750 The Game Staff
Ahead of Thursday’s game against Washington, Oregon Ducks men’s head basketball coach Dana Altman joined John Canzano on 750 The Game (Weekdays 3-6 p.m.).
Altman talked about the growth of the young players on his roster who have had to step up in the wake of injuries to key players. He also talked about Oregon’s position in the Pac-12 standings and how every game is important coming down the stretch, and where he originally developed his love for the game of basketball.
But it was Altman’s answer at the end of the interview that caught our attention. Canzano asked Altman how he looked at how much longer he wants to keep coaching at Oregon and in college basketball in general.
“Do you have a sense for how much longer you want to do it, or how do you evaluate that?,” Canzano asked.
Altman exhaled before answering.
“As long as I feel like I’m the best guy for the job, I’ll stay with it,” Altman said. “If the people here ever want to make a change, I won’t fight them. I want to be where people are all in. Rob’s been great, administration’s been great, Mr. Knight, Mr. Kilkenny. People that our program really depends on have been great. I want to be here as long as they want me here.”
Altman admitted that the program has to produce better results on the court.
“We’ve got to do a better job, though, John,” he continued. “I’ll be the first one to admit it. The NIT’s not our goal. And you can say, oh we got injuries, we’ve got plenty of excuses but we can’t use them. We’ve got to get it done. So I’ve got to do a better job, my staff, we’ve just got to be better.”
Altman said his situation is not unlike the challenge the rest of the Pac-12 coaches face in a deep conference and a changing landscape in college basketball, not to mention a move to a new conference.
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as all college coaches do,” Altman said. “I know Wayne (Tinkle) down at Oregon State, man, he wants to win. Guys in the league, Mick (Cronin), those guys, they’re all competitors. So it’s a job, you got to put a little time in. And you got to get lucky. Got to have really good guys that are all about the team and got to keep them healthy and they got to get along and got to get a little lucky. But hopefully we can finish strong here down the stretch.”
Altman took over as Ducks head coach in 2010. Currently in his fourteenth season, Altman has guided the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament seven times, including a trip to the Final Four in 2017. However, Oregon has missed the tournament each of the last two seasons and are currently on the bubble for an at-large bid to this year’s field.
Listen to the full interview with Dana Altman on John Canzano at the podcast below.
Oregon hosts Washington on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.