Oregon Men's Basketball Head Coach Dana Altman has landed his second-straight top-12 recruiting class with the signing of three high school players to National Letters of Intent, as the Ducks announced on Friday that Victor Bailey Jr., Troy Brown, Jr., and Abu Kigab have signed with the University.
“We’re excited about bringing another talented group of recruits into our program,” said Altman. “I think our fans will enjoy watching Abu, Victor and Troy. Their basketball IQ is very good, and as a staff, we have really enjoyed getting to know both them and their families throughout the recruiting process.”
The trio is ranked as the No. 8 class in the nation by ESPN. Oregon’s signees are ranked ninth by 247Sports.com, which listed last year’s Duck class at No. 12.
VICTOR BAILEY JR., G, 6-3, 175, Austin, Texas (McNeil High School)
A four-star recruit with a scout grade of 82 according to ESPN.com, Bailey is the 90th-ranked player overall on ESPN’s top 100, and the 24th-ranked overall shooting guard for 2017. He is also the sixth-best player in Texas according to bustingbrackets.com.
“Bailey is an athletic lefty shooting guard that can hit the jumper from the mid-range and from behind the arc,” ESPN.com.
Bailey has scored a total of 1,616 points over the course of his high school career, and during his junior year he shot 50.7 percent from the field and averaged 20.3 points per game. He is the son of Olympic 400-meter hurdles bronze medalist Tonja Buford-Bailey and former NFL wide receiver Victor Bailey.
TROY BROWN JR., G, 6-7, 215, Las Vegas, Nev. (Centennial HS)
A five-star recruit with a scout grade of 93 according to ESPN, Brown ranked 18th in ESPN’s top 100, and is the fifth-ranked small forward for 2017. In addition, 247Sports tabs Brown at No. 13 overall and No. 3 nationally among small forwards. He is considered the top-ranked player from the state of Nevada. Brown also was selected for the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U17 World Championship Team.
“(Brown) is a combo-guard who snaps two-handed passes in the half court set that always land in the shooter's pocket. He advances the ball in transition and shows a nice feel for the game overall,” ESPN.com.
ABU KIGAB, F, 6-6, 200, Napa, Calif. (Prolific Prep Academy)
A four-star recruit with a scout grade of 81 according to ESPN.com, Kigab is rated as the second best small forward in California according to Scout.com. He averaged 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists as a junior.
“Kigab is a long athletic wing with good size and versatility at the combo forward position. One of the strongest attributes for Kigab is his ability to rebound and get out in front and score in transition,” ESPN.com.
Kigab played for Canada in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship where he averaged 8.4 points per game, helping lead his team to the championship game where he went on to have 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Coach Dana Altman signs extension through 2022-2023 season
After leading the Oregon men’s basketball team to an unprecedented six consecutive 20-win seasons and four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, University of Oregon head coach Dana Altman has been rewarded with a new seven-year contract totaling $18.45 million that will extend him through the 2022-23 season.
Included in those NCAA appearances are an Elite Eight (2016) and a pair of Sweet 16's (2013, 2016), as Altman is one of only six active coaches in NCAA Division I with 19 consecutive winning seasons. That exclusive fraternity includes Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, Tom Izzo of Michigan State, Roy Williams of North Carolina, Bill Self of Kansas, and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse.
Incentives tied to the Ducks’ on-court performance and student-athlete academic success are also part of the new contract. Funding for Altman's contract comes solely from athletic department funds, with the department receiving no direct institutional support.
“Dana is one of the top coaches in the country and has quickly built an elite program. We are excited about the present and future of our program under Dana’s leadership,” said UO Director of Athletics Rob Mullens.
The 2013 National Coach of the Year and three-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year has won more games in his first six seasons than any coach in Oregon history. Altman is 154-64 in Eugene, and 564-307 in 27 seasons as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level in stints at Oregon, Creighton, Kansas State and Marshall.
Altman, the 19th head coach in the history of the Oregon men’s basketball program, is coming off a 2015-16 season that ranks among the best in school history. The Ducks’ 31 wins were not only a school record, but also the most for Altman at the Division I level as he guided Oregon to the Pac-12’s regular season and conference title in the same year for the first time in school history.
After reaching the NCAA’s Elite Eight, he was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the third time in four seasons, a feat matched only by Hall of Famer Lute Olson of Arizona.
Altman arrived at UO after spending 16 seasons at Creighton, where he became the school’s all-time winningest coach with a record of 327-176 (.650). He led the Blue Jays to 13 consecutive postseason appearances and a stretch of 11 straight seasons with 20-plus wins, all while producing 10 or more league victories in each of the last 14 seasons. Those three feats were unmatched in the 103 years of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Oregon great Greg Ballard passes away
Greg Ballard, a bruising power forward who anchored Oregon’s famed “Kamikaze Kids” teams and went on to win an NBA Championship with the Washington Bullets, has died following a battle with prostate cancer. He was 61.
Ballard teamed with Ron Lee as the heart and soul of the 1970s’ Duck teams coached by Dick Harter and known for their grit, hustle and determination. During his four seasons at Oregon from 1973-77, Lee set the school record with 1,114 career rebounds, a mark that still stands nearly four decades later.
He scored 1,829 career points, a mark that still ranks fourth in school history. Ballard also owns the Ducks’ single-game scoring record of 43 points, a mark he set in a National Invitation Tournament first round game against Oral Roberts on March 9, 1977.
Ballard was a Wooden Award first team all-American in 1977, a second-team selection by the USBWA and Converse Yearbook and a third-team pick by the NABC. He was selected for the 1977 NABC all-America game and was a two-time all-Pac-8 selection at forward (1976-77).
During his four seasons at Oregon, the Ducks went 64-42 and stunned top-ranked UCLA 56-51 on Feb. 16, 1974. Ballard and his teammates also accomplished the rare feat of winning back-to-back games in the Bruins’ Pauley Pavilion, taking a 65-45 decision in 1976 and winning 61-60 in 1977.
The four-year starter was the fourth overall pick in the 1977 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets and as a rookie, won the 1978 NBA title with the Bullets. He played eight seasons with Washington before he was traded to Golden State in June 1985. He spent two years with the Warriors (1986-87) and then played two games with the Seattle Supersonics in 1989.
He set a career high average of 18.8 points a game in the 1981-82 season with the Bullets, and totaled career numbers of 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per outing in 802 games.
After his playing career, he served a total of 21 seasons as an assistant coach and a scout for a number of franchises, including the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks.
Ballard also spent time in Treviso, Italy as part of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders, the league’s premier international basketball and community relations outreach program.
Ballard was inducted into the UO Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, and was inducted into the state of Oregon's Hall of Fame in 1996. He was a Pac-12 Hall of Honor inductee in 2009.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services