With a few days to sit on the film from Oregon's 80-72 loss at Oregon State Dana Altman took the typical questions from Pac-12 reporters on his conference call.
Dana Altman says Ben Carter played well against Oregon State and might get more minutes moving forward.
Where is Oregon struggling? Is there a post player available to help? Scoring an issue? But near the end of his call Altman said the Ducks might be moving in a different direction at center.
The status of senior 6-foot-11 center Waverly Austin was asked and Altman didn’t seem to confident right now. Austin didn't play a minute in the Civil War game and has seen his minutes diminish. After starting the first 12 games of the season Austin has played in just four of five Pac-12 games and a total of just 25 minutes.
"He's had his opportunities, we've given him some opportunities and we just haven't seen the production, so his time has diminished," Altman said. "He's an option. Ben [Carter] has played better, Richard [Amardi] has played a little better."
Oregon ranks 173rd in the country in total rebounds per game and dead last in the Pac-12 in scoring defense with 77 points allowed per game.
Altman at this point is looking for anyone to step up and give the Ducks production on the glass and on defense. Sunday at Corvallis Altman started 6-foot-6 sophomore Elgin Cook at power forward and Mike Moser at center, but Cook didn't respond playing just nine minutes and scoring three points amid foul trouble.
"Whoever can rebound and defend will really help us," said Altman. "We've given guys a lot of opportunities. We need to see more production."
One player who could see his chance at starting at center for Oregon is 6-foot-8 sophomore Ben Carter. Sunday night against the Beavers Carter came off the bench and played 16 good minutes of basketball scoring 11 points and grabbing two rebounds. He shot the ball well (4-6) and got to the free throw line (3-4). He appears to be in line for more minutes moving forward.
"I thought he played pretty good," said Altman of Carter. "He gave us some good offensive moves inside. Defensively for the most part he was pretty solid. He needs to rebound a bit better, but he did play better especially on the offensive end. He was at a disadvantage missing the first nine games, but he worked himself into shape and into a bigger role."
Oregon struggled to stop opponents from scoring in their first three loses of the season, and then struggled themselves offensively to score against the Beavers. If it isn't one thing it's the other it seems for the Ducks right now.
"We are going to have to change things and do things a lot better," Altman said. "We've dug ourselves a hole and we haven't played well. I think to change that around you need to hit a few shots, your guys play with a little bit more energy, get your confidence back, and you get that thing turned around."
"It's not easy and it's not going to just happen. We are going to have to make it happen. Our challenge is to go on the road again and try and make that happen. It won't be easy in Seattle and it definitely won't be easy in Pullman."
After the Civil War loss both Oregon senior guard Johnathan Loyd and Altman said confidence is lacking a bit with this club after losing four straight games. Altman said his job to fix this slide is both building confidence back up for his players, but to also fix the team's mistakes from an Xs and Os standpoint.
"Combination of both. We've lost some confidence and so that's got to come back. We've still got to get more fundamentally sound on defense, there's no other way around it,” said Altman.
Oregon plays at Washington Thursday night with tip set for 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.