Dana Altman says this year's Oregon team didn't meet Duck standard
Oregon head coach Dana Altman, in the aftermath of his Ducks’ 80-69 loss to Colorado in Thursday’s quarterfinal action at the Pac-12 Tournament, was asked about the Ducks potentially having to settle for the NIT when they’d been right on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament for much of the latter part of the season. It’s like dreaming about the Rose Bowl and winding up at the Weedeater Bowl, he said.
Altman was blunt when speaking with reporters after the game. Brutally honest. The Ducks won 10 of 11 from late December through the start of February. They upset UCLA and USC on the road and generally looked like the kind of Altman-coached team that ascends as the games get bigger.
But then Oregon crashed back to earth a bit. The Ducks have lost seven of their last 11 games. Things just looked off down the closing stretch. Oregon didn’t have that killer to go out and win games late.
“We just didn’t make (adjustments),” Altman said. “We just didn’t make them. Not like we should. We won 19 games and we should have won more.
“I can’t be any more blunt about that. We were talented enough, we’re experienced enough, we had some nagging injuries in the summer … and nagging injuries through the year, but nothing that should have taken away from what we should have accomplished.
“And for that, I apologize to these guys because we’ve got to be better. We’ve got to be better as a staff. The players (have) got to be better. We’ve tried to set a standard at Oregon that we try to meet, and I just felt like for the first time in a long time we didn’t meet that standard.”
The Ducks (19-14) went 11-9 in conference play and they’ll likely miss the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in the last 10 seasons.
But, even if it’s the Weedeater Bowl, Altman hopes his team is excited for the invite.
“I want to play and I hope our guys get the opportunity, and I hope they take it because we’re not too good to play in the NIT,” Altman said. “Our program, where we’re at, we’re not too good to play in the NIT. It’s still an honor.
“It isn’t the NCAA Tournament, I’m not gonna try to convince them of that, but it’s an opportunity to play, and if you’re a competitor, the opportunity to play should mean a great deal to you. And I would hope that an opportunity to play for the University of Oregon in any type of postseason would mean something to them.”
Dana Altman with a strong message on accepting an NIT bid now that the Pac-12 Tournament is over. It's worth your time.
"You have the opportunity to put Oregon on their chest and if that doesn't mean anything to you then there's a lot of guys that are gonna be disappointed." pic.twitter.com/YPUToj03fZ
— Andrew G. Haubner (@A_G_Haubner) March 11, 2022