This is ESPN LIVE CHAT about Oregon.
Next up is Oregon's Dana Altman!
Buzzmaster (11:55 AM)
Coach is here!
Dallas (Eugene, OR)
What can we expect from Joevan Catron after coming off a season ending injury?
Dana Altman (11:57 AM)
Joevan has been battling some injuries again this year. His back has been giving him some problems and he's been having some issues with his hamstring. He's going to have to battle and get himself in shape. He's spent a lot of time in the training room. With that said, he's working really hard and I hope by Dec. 1 that he's back to normal and healthy and ready to go.
James (Cleveland, OH)
Hey coach, this season looks to be a transition year for Oregon. What can we expect from the team in a tough Pac-10 conference?
Dana Altman (11:58 AM)
It will be a little bit of a transition year, for the guys and the coaching staff. Our numbers are not what we'd want them to be. We do have some obstacles to overcome. I like how the guys have worked. We have some injuries to overcome, but I hope by Dec. 1 that we'll be ready to go. It will be a matter of working through the early part of the season and then getting into the Pac-10 part of our schedule in January.
how great is the new arena?
Dana Altman (12:00 PM)
Well, it's a wonderful facility. The fans will notice how fan friendly it is. They really worked hard at making it a college arena, with no suites to take the fans away from the action. All 12,000-plus seats are right on the court and they're very close. And it's very athlete friendly. The lockerrooms are really nice. The training facility is great. We have two practice facilities, which is great for the student-athletes. I think it's going to be a wonderful facility, not just for the university but for the state, with all kinds of activities.
You come into a conference with a rich basketball history. How are you going to go about making a niche for yourself?
Dana Altman (12:01 PM)
I think Oregon has had some success. I look at the success of those teams and I think we really have to recruit our area well. We have to get on the West Coast and get some players. If we're going to find our niche, we need to carve out a spot for us, recruiting. With the new facility and our new football team and other sports teams are doing very well, we have a number of athletic programs that have done well. We hope that strength will help us as a basketball program. We have a lot of things to sell at Oregon.
IS Klay Thompson the best player in the league?
Dana Altman (12:02 PM)
I don't know. You're asking the wrong guy. This is my first year in the league. Without being able to go through and see all the players, it's hard to make that decision. He's a great player, but as a first year guy, it's hard for me to make a determination.
Coach - after being the veteran in a league for the last 16 years, what's it like to be the new guy on the block?
Dana Altman (12:04 PM)
Well, first of all, the coaches in the league are very professional and easy to work with. I've known most of them for a while. I've spent the majority of my career in the Midwest, so the location is different. The transition isn't as tough as it might of been because of the national attention we received at Creighton.
Randy (Orlando, FL)
Are you nervous about your first season as Oregon's head coach?
Dana Altman (12:05 PM)
Oh, I don't know if nervous is the right word. I'm excited. This is a different conference for myself and our assistants. We're excited about the challenges that lie ahead. It will be different for us in the arenas. The guys have been working awfully hard and gives us reason for hope. It will be exciting and a new challenge. We're going to go out and play as hard as we can and make some things happen.
how much of a homecourt advantage do you think the new arena will give you?
Dana Altman (12:06 PM)
Well, if we can get it anywhere close to Mac Court, it would be great. Watching some film of some old games, the film starts to shake because the building was so loud. The building is set up really well. We'll have the students courtside on one side and in the endzone on another side. We'll be able to build that advantage. Will it be Mac Court? That's tough, because that building was old and noisy by nature. But I think this new building, if we produce the types of teams we're used to, we'll have a homecourt advantage also.
Coach, have you had to adjust your system at all as you have taken over a new program?
Dana Altman (12:08 PM)
We want to give our teams an opportunity to be successful. We're going to try and do some things that we've done over the course of our career. We're going to play a spread offense and drive to the basket. We'll press like we've always done. We're going to run a system that I'm most comfortable with, which is a lot of pressing and changing defenses. We don't have the numbers we've had in the past, but I think we'll be OK.
Peter (Los Angeles)
You lost 10 of 12 games down the stretch last season. What has to happen this year so that won't happen again?
Dana Altman (12:09 PM)
Well, first of all, we've got a lot of new players and a lot of players from the previous years are not with us. I think it will be important for our team to establish itself. Put our culture in. Win games down the stretch. But first of all we have to put ourselves in that situation. We have to play as a team. We have a lot of learning to do. It will be a growing process for our team and our coaching staff.
Coach, what kind of a transition is it for you to come to the Pac 10 after being in the MVC?
Dana Altman (12:11 PM)
The MVC has had some pretty good years here. Supposedly the Pac-10 was down last year. We have a lot of young players in our system and in those systems. The playing schedule will be a little different. We had more time to prepare for some games. But I think conference basketball is conference basketball. When you get into the league, everyone knows everyone a little bit better. The second time you play a team, you really get familiar with them. No matter what league you're in, there are adjustments made between the first and second games. All of those details become important.
Dana Altman (12:12 PM)
I appreciate the support we've received so far. Hopefully our recruiting efforts will continue to go well and we'll have success in the future.
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