Oregon head coach Dana Altman and senior forward E.J. Singler were on hand for the Pac-12 media day and here are some notes from today's events.
Oregon basketball head coach Dana Altman talks about this year's team at Pac-12 media day.
Altman says he thinks the new TV Pac-12 contract is not only good for the Pac-12 but also the Oregon Ducks. "Well its a great time to be in the Pac-12. The new TV contract is very good for all of us. Gives us great exposure across the country. Gives us an opportunity show our product and I think our product will be pretty good,"
Altman cited the Ducks will rely heavily on seniors E.J. Singler, Carlos Emory, and Tony Woods this season and for the Ducks to have a good season Singler in particular will have to have a big year for the Ducks.
"E.J. has been an anchor for us the last two years," Altman said. "He's done a great job stabilizing our team. His work ethic has been great. He's really helped our team. He does all the dirty work. He goes and gets all the rebounds, he's our leading rebounder. He brings it every day in practice."
Altman said the team has struggled at times early this season in practice with Singler's leadership off the court and sidelined with knee issues.
"He's going to have to have a great year for us, as are the other two seniors for us to have a good year," continued Altman.
On Monday night against Concordia Oregon had at times zero returning players on the floor. In 2012-13 Oregon will have six freshmen and one junior college transfer and potentially another senior, Arsalan Kazemi, depending on the NCAA's decision on his appeal to play right away. Veteran leadership will be thin for the Ducks. That will require newcomers to play a more important role this year.
"I think early candidates would be Dominic Artis, D.A. because we lost two senior guards will have an opportunity to play a lot early," Altman said. "He's really worked hard this summer and had a great fall so I'll anticipate he will be a big part of our team. Damyean Dotson another freshman from Houston has been very impressive in early workouts. I think a number of the freshmen will progress at different rates throughout the season but I hope those two can step up and help us right away."
Altman also said the coaching staff anticipates junior college transfer Waverly Austin will provide help inside with improved rebounding and scoring for the Ducks. "We are hoping that he will give us some rebounding inside and some scoring inside and I am really looking forward to what he brings towards the team," Altman said.
The Ducks could also get a mid-season addition from football's freshman defensive end Arik Armstead who continues to plan on walking on for basketball this season. Altman said the basketball staff is anticipating the football team will still be playing football into the middle of January and that Armstead's availability wont be till then. Altman also pointed out that the conditioning, "for football and basketball is entirely different so it will take some time for him to make the adjustment," and to expect Oregon's basketball staff to ease him into the basketball side of things.
"Arik is big and he will be physical, set a good pick, very good rebounder, has great hands, and has a pretty good shooting touch," Altman said of Armstead's game. "If we are facing some injuries or we just need some added strength inside he is difinitely physical at 6-foot-8 and 290. He's a physical presence in there."
Singler role on this team could be inside and out and he says he can play out on the wing or inside.
"Coach likes to play me at the three and four to kind of use my different skill levels at different positions," said Singler. "I can seem myself playing on the week and some forward as well. Different match ups with different teams allows me to create and use my skill set to go against the other team."