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Altman, Oregon making a name for themselves
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 22, 2013 @ 9:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by David Leon Moore, USA TODAY Sports
SAN JOSE, Calif. – When Dana Altman was hired to coach basketball at Oregon in 2010, the first thing sophomore Ducks forward E.J. Singler did was Google “Dana Altman.”
It’s not that Altman hadn’t done a lot as a basketball coach. He had, but at Creighton, nowhere near college basketball’s fast lane. He lacked the name recognition of Tom Izzo or Mark Few, just two of the names bandied about when Oregon fired Ernie Kent after 13 seasons.
Altman arrived in Eugene about the time Oregon football, under Chip Kelly, was becoming all the rage.
An electric style, electric uniforms, Kelly’s electric personality and lavish, Phil Knight-funded facilities had made Oregon football not just a championship contender and not just trend-setting but cool and the place to be for hotshot recruits.
Suddenly, it was Oregon, not USC, that was the top Pac-12 power.
All that gave Altman something to shoot for with the basketball program.
After all, Oregon won the first NCAA basketball tournament – in 1939.
Why not another?
Couldn’t Oregon basketball, like Oregon football, become a perennial title contender?
“We sure hope so,” Altman says. “That’s our goal. They are lofty goals, because there are a lot of good programs in the Pac-12. But we want to have a program that’s competitive year in and year out and one that can stay in the hunt every year. It’s a big challenge for us, but the football team has done a great job and their success has helped us.”
Altman, 54, has made some very significant strides. He and the Ducks have gotten better every year, winning 21, then 24 and, this year, 27 – including a Pac-12 tournament championship and a second-round NCAA tournament upset victory Thursday against Oklahoma State.
“We’ve gotten a lot better the past couple of years,” says Singler, a senior forward who is the younger brother of Kyle Singler, who won a national championship with Duke. “A lot of it is because of Coach Altman … [For more on Oregon's Altman, Ducks making a name for themselves, click here.]
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