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In a day where the swirling topic behind the scenes was the media conference involving California head coach Cuonzo Martin’s staff, Oregon, the No. 1 seed versus Holy Cross, was under less scrutiny.
Martin was grilled by media about the firing of assistant coach Yann Hufnagel who was fired on Monday for violating the University’s rules regarding sexual harassment. The incident apparently involved a female reporter that reported the have received unseemly and harassing emails of a sexual nature from Hufnagel, that were part of a professional exchange between the coach and reporter.
Martin steadfastly refused to delve further into the story, and would only refer questions to the California Sports Information Office.
Meanwhile, on a much tamer note, Altman was asked if he was cautious with his team in regard to surprises considering one of Oregon’s previous opponent this season, Baylor was knocked out of the tournament by Yale in an upset, 79-75.
“Our guys definitely won’t underestimate anybody,” responded Altman to the question. “I think our guys have done a good job of respecting our opponents throughout the year. I’m a little concerned about them being a little tight. I want them to go out and continue to play hard, but we definitely won’t take – underestimate anybody.”
Oregon’s will face Holy Cross tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. Pacific in the third game of the day in Spokane.
Holy Cross, 15-19 for the season, is the No. 16 seed and got into the tournament after winning the Patriot league tournament championship and are currently on a five-game win streak after having lost five-straight in conference play.
Oregon in ranked No. 5 nationally by the AP is the No. 1 seed in the West and has a season record of 28-6 and have an 8-game win streak and have won 14 of the last 16 games.
Follow the media conference, the Ducks had a 30-minute shoot around complete with the Oregon pep band. The shoot around was open to the public.
Senior Elgin Cook said that the team was very excited and happy for Chris Boucher receiving his waiver for next year. Boucher received a waiver by the NCAA on Wednesday that will allow him to use his fourth year of playing eligibility. The waiver was need as Boucher had played two years of junior college basketball prior to coming to Oregon but had sat out a year following graduation from high school. NCAA rules specify a player must complete four years of playing in five years following graduating high school except in the cases of military or religious service.