Dana Altman is the mastermind behind this improbable season for the Oregon men's basketball team. Joseph Young is the machine that makes it go. On Monday, both were honored for their outstanding season so far.
Young was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year while Altman was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Altman is no stranger to the award during his time at Oregon, but Young's award wasn't so common for the Ducks.
For Altman, it is second coach of the year honor in 3 seasons. Joseph Young is first Pac-12 player of the year for UO since Ridnour in '03.— Steve Mims (@SteveMims_RG) March 9, 2015
This year, Young averaged 19.8 points and 3.7 assists per game. Young, the Pac-12 scoring champion with 1,257 points, also led the conference in free throw percentage (.918) and 3-pointers made per game (2.5).
Altman did an incredible job with the team this year, considering he practically had to build from the ground up after he lost almost every contributing player from last year's roster. Before the season, I would not have been at all surprised if the Ducks had lost 15 or 20 games. Instead, Altman led Oregon to a 23-8 overall record (13-5 in the Pac-12) and a No. 2 seed in this week's Pac-12 basketball tournament in Las Vegas.
The Ducks were picked to finish eighth in the preseason Pac-12 poll, but Altman never thought twice about that.
When I asked Altman before season about being picked 8th, he said: "I don't think we've ever finished where they picked us." He's right.— Steve Mims (@SteveMims_RG) March 9, 2015
Altman also became the first Oregon coach to win Coach of the Year twice.
Dana Altman is first UO coach to win COY honors twice (2013, 2015). Oregon's other COY selections: Dick Harter (1977) and Ernie Kent (2002).— Oregon Basketball (@OregonMBB) March 9, 2015
Elgin Cook was named to the Pac-12's second team while Jordan Bell and Dillon Brooks were named to the all-freshman team. Bell was also named to the all-defensive team.
The Ducks will begin postseason play on Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. PT when they face the winner of Wednesday's matchup between Oregon State and Colorado. Unless we see another upset involving the Utes, a rematch between Oregon and Utah seems likely in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, Arizona should cruise to the finals, as UCLA would be the highest-seeded team the Wildcats would face.
The Pac-12 basketball tournament kicks off on Wednesday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. PT as Washington State and California square off, with the winner advancing to face Arizona.