Oklahoma State basketball: Oregon coach Dana Altman impressed by Marcus Smart

By Anthony Slater, Staff Writer, aslater@opubco.com Published: March 21, 2013

Despite his reputation as an underrated coach, Oregon's Dana Altman has received some criticism in years past for his lack of NCAA Tournament success.

Thursday's 68-55 second-round win over Oklahoma State will help shed that label, bumping his career tournament record to 4-8.

Q: You mentioned the rebounding advantage, how critical that was. What do you attribute your dominance in that area to?

A: We are the No. 1 rebounding team in the Pac-12. We felt going into the game that was the one area that we could dominate the game in. We really did. They're a plus one on the boards, but they like to go with that small lineup and really try to spread you out. And we hammered for the last three days, ‘Fellas, we've got to beat these guys on the boards.' And that's our advantage.

I know you haven't made a big deal of this, but Travis Ford was saying that to him it's been the talk of the tournament where you guys were seeded and clearly you guys were not a typical No. 12 seed. And he thought the committee would admit to that mistake. Would you agree with that?

Well, I don't know how to answer that. We went in the game feeling that we were a good basketball team. Where they put us, you know — we won the game, so I feel pretty good. I feel bad for Oklahoma State because they had a great year. I mean, they finished one game out of the title for the Big 12. We finished one game out of the title for the Pac-12. And we played well in the conference tournament. So, I don't know about all those things.

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