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FishDuck Article

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

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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 ...

 

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

 

This is like asking me to pick which of my children is my favorite. Dick Harter will always be one of the greatest coaches in Oregon history. What he did was special. Altman is an all-time great, but don't expect me to choose which one is better.

 

Also don't forget Howard Hobson, the fast breaking coach who brought us the first NCCA championship. This is one more NCAA men's title than the dawgs have, still to this day.

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2 hours ago, Haywarduck said:

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

Unquestionably YES!

 

And I went to the UofO during the Harter era.

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Dick Harter had to build and recruit from the ashes....he was the Mario Cristobal of Oregon basketball in that area.  Yet Dana Altman has gone further and done it for so long!

 

And he has mastered the transfer portal immediately and adjusted to the times much better than most.  This is one of those good-or-good answers, although I think I will go with....

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Mr. FishDuck

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2 hours ago, Haywarduck said:

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

 

 The greatest? That's hard. Altman is already has Hall Of Fame credentials. Back when Harter was coaching the Ducks, it was a lot harder to even get in the tournament. But the impact that Harter had at Oregon can not be overstated. He revolutionized they way basketball is played as much, if not more than did Chip in football.

 

 John Wooden hated the way Harter's teams played. Bruins didn't take charges, didn't dive for loose balls. UCLA was full out finesse and proud of it. If you came down the lane against Oregon you did it at your risk. If you kept doing it, you got an elbow in your neck. 

 

Chip was all about speed, Harter's teams played with no shot clock, sometimes to the extreme. By this time Wooden was gone from UCLA, but that didn't take anything away from the satisfaction of Oregon's 65-45 slow ball torture win at Pauley Pavilion. The Ducks got out to an 18-0 lead, then it was 20-2. Watching the Bruins chasing the ball, as the Ducks passed it around before getting a backdoor lay up was pure joy. 

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So then this brings up an interesting talking point. Was Helfrich a better coach than Brooks? Are we really going to look at records and outcomes without context?

 

I also loved Ernie, a great Duck player and coach. These earlier guys coached in Mac Court, and Autzen Stadium back when athletes gathered in hallways, out of the rain, and around chalkboards.

 

They were all great and I would have loved to have seen Brooks or Harter with the support afforded our coaches now. I will agree to disagree with rating Oregon coaches, they were all important, significant and noteworthy in their own ways. Almost all of our coaches had their peaks at Oregon too.

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3 hours ago, Haywarduck said:

Was Helfrich a better coach than Brooks? Are we really going to look at records and outcomes without context?

 

 Helfrich's career is thesis worthy. Altman, W's & L's  is automatic, and the way he has managed to cobble teams together, peek at the right time,  never a losing season at Oregon. How can he not be No.1?

 

 But, what Harter did with the Ducks was incredible. Mac Court wasn't. "The Pit" before he got there. The scoreboard didn't shake, the Lone Ranger wasn't at the games. Ronnie Lee is the all time scoring leader, in a slow down offense, without a 3 point line. No coach put more of a handprint on their teams culture, performance than Harter did with the Kamikaze Kids. 

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Few are considered the greatest when they haven't won a NCAA title, especially when another has. Howard Hobson, in the running for greatest coach at Oregon. At least in the conversation.

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The game has definitely changed. Difficult to compare different eras because of the shot clock and three point line. Remember Ralph Miller ball? Would Ralph Miller be a top coach today?

 

Once Ronnie Lee moved on, Dick Harter was gone soon afterwards. He left just as I started my freshman year at Oregon. It took a long time for Duck basketball to recover, and get back to the point where they had a legitimate shot at a conference title.

 

 I have never have felt qualified to define one coach as better than another, but I do think Altman is among the best. 

 

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