It’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking Oregon Basketball. Thursday was Media Day for Pac 12 schools and their respective teams. Oregon was predicted to finish 4th in the Pac 12 Conference and looks to start the season ranked in the Top 20(#19) in the first USA Today Coaches Poll of 2013.
To get the day started Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman along with Senior Johnathan Loyd had a chance to talk to the media about the upcoming season, their trip to South Korea and the Sophomore leadership on the team.
Coach Altman was first to speak and gave a quick catchup on the team:
We should be practicing but Johnny wanted to come here and entertain you.
Have a good back court coming back with Johnny, Dotson and Artis. We’re a little inexperienced up front with the lost seniors. (Singler, Woods, Kazemi, Emory all graduated)
The Oregon coach said he was excited to get the invite to play in South Korea to start the season, and so was the team:
I was real excited our players wanted to go. Not only were they excited about playing(Georgtown), but they would have a few days to spend with the troops. Its our way of saying a small thank you to the service they give our country.
Oregon had had a lot of transfers come in to help the program and Altman looks for a certain type of player. He has been fortunate to find some good ones so far in his time with the Ducks:
We had an opportunity to take some transfers(several years ago) and its worked out. We’ve been very fortunate. Kazemi came in last year was all about the team. Guys have come in and really cared about our team. Our teams have been able to win a few games.
Attention then turned to Senior Johnathan Loyd who helped lead the team to the Sweet 16 last year. He was asked about the Pac 12 Competition this season:
It’s been fun. Competition level is high. Games are always close during conference . it’s a lot of good players.
There are several notable changes for referees this season, including a grading system for each playcall. Loyd’s thoughts:
During practices coach has us take all hands off on defense. I feel it’s going to be a little easier on the offense.
The Oregon Senior was asked about the Sophomore class for the Ducks as they seem to be leading the way this season for the team:
Something new. They did a lot for us last year as Freshman. There’s no problem with it at all.
Finally Coach Altman summed things up as far as what the Ducks will have to do to contend. He said one of the biggest losses was Arsalan Kazemi and his rebounding skills.
Gonna be a challenge for our team, especially Kazemi’s rebounding. Collectively were going to have to do a great job at every position…..Mike Moser’s gonna have to do a great job. Rebounding is going to be a big concern but collectively I think its going to have to come from all positions.
You can view the Pac 12 Conference Media Day coverage for the Ducks.
Oregon Basketball Tips off the Season on Friday, November 7th in the Armed Forces Classic vs Georgetown, 5pm PT from South Korea (ESPN)
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