Dana Altman Is the Best Oregon Can Do

Ryne E. HancockCorrespondent IApril 24, 2010

As a guy who always admired the Missouri Valley Conference in basketball, Dana Altman was always one of my favorite coaches.

With the job he's done at Creighton, 12 straight seasons resulting in either an NCAA or NIT bid, winning the MVC regular-season title three times and the MVC tournament six times, he's done wonders for the Creighton basketball program.

However, three years ago after Arkansas fired Stan Heath, Altman was tapped to leave his home state and the program he helped build to head up an Arkansas team that reached the NCAA Tournament that year.

After being introduced as the head coach for the Razorbacks, Altman had a change of heart and returned to Omaha to continue as Creighton's head coach, winning a share of the Missouri Valley Conference title with Northern Iowa in 2009 and reaching the NIT second round.

Stating the obvious, as yours truly sat on his couch watching the last few rounds of the NFL Draft and seeing his apartment complex look like the aftermath from Noah's Flood, Oregon decided that now was the time to find their new coach in Altman.

That's right, a guy who's only reached the second round twice in the NCAA Tournament once in 1999 when Creighton defeated Louisville and again in 2002 when the Bluejays defeated Florida, could be the next head coach at Oregon.

While at first thought of this, I believed this would be another bad hire, I reverted my negative thoughts and saw the positives.

Creighton is a private, Jesuit school that can't afford to pay Altman the same salary that Oregon could.

While Creighton has a still brand-new arena in the Qwest Center, built on the excitement created by Altman's teams, Oregon has their own ace in the hole that could lure Altman to Eugene, the Matthew Knight Arena which opens in January of 2011.

Creighton has to play second fiddle, like it or not, to Nebraska football in Omaha as well as the College World Series which is held there.

Oregon is in the Pac-10, which is expected to be an improved conference in 2010-11 with recruits like forward Dwight Powell, who committed to Stanford.

Creighton has reached their plateau in success, the high point being the 2002-03 team that won 29 games and flamed out in the NCAA Tournament to Central Michigan.

So with that being said, Altman seems to be a perfect fit in Eugene.

The question is, will he take the offer to leave the nest in Omaha?

We must wait and see.