Dana Altman doesn’t need any help recalling the history of Matthew Knight Arena.
Oregon’s coach for all 156 games in the building noted that this season has featured more losses than any other since it opened in 2011.
The Ducks (14-9, 5-5) are 3-3 in conference home games as they prepare to host Stanford (12-10, 5-5) at 5 p.m. Sunday. Add in the stunning 89-84 nonconference loss to Texas Southern and Oregon is 10-4 at home thise season.
“We’ve lost four home games,” Altman recently noted. “We haven’t done that since the first year and some of those games were at the old building.”
Oregon was 16-8 at home in Altman's rookie campaign in the 2010-11 season, but the first five defeats came at McArthur Court before the Ducks debuted at Matthew Knight Arena against USC on Jan. 13. The Ducks lost a total of 13 home games in the next seven seasons and never more than three in any of those years.
Oregon improved to 136-20 all-time at Matthew Knight Arena with Wednesday’s 73-62 win over California in front of 8,768, which brought the average attendance this season up to 8,441.
“The crowd has been good to us,” Altman said. “We have played some not very good basketball, but the crowds have been great.”
Oregon passed the midway mark of Pac-12 play in a four-way tie for sixth place, but just one game out of second. The top four teams secure a first-round bye in the conference tournament with the eight teams between second and ninth currently separated by one game.
“Obviously it is pretty important for every team to try and get in that top four,” Altman said earlier in the week. “We are down a couple games because we lost home games. It is important for everyone trying to get the top four spots to win home games. We are in a tough spot and have to dig out of a hole if we want to get one of those.”
Altman, Kruger chasing Wooden
The win over Cal moved Altman into a tie for 30th place in NCAA history with 634 Division I wins. Altman is tied with Norm Sloan, who coached at Florida and North Carolina State, as well as Hugh Durham, who coached at Florida State and Georgia.
Up next on the list is Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, Altman’s former boss, who has won 635 games at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV as well as the Sooners.
Next season, Altman and Kruger could both catch legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, who sits in 28th place at 664.
Oregon needs six more wins this year to extend Altman’s streak of 22 straight seasons with at least 20 wins. Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Bill Self and Tom Izzo are the only active coaches with more consecutive 20-win seasons.
“Did Kenny (Wooten) have all five of his rebounds in the first half? That was the only disappointment. In the first half he went and got boards and then I complimented him and you can’t do that. I told him ‘Way to get five boards, you are on your way to 10’ and he stopped counting.” — Altman on sophomore Kenny Wooten, who had all five of his rebounds against Cal in the first half to go with 11 points and four blocks.