Altman’s Duck Playoff Magic is Back (Again!)

Jordan Ingram Editorials

Oregon head coach Dana Altman has done it. Again. The Ducks Men’s Basketball team is heading into the postseason with a full head of steam, winning their last seven of eight games and defeating the California Golden Bears 74-63 on Saturday at Haas Pavilion.

The Ducks have recorded their 11th consecutive winning season under coach Altman, securing a first-round bye for the Pac-12 Tournament. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Altman has aligned yet another Rubik’s cube for the Ducks, masterfully weaving together a competitive squad after the loss of Pac-12 Player of the Year and Boston Celtics rookie point guard, Payton Pritchard.

But for Oregon fans, this is familiar territory. Dare I say, some of us have even started to expect a playoff-caliber team every year under the Nebraskan-born coach. This year, Altman earned his 24th consecutive winning season as a head coach (13 winning seasons at Creighton, 11 at Oregon), joining the ranks of four Hall of Fame basketball pedagogues (Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski, Bill Self and Tom Izzo), according to UO Athletics.

Altman has proven to be a wizard in the transfer portal, capturing dynamic and experienced players that quickly adapt to his system, including Eugene Omoruyi (Rutgers), LJ Figueroa (St. John’s), Eric Williams Jr. (Duquesne), and Amauri Hardy (UNLV). Omoruyi (352 total points, 16.8 ppg), Figueroa (218 total points, 11.5 ppg) and Williams (183 total points, 10.8 ppg) are the team’s scoring leaders. Note: Chris Duarte leads the team 17.2 ppg, but trails Omoruyi in total points this season (326). However, Duarte holds the highest shooting percentages in field goals (52%) and three-pointers (42%).

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Altman is a master of winning.

Secondly, Altman has a way of harnessing younger talent (freshmen Franck Kepnang and Jalen Terry) and blending them seamlessly with upperclassmen.

There is no doubt in my mind that Altman will have a spot in the NCAA‘s Hall of Fame before his career is over, and cement his status as the best coach in school history (if he isn’t already). But until then, he will likely be leading the Ducks to March Madness and beyond.

So Ducks fans, do you think Altman is the greatest coach in Oregon Men’s Basketball history?

Jordan Ingram
San Diego, California
Top Photo By: Gary Breedlove

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