Oregon Ducks Basketball: Why the Program Has More to Offer Than Some Think

David HedlindAnalyst IIApril 2, 2010


Rumors, rumors, rumors.

Who has Oregon actually contacted?

Have they actually offered the head coaching job to anybody?

Billy Donovan, Jamie Dixon, Tubby Smith, Mark Few, Tom Izzo and a number of other coaches have all been at least mentioned in Oregon’s search for the next head coach of the Ducks.

Ridiculous, hysterical, reaching, outlandish are just some of the words being used to describe the search.

Nobody knows what drives anyone else. Some are driven by money. Some by power. Others for the love of what they do.

The suggestions are that Oregon doesn’t have the tradition of the basketball powerhouses and that therefore no coach would want to go there.

A few have claimed that the situation is dire at Oregon, with a lack of talent compared to the positions those other coaches hold.

Some of the people named-leveraged more money from their current jobs, but that is to be expected. I don’t know if I have ever seen a coaching search in any sport that didn’t result in this happening a few times.

So what does the Oregon basketball job have to offer?

Despite a down year, the Pac 10 is still a power conference with a strong basketball history. The conference is home to storied programs like UCLA and Arizona.

The very first NCAA basketball champions are fromthe Pac 10. Oh yeah, that was the Oregon Ducks. While that is the only basketball title in the schools history, it's not as if they have never won the conference, the conference tournament or made strong runs in the NCAA since.

Rich history? No. History? Yes.

Part of that history is going away, though. Historic McArthur Court will be closing and a brand new arena will open. Oregon will be offering a brand new arena to a coach. While that's nice, but it may not be a huge point.

Oregon has money. Well they have a strong backer who has money. It’s not even a secret that Nike and Phil Knight have Oregon’s back. They could probably buy a lot of coaches, but of course not any or all coaches are all about money.

My question is, is the talent at Oregon really as lacking as some have suggested? No, it isn’t the caliber of Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, or many other top tier teams.

Oregon is losing two seniors this year. Porter was one of the best shooters the school has ever had. He finished his career as the Pac 10 all-time record holder for three pointers made. Catron was a solid player and contributor throughout his career that was hampered by injury his senior season.

So, what’s left?

Well, Jamil Wilson and EJ Singler will be sophomores. Both got pretty fair amount of playing time this past season. Wilson was a four-star player, but actually played less than the three-star Singler.

Next season juniors were rated the No. 16 class by Rivals in 2008. The class was highlighted by four-star players Michael Dunigan and Matthew Humphrey. Four others in that class were three-star recruits, including Teondre Williams, Drew Wiley, Josh Crittle and Garrett Sim.

Only one player will be a senior and that is LeKendrick Longmire.

There is not a lot coming in, but as stated before not much is leaving and the talent cupboard isn’t as bare as some believe.

What this also means for a new coach is that they won’t be able to bring in a lot of the talent and the kind of players they want right away.

On the other hand, the players they inherit will have experience and collectively have shown improvement with age.

Is Oregon reaching with some of coaches supposedly being considerd? Yes, just a little bit.

However, I am not so sure that all of the coaches that have been rumored or named in relationship to this job are as far out there as some have implied and I don’t agree that Oregon has nothing to offer a big-name coach.