Oregon Ducks Basketball: Garrett Sim
Ernie Kent or Dana Altman? Two men, one representing Oregon‘s basketball past and the other its future. The answer is simple for some and complicated for others.
Position: Point Guard, University of Oregon
DOB: July 10, 1990
Height / Weight: 6’2″ 185 lbs
Hometown: Portland, Ore. (Sunset HS)
Experience: 3 Year Letterwinner
If you looked both men in the eyes during a huddle, who would you choose? Who would you share your allegiance? Would it be the only Pac-10 coach that believed you could play in the conference in high school or the coach that knew you could be a starter once again as a junior?
Would you be bound to one of the greatest coaches in your school’s history or the one that was on the cusp of taking you to your first big dance?
Would you pick just one?
Could you be loyal to both?
If you were to ask Oregon senior point guard Garrett Sim which he coach he would rather have, you will likely be unable to get an answer from him.
In his four years in Eugene, Sim has witnessed the transition of the program that few others have ever experienced. There was the national debacle of trying to find a replacement for long-time coach Ernie Kent, where Oregon finally settled upon Creighton’s long-tenured head man Dana Altman.
He played in the final game in MacArthur Court and was part of the team that opened Matthew Knight Arena.
In the drama that played out on the set of University of Oregon’s basketball program, Sim has been in and out of the spotlight and cast in just about every role.
In his first two seasons as a Duck, Sim witnessed two of Kent’s worst as head coach at the University of Oregon. In 2008-2009, the team finished 8-23 (2-16 in the Pac-10) as Sim started 26 of 31 games.
The next year, the Ducks improved to 16-16 (7-11 in the Pac-10), but were unable to save Kent’s job.
Garrett Sim Under the spotlight...
Sim’s personal on-court successes were limited in Kent’s last season. His minutes plummeted from 23.7 to 15.4. The point guard’s loose play suddenly tightened and triggered an inability to maintain consistent play.
There was no rhythm in Sim’s play, and as a team, the Ducks were far from dancing it appeared. By the end of the Pac-12 tournament, the point guard and the program needed a spark.
At the end of the 2009-10 campaign, Kent was relieved of his duties as head coach. As the program sought a new director, ultimately settling for Creighton’s Dana Altman.
Even though the name couldn’t likely sell a ticket or move a game program, Sim could not have found a better coach to reenergize his own career than Altman. The point guard regained his starting spot in the 2010-11 season and responded with career highs in points, rebounds and assists.
The Ducks finished over .500 (21-18, 7-11 in the Pac-10) for the first time in Sim’s career.
In his senior campaign, Sim has not looked back. Through the Civil War date with Oregon State, Sim has started all 27 games. He has averaged 11.6 points per game and is shooting 44.4 percent from behind the arc.
Most importantly, the point guard has led his Ducks and validated the trust the former Blue Jays coach put in him from the first day he arrived in Eugene.
As Oregon heads south to finish the winter in Los Angeles for the Pac-12 tournament, a potential date for the big dance looms. Altman will look for Sim to continue leading his flock into the headwinds that will meet them at the Staples Center.
The questions of allegiance from Oregon fans will still linger for Sim and every other Oregon basketball player that was a cast member during the recent Duck drama.
Is he a Kent guy or is he an Altman guy?
The only question he cares about now is: Will the Ducks be dancing?
Key 2012 Statistics
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© Blair Thomas for North West Sports Beat, 2012. |
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