Dana Altman: Roster Construction Extraordinaire

Ryan Robertson Editorials

He’s done it again. Dana Altman has rebuilt the Oregon Ducks Basketball roster from the ground up once again.

The Ducks are 4-1 after yet another road win against the hapless Huskies in Seattle. Their only loss, coming on a short notice game against Missouri, looks solid as the Tigers sit at 5-0 after beating sixth-ranked Illinois.

Oregon lost program legend Payton Pritchard to the NBA. They also lost several other key players from the 2019 Pac-12 champion roster, along with star Will Richardson due to be out for a significant portion of the season. But the Ducks still look good. Almost as good as they did last year.

Altman doesn’t build a roster in the typical way. The long-time Oregon coach uses an odd combination of one-and-done’s, long time players and high profile transfers to win the conference year after year. He never has lottery players, but constantly gets the Ducks to outperform teams that do. He plays graduate transfers in key roles seemingly every season, meaning that his roster is always in flux, and never all that young.

Kevin Cline

Altman shakes hands with Memphis in 2019.

Altman has proven to be an adept recruiter. The addition of Bol Bol to a team that made the Sweet Sixteen could have put them over the top, but the five star and NBA draftee found himself ruled out of most of the season due to injury. Louis King and Troy Brown join several other five stars as recent Altman recruits.

Altman has coached the Ducks for 11 seasons, making the NCAA Tournament in six seasons. This total equals out to the total appearances from 1994 until 2010, when Altman took over the program. Altman and the Ducks reached the Final Four in 2017 for the first time since 1939, when the NCAA Tournament had only four teams.

For a program that spent an eternity in a state of mediocre-at-best play, Altman has changed the tune. The Ducks are among the nation’s best programs since he took over as head coach, and that is due, in large part, to his ability to construct and fine tune a roster. What do you think of Our Beloved Ducks basketball squad? Where would you rank Altman’s contributions to the program all-time?

Ryan Robertson
Yuma, Arizona
Top Photo By Kevin Cline

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