Altman On Oregon's Run: "I Don't Know What Happened"

Less than a month ago, the Ducks were 15-12; they have since won eight straight games, including the Pac-12 Tournament Championship

Reiter Than You
March 19, 2019 - 9:39 pm
Oregon Dana Altman Pac-12 Championship

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On Feb. 23, Oregon lost its third straight game – and squandered a 16-point halftime lead to UCLA in the process – to fall to 15-12 on the season.

“We were about as low as you can get,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said on Reiter Than You. 

But then a weird thing happened: Oregon started winning. In fact, the Ducks haven’t lost since. They’ve won eight in a row and won the Pac-12 Tournament Championship, beating Washington 68-48 on Saturday.

“Guys started getting a little confidence, and our energy level went way up,” Altman said. “I don’t know what happened. I wish I did know specifically so I could remember it and maybe apply it somewhere down the road. But the guys did a tremendous job. At 15-12 and playing as poorly as we did in those three road games – it would have been really easy for our guys to give into it and think our season was over. I’m really proud of the way they responded, the resolve they showed and the way they responded down the stretch. They really fought the adversity and did a great job.”

Oregon, seeded 12th in the South Region, will face No. 5 Wisconsin (23-10) on Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Ethan Happ leads the Badgers in scoring (17.5 points per game), rebounding (10.1), assists (4.6) and steals (1.1).

“Our guys are fired up,” Altman said. “(Wisconsin is) a well-coached team. They don’t beat themselves. Happ is a great player inside and a very good passer. He averages almost 5.0 assists in conference play, so he’s a guy that really makes plays for his teammates. He’s a special talent. We know we’ve got to slow him a little bit. We’re not going to stop him, but we’ve got to slow him down. They’ve got a number of players who can hit threes. They just don’t beat themselves. You’re going to have to play very well, you’re going to have play really hard, and you’re going to have to beat them because they are not going to beat themselves. We’re going to have to play a very good basketball game to beat them.”

If victorious, Oregon will play the winner of No. 4 Kansas State (25-8) versus No. 13 UC-Irvine (30-5) in the Round of 32.

Click below to listen to Altman's interview in its entirety.