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November 22, 2016

Rick Barnes

Detrick Mostella

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Oregon - 69, Tennessee - 65

THE MODERATOR: Coach Barnes is joined by Detrick Mostella.

COACH BARNES: It's obviously a hard-fought basketball game. I keep saying I really like our team. We keep getting better and better each time out. Certainly coming here and playing against the level of competition is proving that our guys can compete.

And now we've got to learn to win games. Two big possessions coming out of the time-out, we drew up the play they were going to run, we wound up edging and gave that basket up, and the last play of the game we didn't really execute. We were wanting to drive the ball for two. They got in too far. We had two different looks for the three, and we didn't execute that. That's how fine a line it is.

Overall, just some really good things. I'm really proud of John Fulkerson today. I thought he really came in and hadn't played very much, learned how to work through fatigue.

But 25 turnovers is too much, especially from guys that shouldn't be turning the ball over. As bad as we were, we kept telling our guys to keep playing defense. The way we were, we couldn't find a way to get it done. We put ourselves in position, but we just didn't finish it.

Q. Detrick, what's been the key for you coming off the bench and being such a spark in the first half, both yesterday and today?
DETRICK MOSTELLA: Just coming in and playing my role and just playing as hard as I can. If I play as hard as I can, I let everything make up for it. I feel like the last couple of days, I just needed to prepare differently mentally. On the mental side, just come in and play my role.

THE MODERATOR: We'll dismiss Detrick back to his team and take questions for Coach.

Q. Rick, is this progress from yesterday in terms of being able to rally and force overtime?
COACH BARNES: Defensively, I thought we were really good early. I thought one of the worst spans we played defensively was during the first four minutes of the second half. We didn't come out of the locker room with the kind of energy we needed. We fought back. We kept our poise even when we'd been down.

Didn't close the first half the way we wanted to. We've got a couple guys that are playing too tentatively, where they're not looking to shoot the ball, and when that happens, that leaves -- part of the reason we turned the ball over 25 times.

But for a young group of guys, we'll learn from it. Long way to go in this season. Regardless of how we come out of this tournament, we're going to find out a lot about us, and I think we're finding that out.

Now we've got to find a way to win, and we certainly have the pieces and the ability to do that.

Q. Coach, you just kind of mentioned it. You have a relatively young team, and you're giving these ranked teams a run for their money. What has impressed you so far about your guys?
COACH BARNES: I think we've got a group of guys that they're learning as we go. They have been eager. They listen, not quite well enough still, but they are trying to be a good team. I think our culture is really, really good. I think that they are starting to understand it's a big difference between high school and college and how you have to play out long possessions on defense.

We might have had our best rebounding effort of the year against a team that is known for their rebounding, but it's so much a learning process. But the fact that we were playing against a very high-level group of players in this, it's going to help us because I do think our guys -- one thing that we've talked about is making sure they understand they're good enough. I do think they understand they're good enough now. Now they have to understand what goes into winning at this level.

Q. Rick, on Brooks' game winner, surprised there when he pulls up, he had time, expecting he probably drives it in? And just your thoughts on what you've seen out of Oregon as a whole.
COACH BARNES: Again, I think they've got a lot of players, like most teams this time of year, they're still searching where they want to be as a team, their rotations. This is a tough game to play. I thought both teams played hard, really fought their hearts out.

Dana is a terrific coach. Known him for a long time. He's obviously done a terrific job with that program. Like I said, it's early for us. We're with a young team. But every year you start over. You do, you start over. You've got to get things going. I know they've lost a couple games, but I know the first one -- I mean, think about it. They lost to, what, Baylor and Georgetown, two pretty good teams.

We all open the season with these tough games, but I love what they do offensively. They try to keep you off balance with their defense, but the fact is they're a good team, and us playing against them, I think, is going to make us a better team.

Q. (Off microphone)?
COACH BARNES: Was I surprised? At the end of the game I'm not surprised by anybody. I'm sure when I look at it on tape -- they were driving the ball really hard. We knew that. I think we were expecting them to drive the ball more.

I think we were caught with our hands down a little bit. He went up and knocked it down. I don't think you're going to take both of them away from him. Up to that point, both teams were really driving and putting pressure on the rim.

You look at him early, I thought he was a little tentative, wanting to shoot the ball from there. I thought he was wanting to get it closer to the rim. But got to give him credit. Raised up and knocked it down.

Q. Coach, you've been here several times with three different programs. Can you just speak to the Maui experience and how much you'd like to come back in the future.
COACH BARNES: Well, it's great. You look around, and everything about this has become a big-time event. I can remember being here 20-some years ago. This wasn't here, what we're doing now. We'd stand out here in the hallway, the way they've worked to make this facility what it is today, and the way everything's handled at just a first-rate manner and everything that you do.

And the thing that I realized walking in -- I've been here, and I'm not sure I'd say that -- I'm coming to do my job, but I could feel the players were excited because they've grown up watching this, and now they can say they've been a part of it. You know, I love Dave Odom. I think he's a guy that will attract the coaches to come back because, as you know now, there's so many of these tournaments going everywhere.

Again, we hope we can get a win out of here before we leave, but the fact is, the way this tournament's ran, I'm not sure there's a better preseason tournament with what they do with the interest, and I think they should always try to get cold-weather teams to come because I think their fans want to get out of the cold weather and get here.

The fact is it is what it is. I think they're going to keep playing it up until, what, 2030, which is only going to get better. But everything, the infrastructure is as good as you see in the NCAA Tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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