Ducks’ Basketball Recruiting Woes Coming to an End?

Oregon basketball has evolved quite a bit over the course of just a couple seasons.  Our seniors, who played their last home game on Thursday, have left their imprint on the program; hopefully, it will be felt for years to come.  When you compare the team of today to the team of just two short years ago, there is no comparison.  The talent, team chemistry, and the joy of playing basketball are at a new level this year.  The freshman play of Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson are having just as much to do with this year’s success as the play of the seniors.  As immediate starters, they have carried the Ducks to new heights; playing sometimes like seniors, and putting the team on their backs.

Dana Altman has done a great job using different pieces to be successful

With such a culture change within a span of only a couple years, the Ducks are headed in the right direction.  To keep on rising, they must recruit well and bring in players who can have as much impact as Artis and Dotson did this year.  Over the past years the Ducks have landed some big names in five-star recruits Jamil Wilson (2009) and Jabari Brown (2011); however, within their first year at Oregon they both transferred, and the Ducks watched their key pieces of the future walk away.

Last year, the Ducks came oh-so-close to landing Anthony Bennett, who is projected to be a lottery pick in next year’s NBA draft.  For the Oregon basketball coaches, it must be frustrating to know how close they were to assembling a team which could be a legitimate contender for a national title.

Altman is on a mission.  He even made an in-home visit to top prospect Aaron Gordon while on the road for the Bay Area series.  The freshman class of this year is a solid base for years to come.  The Ducks have the facilities, fans and overall atmosphere to appeal to big-name prospects.  All it takes is one to commit and flood gates could open with others following.

The overall culture of Ducks basketball is changing, and fast.  The future is bright for the Ducks on the hardwood;  hopefully  Oregon can soon be known nationally for more than just their football program (well, football, track, cross-country, volleyball, baseball, softball, golf…) — Coach Altman is certainly doing everything in his power to add basketball to the growing list.

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Luc Hancock

Luc Hancock

Luc Hancock is a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in Public Relations. He is from San Francisco, California and loves all sports, with his favorites being baseball and basketball. Luc is a die hard bay area sports fan and has been spoiled with the recent success of his teams in the past year. He did not become a Ducks fan until he came to the university 3 years ago, but now accepts them along with his other favorite teams. When Luc is not writing, thinking, or playing sports, he enjoys watching Seinfeld reruns and hanging out with friends. Luc is open to feed back. Follow him on twitter @luchancock

  • B. YOUNG

    NOW ALL WE NEED IS TO GET A GOOD WOMEN’S bb COACH AND HEAD THEM IN THE SAME DIRECTION.

    • FishStaff

      Westhead is a good coach. It cannot be ignored that the women were
      decimated by injuries this year. All teams in any sport will suffer when
      the injury count reaches a critical mass, and it matters not how good
      the coach is.

      • Teve Torbes

        Correction, Westhead WAS a good coach. Even though his effective shelf life has clearly expired, there’s no denying his place in basketball history.

        But this team needs a new leader, one willing to treat it as a full time job. A good coach doesn’t get bricked by 20 or more points every game, using the injuries excuse or not.

        And I realize that because I am disagreeing with the “MOD” this comment will most likely be deleted.

        • FishStaff

          It won’t matter if by divine providence you picked up Pat Summit as a coach, the Ducks weren’t going to get anywhere this year. – Carl

          • Teve Torbes

            Totally disagree. This isn’t his first season, this is a sustained almost five-year run of uncompetitive basketball. Even during his best season, the Ducks went 7-11 in conference.

            I like Westhead for his undeniable impact on the game, and for coming to Oregon to give it one more shot, but his best days are clearly behind him, and rightfully so at 74 years old.

            Carl, your argument sounds a lot like Beavs fans defending Craig Robinson.

          • Teve Torbes

            Westhead’s highly regarded “system” has really only been successful – at any level – when he has had a roster of elite athletes and jump shooters who can get up the floor and knock down a high percentage of their shots consistently.

            The lady Ducks play hard and I root for their success, but I’m not sure this team is built that way, and believe they need to focus more on improving on the defensive end.

            Carl, I hope you are right, that 4-26 was just a few injuries away from being a competitive team, but after watching many games under Westhead I just don’t see enough improvement or ability/willingness to adjust the gameplan to support that theory.

            It would be great to see the players have more success on the court, and I will continue to attend games next year either way to help support the team. Again, I do like Westhead for a number of reasons but this particular arrangement does not appear to be a good fit.