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).
Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.
“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”
The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.
What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.
The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.
Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.
Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.
Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.