Head coach Dana Altman will get his first crack at career-win No. 600 when the Oregon Ducks (2-0) host the Alabama State Hornets (0-3) Friday night. Oregon will also look to extend their home winning streak to 45 games.
Two games into the season and plenty of work are ahead for Coach Altman in a rebuilding season for the Ducks. While the offense will have no problem scoring, the defense needs to clean up the mistakes.
Oregon lacked physicality last game against Prairie View A&M despite holding an advantage in the rebound department. The Panthers got 16 offensive rebounds and scored 20 points on second-chance opportunities. While the Ducks ran away with the game for their second win of the season, the issues are concerning.
Turnovers also stand out as Oregon has committed 25 turnovers in the two games combined. With the PK 80 Invitational looming, the more robust competition will undoubtedly pounce on any Oregon miscues.
Freshman Troy Brown has been a standout early in the season with an average of 17.5 points per game. The highly touted recruit from Las Vegas is expected to fill an offensive void left by Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey, both in the NBA. Coach Altman has yet to have a one-and-done in his tenure at Oregon, but Brown could likely be the first should he continue his production.
After a sluggish first game, Elijah Brown improved by posting 12 points. The transfer from New Mexico is also expected to contribute offensively. Brown averaged about 20 points per game in two seasons for New Mexico.
The Ducks may be young but have gotten leadership from transfer recruits. Coach Altman has been successful in the transfer area and struck again in Georgetown transfer Paul White. The junior scored 16 points off the bench against the Panther last game. Altman hopes White can be a veteran presence on the young team.
Alabama State is on a current seven-game road stretch. The Hornets are from the Southwest American Conference. Last season, the team finished last in the conference with an 8-23 overall record.
Lewis Jackson leads the Hornets in his thirteenth season as head coach. Ed Jones is the current leading scorer averaging about ten points per game. Tobi Ewuosho is grabbing six rebounds per game.
With an opportunity at a milestone, the Ducks should have no problem in securing win No. 600 for Coach Altman. The achievement will make Altman the 34th head coach in NCAA Division I to reach 600 career wins.
Tip-off is at 8 pm at Matthew Knight Arena. The game will also air on the Pac-12 Network.