the Miles Norris commitment was a big boon for the class of 2018. It does not yet mean that every top tier recruit will want to join the flock - but this shows that Altman is beginning to reap the rewards of his fantastic work in Eugene.
I have spoken often of Altman's reception in Eugene; it was much like an Oregon reception would seem appropriate, damp, chilly and overcast. There were images of Tom Izzo dancing in the heads of Duck fans and most looked at this hire with a resounding thud. Most of us did not know much about the guy and were suspicious. After some digging, I was not as perplexed as others, but it took that digging.
I am glad, on some levels, that the higher up names passed; especially Mike Anderson. I just don't think that he would have this program at the same level as what Altman has done. There were many doubts early on as Altman leaned far too heavily on transfer players who were short term fixes. But once he got some stability and a winning tradition built, things have been considerably better and I think they will only get better.
The one thing to like about basketball? The 'close to home' factor is far less constricting to recruiters in this sport than in football. Basketball players are already far more used to travel through their AAU circuits. In addition, the sparsity of positions at each school make leaving the state an almost necessity in many cases.
Today I had an interview with Ray Woodie III for Duck Sports Authority. He is a fantastic young man (learned not to call them kids!) which is a tremendous reflection on his family.
The only reason I bring up Woodie again is that he is a 2019 recruit. I used a metaphor yesterday in War Room that I really think is apropos here. With Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich, Oregon assumed the role of 'coolest kid in school' who could arrive to a party late, have all the hot girls come over and ooh and ahh over him and take his pick-of-the litter. the problem with this philosophy is that someone else will always be 'the next big thing' or the hot 'new guy in town' and when you don't recognize that change, you start losing out.
This is not a shot at Helfrich, more of a compliment of how Willie Taggart and staff have changed the vision for the program. They recognize that you have to get to the party early; mingle; meet a lot of people and start developing that relationship. That is why we are seeing so many early offers.
No, making an offer does not mean the staff is working hard, but following up on that offer and developing a strong bond? That takes tremendous effort.
I am calling this segment each Thursday "Thirty Thursday' so I imagine that means I should imbibe in some form of delicious beverage. I have not yet decided what the beverage of choice for tonight will be, but I think I will create a 'Thirsty Thursday' page where I upload images of my choice each week. Just a fun way to pass some time on Thursday nights.