Oregon Ducks men's basketball

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Oregon Ducks
2015–16 Oregon Ducks men's basketball team
Oregon Ducks athletic logo
University University of Oregon
Conference Pac-12
Location Eugene, OR
Head coach Dana Altman (5th year)
Arena Matthew Knight Arena
(Capacity: 12,364)
Nickname Ducks
Student section THE PIT CREW

Green and Yellow

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Home jersey
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Team colours
Kit body thinyellowsides.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts yellowsides.png
Team colours
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Alternate jersey
Kit shorts greensides.png
Team colours
NCAA Tournament champions
NCAA Tournament Final Four
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1939, 1945, 1960, 2002, 2007
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1960, 2002, 2007, 2013
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1960, 2002, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015
NCAA Tournament appearances
1939, 1945, 1960, 1961, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015
Conference tournament champions
2003, 2007, 2013
Conference regular season champions
1919, 1939, 1944, 2002

Oregon Ducks men's college basketball is an intercollegiate basketball program that competes in the NCAA Division I and is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference, representing the University of Oregon. The Ducks play their home games at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon, then coached by Howard Hobson, won the first NCAA men’s basketball national championship in 1939.[1] The basketball team has appeared in the NCAA tournament 13 times[2] and has won the conference championship four times.[3]


Early years[edit]

1919 Oregon Ducks men's basketball team

The University of Oregon men's basketball team played its first season in 1902–03 with Charles Burden as the head coach. Only two games were played that season with Oregon losing both games.[4] Oregon did not record a win until its fourth season in 1907 against Roseburg. The season ended with a winning record of 4–3, under Hugo Bezdek, who also coached the football team.[4] Bezdek left after that season to coach at Arkansas until 1913 when he went back to Oregon to coach until 1917.[5] During his absence, the basketball team was coached largely by William Hayward, Oregon's track coach.[4] In 1923, William Reinhart took over as the head coach and remained through the erection of McArthur Court until 1935. Coach Reinhart suffered only one losing season at Oregon.[4]

The Tall Firs[edit]

Howard Hobson, an alumnus of the university, became the head coach in 1935, following Reinhart's departure.[4] His ideas were considered cutting edge during his years at Oregon and he was well ahead of his time. He ran a fast break offense little used by anyone else in the country at the time and his defenses were an unorthodox hybrid defense. He lobbied for the installment of a shot clock and three-point field goal years before they were first introduced.[6] In 1939, the Oregon Ducks became the first team to win the NCAA Basketball Championship. Sports editor L. H. Gregory coined the phrase "Tall Firs" to describe the Oregon players due to their taller stature compared to other teams in the country.[6] The season started with a long trip to the east coast for a series of games, ending with a loss to Stanford back west in San Francisco. The Ducks went 6–3 during that trip but gained valuable experience for the remainder of the season.[7] Oregon went 14–2 to claim the North Division title in the Pacific Coast Conference, which set off a best-of-three playoff against the California Golden Bears. The Ducks won two games straight to claim the conference title.[2]

The Ducks returned to San Francisco for the NCAA regional series where they defeated the Texas Longhorns in the first game 56–41 then the Oklahoma Sooners 55-37.[7] The Ohio State Buckeyes had defeated Wake Forest and Villanova in their regional series to earn their right in the championship game.[6] On March 27, Oregon and Ohio State squared off to claim the national title. Oregon emerged victorious to claim the first NCAA national championship trophy, defeating Ohio State 46-33.[7]

Howard Hobson remained as the head coach until 1947 except for a one-year hiatus during the 1944–1945 season, coached by John Warren.[4]

Kamikaze Kids[edit]

The years following the Tall Firs consisted of an eclectic mix of up and down years, with more down than up. Oregon returned to the NCAA playoffs only twice, in 1960 and 1961 under head coach Steve Belko. Those were the days when only one team from the Pac-8 made it to the NCAA Tournament. One of Belko's stars was Stan Love, a gifted shooter and rebounder, who led the Pac-8 in scoring for two straight seasons. Stan Love is the father of current NBA star Kevin Love. In 1971, head coach Dick Harter arrived at Oregon and achieved some consistency with the program.[4][8] The players under Dick Harter were dubbed the Kamikaze Kids, known for their hard play, diving for loose balls, and swarming defense. They were also credited for inspiring the intimidating atmosphere at McArthur Court. Although the Kamikaze Kids never earned any championships, they were not without accomplishments. They assembled two 20 win seasons, appeared in three straight NITs, and upset #1 ranked UCLA in 1974.[8][9]

After Dick Harter's first season, he never had a losing season at Oregon. He left in 1978 and the Ducks slid, suffering five consecutive losing seasons.[4] Oregon made an appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1995 under head coach Jerry Green but have otherwise accrued largely mediocre records.[4]

Ernie Kent era[edit]

In 1997, Ernie Kent was hired to fill the vacancy at head coach left by Jerry Green.[10] Ernie Kent, one of Dick Harter's Kamikaze Kids, built teams that somewhat resembled the days of the Kamikaze Kids with its up-tempo style of play.[11] In his third season as head coach, he took the Ducks back to the NCAA tournament where they fell in the first round. In 2002, Kent led the Ducks to their first conference championship since 1945, going through the regular season undefeated at home.[4][11] They earned a number 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament that year and advanced to the Elite Eight by defeating Montana, Wake Forest and Texas.[12] They were eliminated by Kansas and finished the season with a number 11 ranking in the AP Poll.[13][14]

Luke Ridnour was selected as the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2003 as the Ducks won the Pac-10 tournament, defeating the USC Trojans in the conference championship game 74-66.[15] The Ducks entered the NCAA Tournament as an 8 seed and lost to Utah in the first round 58-60.[16]

Oregon made a Final Four appearance in the NIT in 2004 but otherwise made little impact until 2007.[4] Oregon swept its 12 intersectional games to start 2007 and upset #1 ranked UCLA in the third Pac-10 game. The Ducks finished the regular season with a 23-7 record and defeated Arizona, California, and USC to win the 2007 Pac-10 Tournament.[17] The Ducks earned a #3 seed[18] in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight by defeating Miami (Ohio) 58-56, Winthrop 75-61 and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. On March 25, played and lost to the eventual NCAA National Champions, the Florida Gators, by a score of 77-85.[17]

Oregon was considered the favorite to land Class of 2007 schoolboy stars Kevin Love and Kyle Singer, widely considered to be the greatest high-school players to ever come out of Oregon. In the summer of 2005, Love and Singler dropped Oregon from their list because of the turmoil inside the Oregon team, centering around the moral allegations concerning coach Ernie Kent. Love eventually chose to attend UCLA and Singler chose Duke.

The Ducks were selected as a No. 9 seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament in the Southern Region. They lost to No. 8 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs in first-round play on March 21, 2008, in Little Rock, Arkansas.[19]

On March 15, 2010, the university announced that the decision had been made to fire Ernie Kent as a result of poor performance in the previous two seasons, placing 9th and 10th in conference in the respective years. Kent departed as the longest tenured Pac-10 coach and winningest coach in school history with 235 wins.[20]

Recent history[edit]

In April 2010, Dana Altman from Creighton University was hired to replace Ernie Kent after a month long search.[21][22] Altman led the Ducks to a CBI championship in his first year at Oregon and led the Ducks to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament during the 2012-2013 season. Altman led the Ducks back to the NCAA Tournament in the 2013-2014 season where they defeated BYU but fell to Wisconsin in the round of 32. It was their 12th NCAA tournament appearance and was the first time Oregon won tournament games in back to back seasons in program history.

Venues and facilities[edit]

Matthew Knight Arena

McArthur Court was constructed in 1926 and the first Oregon basketball game was played in the arena on January 14, 1927, defeating Willamette University 38-10. The arena is located across from Pioneer Cemetery and is named after Clifton McArthur, the first student body president.[23] McArthur Court has received a reputation as one of the most intimidating basketball arenas for opposing teams in the Pac-10 Conference. A group of students known as the “Pit Crew” has at times created environments so hostile that the basket would shake as opponents attempted free throws.[24]

In early 2009, the university broke ground on a new $227 million basketball arena designed by TVA Architects to replace McArthur Court.[25][26] The new arena was named Matthew Knight Arena, after Phil Knight’s son who drowned in a scuba diving accident in 2004.[24] The arena is considered to be the front door to the university due to its high profile location where the majority of vehicular traffic into the university stems from. A primary goal was to create the best collegiate basketball venue in the country though many criticisms arose due to the funding and price tag associated with the design.[26][27] The hardwood court was named after Patrick Kilkenny, a booster for the university and the former interim athletic director. It has been the subject of much debate upon its opening, due to its unconventional and artistic design. Designer Tinker Hatfield’s idea was to pay tribute to the 1939 national championship team, nicknamed “The Tall Firs”, by creating silhouetted firs around the edges of the court.[28] Matthew Knight Arena opened its doors for the first time on January 13, 2011, defeating the University of Southern California 68-62.[24]

NCAA Tournament results[edit]

The Ducks have appeared in 13 NCAA Tournaments. They won the inaugural NCAA tournament in 1939 for their only national championship. Their combined record is 16–12.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result/Score
1939 N/A First Round
Final Four
National Championship Game
Ohio State
W 56–41
W 55–37
W 46–33
1945 N/A First Round
Third Place Game
L 79–76
W 69–66
1960 N/A First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
New Mexico State
W 68–60
W 65–54
L 70–49
1961 N/A First Round Southern California L 81–79
1995 6 First Round (11) Texas L 90–73
2000 7 First Round (10) Seton Hall L 72–71 OT
2002 2 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
(15) Montana
(7) Wake Forest
(6) Texas
(1) Kansas
W 81–62
W 92–87
W 72–70
L 104–86
2003 8 First Round (9) Utah L 60–58
2007 3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
(14) Miami (OH)
(11) Winthrop
(7) UNLV
(1) Florida
W 58–56
W 75–61
W 76–72
L 85–77
2008 9 First Round (8) Mississippi State L 76–69
2013 12 Second Round
Third Round
Sweet Sixteen
(5) Oklahoma State
(4) Saint Louis
(1) Louisville
W 68–55
W 74–57
L 69–77
2014 7 Second Round
Third Round
(10) BYU
(2) Wisconsin
W 87–68
L 85–77
2015 8 Second Round
Third Round
(9) Oklahoma State
(1) Wisconsin
W 79–73
L 72–65

NIT results[edit]

The Ducks have appeared in 10 National Invitation Tournaments. Their combined record is 13–11.

Year Round Opponent Result/Score
1975 First Round
Third Place Game
Saint Peter's
Oral Roberts
St. John's
W 85–79
W 68–59
L 58–57
W 80–76
1976 Quarterfinals Charlotte L 79–72
1977 First Round
Oral Roberts
St. Bonaventure
W 90–89
L 76–73
1984 First Round Santa Clara L 66–53
1988 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Santa Clara
New Mexico
W 81–65
L 78–59
1990 First Round New Mexico L 89–78
1997 First Round Hawai'i L 71–61
1999 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
Third Place Game
Georgia Tech
W 67–64
W 93–72
W 77–68
L 85–69
L 106–75
2004 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
George Mason
Notre Dame
W 77–72
W 68–54
W 65–61
L 78–53
2012 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
W 96–74
W 108–97
L 90–86

CBI results[edit]

The Ducks have appeared in one College Basketball Invitational. Their record is 5–1 and were the 2011 champions.

Year Round Opponent Result
2011 First Round
Finals Game 1
Finals Game 2
Finals Game 3
Weber State
Boise State
W 68–59
W 77–75
W 79–71
L 84–76
W 71–58
W 71–69

Record vs. Pac-12 opponents[edit]

The Oregon Ducks have the following all-time series records vs. Pac-12 opponents. The Oregon-Oregon St. series is one of the most played in Pac-12 history, at 340 games.

Opponent Wins Losses Pct. Streak
Arizona 26 49 .361 Arizona 3
Arizona St. 37 42 .468 Oregon 3
California 56 83 .403 Oregon 1
Colorado 5 8 .385 Oregon 2
Oregon St. 159 185 .462 Oregon 4
Stanford 49 91 .350 Oregon 1
UCLA 35 84 .294 UCLA 1
USC 54 60 .473 Oregon 10
Utah 14 9 .609 Oregon 4
Washington 110 189 .381 Oregon 1
Wash. St. 165 124 .571 Oregon 1
  • Note all-time series includes non-conference matchups.

Current Oregon men's basketball players in professional teams[edit]

Player Year Current Team Drafted
E.J. Singler 2013 BC Kalev/Cramo (Estonia) Undrafted
Arsalan Kazemi 2013 Petrochimi Bandar Imam (Iran) RD 2, 54th overall
Tajuan Porter 2011 Reno Bighorns (NBAD) Undrafted
Malik Hairston 2008 Olimpia Milano (Italy) RD 2, 18th overall
Maarty Leunen 2008 Pallacanestro Cantù (Italy) RD 2, 24th overall
Bryce Taylor 2008 Artland Dragons (Germany) Undrafted
Aaron Brooks 2007 Chicago Bulls (NBA) RD 1, 26th overall
Luke Ridnour 2003 Orlando Magic (NBA) RD 1, 14th overall
Chris Christoffersen 2002 Bakken Bears (Denmark) Undrafted

Retired jerseys[edit]

Retired Basketball Jerseys
Number Player Year
18 John Dick 1938-1940
20 Bob Anet 1936-1939
22 Urgel "Slim" Wintermute 1936-1939
28 Lauren Gale 1937-1939
30 Ron Lee 1972-1976
32 Wally Johansen 1936-1939

Past Oregon men's basketball head coaches[edit]

Years Coach Record NCAA Tournaments Conference Regular Season Championships Conference Tournament Championships National Championships
1902–1904 Charles Burden 0-6
1904–1905 No Team
1905–1906 Walter Winslow 0-5
1906–1907 Hugo Bezdek 4-3
1907–1908 Charles Murphy 8-9
1908–1909 No Team
1909–1913 William Hayward 31-21
1913–1915 Hugo Bezdek 13-21
1915–1916 No Team
1916–1917 Hugo Bezdek 0-11
1917–1918 William Hayward 3-8
1918–1919 Dean Walker 13-4
1919–1920 Shy Huntington 8-9 1
1920–1923 George Bohler 37-39
1923–1935 William Reinhart 180-101
1935–1944 Howard Hobson 178-98 1 1 1
1944–1945 John Warren 30-15 1 1
1945–1947 Howard Hobson 34-26
1947–1951 John Warren 57-61
1951–1956 Bill Borcher 69-68
1956–1971 Steve Belko 179-211 2
1971–1978 Dick Harter 112-82
1978–1983 Jim Haney 53-82
1983–1992 Don Monson 116-145
1992–1997 Jerry Green 72-70 1
1997–2010 Ernie Kent 235-174 5 1 2
2010–present Dana Altman 123–56 3 1
1902– Totals 1484-1295 (.534) 13 4 3 1


  1. ^ Russell, Michael (2008-04-07). "When Firs stood tall". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  2. ^ a b "2009-2010 Oregon Ducks Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Pac-10 Official Athletic Site: All-Time Pac-10 Team Championships
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k University of Oregon 2010-2011 Men's Basketball Media Guide
  5. ^ College Football Hall of Fame: Hugo Bezdek
  6. ^ a b c Gergen, Joe. "The beginning: Oregon is king – 1939". Sporting News. Retrieved January 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Russell, Michael (April 7, 2008). "When Firs stood tall". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 24, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Moore, David (March 15, 2002). "Kent raises Ducks from forgotten decades". USA Today. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  9. ^ Foster, Chris (January 29, 2010). "Bruins fall in the Pit". LA Times. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Kent named basketball coach at Oregon". Philadelphia Inquirer. 1997-04-11. Retrieved March 27, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b Curtis, Jake (2000-02-10). "Kent Revives Oregon Program". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 26, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Oregon's success has been a steady climb". Lewiston Morning Tribune. March 24, 2002. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Ducks can't keep up with high-octane Jayhawks". ESPN. March 24, 2002. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  14. ^ College Poll Archive 2002 Final AP Men's Basketball Poll
  15. ^ "PAC-10: Ducks win first Championship". St. Petersburg Times. March 16, 2003. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Utah 60, Oregon 58". Sun Journal. March 22, 2003. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b ESPN 2006-2007 Oregon Ducks men's basketball schedule
  18. ^ "Red Hot Oregon Gets Midwest Region #3 Seed". Salem News. March 11, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Basketball - M - 2007-08 Schedule/Results". GoDucks.com. Retrieved January 6, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Kent out as school's winningest coach". ESPN. March 17, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Reports: Creighton's Altman hired at Oregon". ESPN. April 24, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Confirmed: Oregon Ducks Hire Creighton's Dana Altman". Action 3 News, Omaha. April 24, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Where we play". Oregon Daily Emerald. September 20, 2004. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  24. ^ a b c "Oregon opens new arena with win". ESPN. January 14, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Oregon breaks ground on new basketball arena". KVAL. February 7, 2009. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 
  26. ^ a b Manning, Jeff (January 12, 2011). "Matthew Knight Arena is latest collaborations of Nike's Phil Knight and architect Bob Thompson". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 
  27. ^ Knutson, Ryan (February 8, 2008). "Arena report shows early skepticism". Oregon Daily Emerald. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 
  28. ^ Gardner, Tim (November 8, 2010). "Oregon's new basketball court isn't just wood, it's art". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]