Dillon Brooks: “You gotta be ALL in”

Dillon Brooks driving for more!

Something a sportscaster stated in one of the Sweet 16 pre-game shows really resonated with me, when he offered that, “Every time I watched Oregon this season – they were a little better.” Amen, as the improvement (a classic Dana Altman occurrence every season) became very noticeable for those of us that had been watching from November until now.

I’ll let the other media sources give you a recap of the win over Duke, while I am pondering some of the components that has made this particular team special.

First, it seems from all the quotes that the players genuinely like each other and believe in the head coach/staff at Oregon, and we all know how crucial that is in any sport for the players to exist in a fun atmosphere and will follow the direction of the coach.

The second observation is the “buy-in” into the unique Pinwheel Offense the Ducks run and that I plan to begin breaking down next season. You could gradually see the players go from running it, to embracing and believing in it to get their open shots and be able to find teammates open. (Note: an opening exists at FishDuck.com for a basketball analyst; contact me at charles@fishduck.com.)

Dillon Brooks driving for more!

Gary Breedlove

Dillon Brooks driving for more!

It seems that last year we saw Elgin Cook make these amazing drives to the basket, and then as last year progressed you noted Dillon Brooks doing the same thing and becoming quite skilled at getting the high-percentage shot or the trip to the foul line.

This year we have seen Brooks and Cook add to their drive-strategies and now see Dwayne Benjamin and Tyler Dorsey doing the same thing! Getting the opposing team in foul trouble has been critical in many games this year.

The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon) noted how the Blue Devils had one of the top three players in the nation and three other McDonald’s All-Americans on their squad, and yet it was Oregon who appeared to have more overall athleticism? How could that happen?

Altman worked hard in recruiting in getting a rare 5-star player, Dorsey, to come to Oregon, and I believe he got a little lucky in some players after his initial analysis of their potential talent.

Dana admits he did not see as much skill as has what has been emerging from Brooks over the last year, and Altman concedes that Chris Boucher was somewhat of a risk, as he was concerned about that slim frame holding up over a long season.

Jordan Bell was a player Dana wanted for a long time, and his recruitment/growth was a multi-year project that required a lot of waiting by Oregon for Bell to get academics in order and healing to take place from injuries. In short– a little recruiting luck is needed, and the Ducks hit the jackpot with this group.

Benjamin is worthy of starting at most programs, and yet I have not ever observed an “attitude” by him concerning playing time. But Trevor Manuel, a freshman 4-star forward who has the same athletic profile as Dwayne, Elgin and Brooks, could not wait his turn for playing time and abruptly quit the team before the Pac-12 season began (I wonder if he is reflecting on that decision?). To have Benjamin be so generous and team-oriented is a blessing that you cannot put a value on, and we as fans are grateful.

The final component is the mental attitudes held by the players and reinforced by Dana Altman; the video below is from the Pac-12 Network with Michael Yam, and it delves into the key elements of how the Ducks approached the Duke game and how they will prepare for Oklahoma in the Elite 8.

It is a great two-minute interview and is illuminating about how Brooks makes the mental component a big part in game preparation.

Top Photo by Gary Breedlove

Print Friendly

 Volunteer Position Openings:

--Media Management/Supervisor:  We are looking for someone beyond college age who can help manage students and mentor in a number of different departments. Expertise is not required as organizational skills and interest in guiding others.   --Assistant Football Analyst: Love college football and enjoy watching it for hours? We need associates to view games and find the techniques/teaching points we identify for them in advance.  You will be recognized in publications, and could have the opportunity to move to full Analyst.   --College Football Analyst: We are looking for Coaches, or retired coaches to help create analysis videos (we do the video part) that will be viewed by thousands, and will help young football players as well as fans understand the game much better. The national recognition will help your resume' as well as make an impact upon the game we all dearly love.   --Video Specialist: We are looking for help in the Eugene/Springfield area to assist with the shooting and editing of analysis videos.   All Positions: Send a resume' with full contact information and any writing samples you have to charles@fishduck.com  Again, these are volunteer positions donating five hours a week each.

Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks for thirty years and has written reports on football boards for over a dozen years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, a daughter, Christine, and their dog (Abbie) reside in Eugene, Oregon, where he has been a financial advisor for 30 years serving clients in seven different states. He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More...

  • MAITAIDUCK

    Yes Manuel was pretty much a miss but so far from home he wasn’t DUCK caliber. We certainly could of used him including the Canada kid that thought by going to Kentucky at the last minute instead of coming here. Dorsey I guess was labeled as a me 1st kid and this could of blown up un Altmans face and hasn’t. Dorsey as much said so and that playing for team Greece taught him so much about team ball and now it looks like it’s paying dividends. Good stuff Fish as usual. Are you sure were not related. I know your my Brother from another Mother. LOL GO DUCKS and now it will be 2 NATTY’S for our BB Team.