Sports ciTY-March 14 2013

Sports ciTY


By Ty Bunnell | Sports Editor

April 24, 2010, a seven year contract worth nearly $2 million per year was signed by Dana Altman to coach the University of Oregon’s men’s basketball team. That day marked one of Oregon’s basketball team’s huge strides toward success.

Ernie Kent was Oregon’s previous head coach who had a 325–254 win loss record in his 13 seasons as head coach. Kent led Oregon to five NCAA March Madness appearances and two Elite Eight appearances, but things started to head south toward the end of his career. His team only won half their games during the 2009-2010 seasons and went 7-11 in what is now the PAC 12, placing them second to last in the conference in 2010-2011.

Oregon basketball needed a change. So in the spring of 2010 they hired Altman, who had been coaching at Creighton University. Altman has had seven March Madness appearances since 1999. In Altman’s second season with the Ducks, his team tied for second in the PAC 12 with a 13-5 record.

As of March 1, the Ducks were 22-6 overall and 7-2 in the PAC 12, giving them a top 25 ranking. This almost guarantees a spot at the March Madness tournament. This is only Altman’s third season with the Ducks and they are already first place in the PAC 12 and have a respectable shot at winning the PAC 12 title.

Recently, I traveled to Mathew Knight Arena to watch the Ducks play University of Washington. While I was there, I could not help but compare it to a game I went to a few years ago. During the game I attended several years ago, the game felt a bit lackluster. However, at this game the players looked like they had fresh legs and were enjoying themselves. The crowd was energetic and the complete atmosphere of the program had changed for the better. It was a close game throughout, but the Ducks prevailed 81-76.

Altman is taking Oregon basketball to a new level and making them a factor in the tournament. One can only hope he will decide to stay with Oregon for a while. If he does, the Ducks will be going deep in the tournament and may possibly play for an NCAA title.

Marshfield has a similar situation with the new head baseball coach Scott Carpenter. There is pressure on him to get his team to perform. After the Pirates had a rough time last season, Carpenter’s collegiate experience and youth brings confidence for wins this year. Hopefully, Carpenter can do the same thing with the baseball team that Altman did with University of Oregon’s basketball team.