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March 23, 2016

Grayson Allen

Matt Jones

Anaheim, California

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Matt and Grayson, your coach said that Marshall is one of the most important players on this team. How has his leadership really helped you guys throughout the NCAA Tournament and before?
MATT JONES: For me Marshall's our anchor, especially on the defensive end. For a guard to hear your big man call out the screens, kind of call out the coverage, it helps you a lot. He gives us ultimate confidence. More times than not, Marshall's the biggest player on the court. So to have the biggest player on the court on your side, you definitely want that.

GRAYSON ALLEN: He's done a great job being our emotional leader. He plays with a lot of fire down there. He makes plays that are effort plays, ripping down rebounds, coming over and blocking shots. Then he shows his emotion and it really fires us up and brings us all energy.

Q. Looking at online pictures of the hotel you guys are staying in, it seems a little castle-esque. I was just curious to your reaction? If it's a little different from where you guys have been staying this year?
GRAYSON ALLEN: It reminded me -- I'm from Florida, so it reminded me as a little kid going to Disney and staying in one of those hotels because that's pretty much what it is. It's a little different. It brings back memories of your childhood definitely.

MATT JONES: Yeah, it is different, like G says. I like the fact that Disneyland is right across the street or whatever. But it's different.

Q. Coach said that your ankle, I guess, is not quite 100% healed from the North Carolina game. I was curious if that was what was bothering you against Yale or if that's something that continues to wear on you?
MATT JONES: It's something that I just try to take care of day by day. Some days hurt more than others. But against Yale, I just had a bad game. Luckily my teammates were there, like always, to pick me up.

But as far as my ankle goes, it's something that's tolerable. At this point everybody's going through something, so I just had to get through it.

Q. I don't know how much you guys have had a chance to watch Oregon at all. I noticed a lot against Saint Joseph's they pressed a lot and that's kind of what you struggled with against Providence. How much have you seen and what is your takeaway with their athleticism?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Well, we've definitely watched a lot of film on them. We don't get to see as much of them during the regular season because of West Coast and East Coast, but we have seen a lot of film. They're a very athletic team, and that's what makes their press good. They have athletic guys. They have a lot of size out there on the court with four guys around the same height. So for us we just have to be sharp and handle the press. Like he said, we didn't handle it well against Yale, but hopefully that will be a learning experience and we'll be better.

Q. This is basically a follow-up to the last question: What challenges either in terms of individual match-ups or tactics does Oregon pose for you individually and collectively?
GRAYSON ALLEN: They're a very athletic team. You look at them and you could argue they're one of the most athletic teams in the country with a combination of size and just athleticism they put on the court. Their guys attack you. So offensively they can really spread the floor, at times go five out, and that's tough for most teams to guard the way they can take guys off the dribble, kickout, and almost all their guys can hit threes. It's a tough team to defend.

Then defensively with the lineup that they do have out there, it allows them to switch a lot of stuff because they all can guard similar positions. That's a tough team when you have versatile players like that.

MATT JONES: Kind of like what G says. They can attack us, like we try to attack others with four guards, and very athletic big men. Like G said, their athleticism can really affect people, and the way they play, they play really hard. They're very well coached. So we just have to try to match their intensity.

Q. Grayson, there are a bunch of big-name programs that play in this tournament every year, Kansas, Carolina, Kentucky, but it seems like when people see Duke it inspires maybe some extra strong feelings. Have you guys experienced that? And do you have any thoughts on maybe why that is?
GRAYSON ALLEN: At this point in the Tournament, Sweet Sixteen, it doesn't matter who you are, you're going to get the other team's best. Doesn't matter if you're Duke or whoever you are. At this point I don't think that's a factor for the other team. We know when we go to gyms that there is going to be a section of Duke fans, a section of Oregon fans, and then everyone else is rooting against us, so we're okay with that.

Q. If you could both answer this: Among the teams left in the Tournament you are among the lower-scoring second-half teams. To what do you attribute that? Is it even worrisome to you at all?
MATT JONES: I don't think it's worrisome. We've proven time and time throughout the year that we can score the ball, no matter the half. Obviously we haven't had, like you said, the second halves that we would like, but we're fortunate to have another game to where we can try to put a complete game together, first and second half. So as far as scoring the ball goes, that's not really our problem. We've been fortunate about that. We just have to get stops.

GRAYSON ALLEN: For us, we just need to stay in attack mode the whole game. We have a lot of scorers on our team, and with that we have guys that come out to hot starts. Luke and Brandon can really just get going early. So for us, we just have to fight through the little break at halftime and come out in the second half attacking the same way.

Q. I believe Yale had 20 offensive rebounds, scored 21 second-chance points. How important will it be tomorrow to be physical with Oregon and keep them off the glass?
GRAYSON ALLEN: It will be very important, especially with their athleticism, and they send a lot of guys after the glass three, four, sometimes five guys. In the St. Joe's game they got a big bucket at the end off an offensive rebound, so we know that's going to be key. It's been one of our weaknesses, but we want to try to make it a strength for us, defensive rebounding, and really limit second-chance opportunities.

MATT JONES: Yeah, like G said, that's one of their strengths. But like I said earlier, we're fortunate enough to have another game. Anything can happen. We can come out and have our best rebounding game. So we just have to focus on that and focus on our game plan.

Q. Matt, how much during the course of the season do you refer to what happened to last year and the experience you guys had? Because you're in a place where you've all been before. You've experienced the highest you can get, and Oregon's still trying to break through to that level. How much does last year's experience help you?
MATT JONES: It helps a lot. We have guys that have been here before, so obviously we can take that experience and just make sure that the younger guys know it's going to be a different atmosphere. The first and second round was good, but it's nothing like Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight kind of atmosphere.

So we have to make sure that they're tuned into what we need to do. Make sure they're focused on the game plan and just to have fun. Because at the end of the day, it's just a game. If they have fun and be themselves, we should be all right.

Q. Oregon as a program in general, what have you guys made of their ascension as a program since Dana Altman arrived in 2010?
GRAYSON ALLEN: Yeah, he's done a great job. You can tell they're a very well-coached team and they're very talented as well. It's a credit to him doing a great job recruiting. Look at the team they have, they have a combination of young guys. Dorsey is a really good freshman and older guys as well. So to have that combination, I mean, he's doing a good job there.

MATT JONES: I think what really impresses me is how hard they play. They play together. You can tell that they're comfortable with each other, and that's a credit to their coaching.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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