes well for the Ducks.  Allen has been linked to Stanford and UNLV so coach Altman will have to continue to battle some of the premier programs on the west coast in order to bring the top talent to Eugene. Lucas is probably the most likely to join Oregon due to his vicinity to the program but Tennessee is showing interest in the big man and has a definite need for his services.

If Altman can get one of these four to come play for him it will be a major swing in the right direction, If he can get two or more it will put a spark back into the program. Still most important recruiting tool over all the facilities and exposure is winning.

Winning keeps a team relevant, something that is all too important especially when it’s a West Coast team. Due to the time difference many of the players on the east coast fail to see these teams play, making them less relevant to some of the top players in the country. But with ESPN’s supped up coverage of the Pac-12, a brand new arena with a unique court, and Nike’s backing anything is possible for the new look Ducks.

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2 Responses to “The Mighty Ducks: Dana Altman is quietly building a giant in Oregon”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Oregon Ducks rundown: Dazzled by Oregon’s new Pro Combat unis? Chip Kelly has other things to think about - Eugene OR DIRECTV Service - August 26, 2011

    […] UO hoops coach Dana Altman is quietly building a […]

  2. Oregon Ducks rundown: Dazzled by Oregon’s new Pro Combat unis? Chip Kelly has other things to think about - Portland OR DIRECTV Service - August 26, 2011

    […] UO hoops coach Dana Altman is quietly building a […]

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