Dana Altman’s enjoyed a nice run of success during his three-plus seasons at Oregon, leading the Ducks to their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2007 last season and getting off to a 4-0 start in 2013-14. During his time in Eugene Altman’s racked up a record of 77-37, and for that he’s been rewarded with a three-year contract extension through the 2019-20 campaign.
“Dana has been masterful at elevating Oregon basketball and generating renewed excitement for our program,” athletic director Rob Mullens said in the release. “We have high expectations at Oregon to regularly compete for PAC-12 championships coupled with deep NCAA tournament runs and Dana is the right coach to lead us there. He and his family are a great fit at Oregon and we are pleased to extend our commitment to them.”
Oregon, currently ranked 14th nationally, has done a good job of incorporating transfers into the program during Altman’s tenure. First there was Olu Ashaolu and Arsalan Kazemi was a key member of last season’s team. This season Oregon has three three talented transfers from four-year schools on the roster (forward Mike Moser and guards Jason Calliste and Joseph Young), and they also have three junior college transfers who have also contributed in the early going.
After beating Georgetown in their season opener the Ducks have won three straight in Eugene, and they haven’t missed a beat with starting point guard Dominic Artis serving a nine-game suspension for a violation of NCAA rules (sophomore forward Ben Carter was also suspended nine games).
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.
LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.
While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.
Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?
Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.
Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.