You might wanna pace yourselves this morning, don't wanna overdose on all the quack:
- The Ducks introduced Dana Altman as their new baketball coach yesterday inside of an unfinished Matt Court. Despite all the criticisms of the coaching search, the press conference went very well. Altman has the character that the University was looking for, and also the coaching pedigree. Altman will earn $1.8 million in base salary with performance and academic bonuses available. What came through in the press conference, is that Altman has as strong vision for the program (one which matches President Lariviere's). Only time will tell if he'll be able to achieve that vision, though for now, it seems like Altman is a good fit (which is also the subject of George Schroeder's column).
- A lot of ground was covered in the press conference. The subject of the postseason came up, and Altman would make no promises, but only say that his teams would compete and see what happened. If the Ducks are simply competitive next year, that's just fine with me. The subject of a foreign tour came up, and Altman is open to the idea after the players were in unanimous favor of such a trip. Altman also talked a bit about Kenny Payne, and seemed very open to the idea of Payne being part of his coaching staff, but said he would decide withing the next two weeks the exact coaching staff. The full press conference can be seen here.
- Another big topic over the coming weeks will be how the players take to Altman. Just like the coaching staff didn't panic, Altman won't either, and not just hand out scholarships to those that don't fit the program goals of the next few years. He also stated that there are "nine players that want to be here." It sounds like his words are ringing true with the players, which is where he must start, so he can have an opportunity to prove those words with actions.
- Pat Kilkenny had some interesting comments after the Altman press conference. He said that Oregon talked to 5 coaches that had won national championships and that 3 said they would take the job, but ended up not receiving an offer (two of these coaches were nixed by Lariviere). Kilkenny talked a lot about finding a coach that was the right fit for Oregon, and how it ended up being Altman that fit that bill. He also didn't seem too thrilled with the constant name-dropping by the media, which was likely not accurate at all, and also had some important things to say about the current recruiting cycle and how that did not drive the search. It seems like Kilkenny stuck to his guns and kept working hard and finding a good coach for the program, despite pressure from fans and media (and maybe even Nike).
- Switching gears a bit, we're less away from some football, and thanks to Chip Kelly's continual innovation, our spring game should be one of the most exciting in the nation. Instead of just taking the first team and having them compete against the second team, the Oregon coaches held a "draft" over the weekend, and the coaching staff picked the Green and White teams. Thomas, LMJ and Barner, are holding down the Green team backfield, but won't have the first string offensive line in its entirety. Sounds like the coaching staff and players are really getting into it, so we should be in for a real competitive game. The teams have already practicing together this week, and the White team won yesterday's practice, 116-114.
- One of the fun things about spring ball is seeing who will step up and compete for playing time, and sophomore LB Michael Clay has been on fire. He's been able to grasp the game, and will see significant time this fall after earning playing time as a true freshman. Another player that has made an impression is walk-on receiver Justin Hoffman. His selflessness during practice has helped him work his was up the depth chart, and he's now in the two-deep. With the departure of Garrett Embry and Jamere Holland, receiver depth is a bit of a question, and Hoffman is making the most of his opportunities.
- A non-conference Civil War takes place tonight at PK Park at 6pm. But the roles are reversed from what you'd expect. Oregon is ranked and OSU is not and the Ducks have been winning series while the Beavers lose them. But you can throw all that out the window. The Ducks won't take anything for granted, as even though this game is non-conference, it could significantly impact both teams postseason hopes.
There's likely plenty more out there, so if you've got anything else to discuss, leave it below. GO DUCKS!