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March 9, 2017

Dana Altman

Dylan Ennis

Casey Benson

Las Vegas, Nevada

Oregon - 80, Arizona State - 57

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement and then we'll take questions.

DANA ALTMAN: I thought that our defensive effort to start the second half was pretty good. I thought our defensive energy was pretty good. They did get a couple good looks, but mostly those were pretty contested shots. We limited them to one shot, so we were able to get a little burst there. I think they started out 1-for-14 to start the second half and gave us a little separation.

They're a dangerous team. They shoot the ball so well and can get it going from three. I think they got a little tired in the second half after a very competitive ballgame last night, which enabled us to pull away at the end. But they're a very good offensive team, and at times they hit some big shots.

So, moving forward, we just got to continue to play well. We've got to get everybody on the same page and got to shoot free throws a little bit better. But hopefully we'll be ready at 6:00 o'clock tomorrow.

Q. Dorsey's been up and down all season. Today obviously he was -- we tried to pin down on what's the difference, his mindset or approach in good games versus bad games. He said there are no real mysteries to it: He has good days and bad days. What do you see in him about his good days and bad days, and what do you think of his play today?
DANA ALTMAN: The thing that sticks out for me is the nine rebounds. I think anytime a player gets involved in a game like that, regardless of how he is shooting the ball, he just feels really good about what he's doing. I think if a guy is guarding well and hitting the boards, that gets his energy going.

Tyler having nine boards today and Dillon getting 12 I thought was a big, big plus for us. To be real honest, those two guys have been on him a little bit about getting to the boards more. Because if we're going to play a three-guard lineup, which we have consistently and at times four guards, they've got to really put themselves on the boards. They've got to block out against bigger guys. They've got to stick their nose in there all the time. I thought that really got Tyler going, because he didn't shoot the three well. But I thought taking the ball to the basket because of his aggressiveness on the boards really helped him.

Q. Dana, trading buckets, trading leads so much in the first half with ASU, how did you adjust at halftime, or was it just stick with it, let their legs start to get heavier and heavier in the second half so we can get after them?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I thought the start of the ballgame was really bad for us because we gave Graham two wide-open threes to get his rhythm. Then after that he was hitting some tough ones. But the first two that we gave him were wide open, one from each corner. Once you give a shooter two really good looks like that, they can get it going. And Graham, he's a phenomenal scorer. So he had 16 at halftime and really had it going. We got another 16 in the second half. He just got 32 against us. So just a very good scorer and someone who gave us fits.

But you can't exchange baskets. That hasn't been a very good formula for us this year. When we do that, games go right down the wire, and those are the games we haven't done well in.

Q. You talked about rebounding. You outrebounded them by nearly 20, and also your points in the paint, you won the battle by 24. What makes you guys so efficient inside?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I thought our guards did a good job of driving the ball to the basket. We were very concerned about points in the paint going into the game because they had 40 yesterday in the paint. Now they scored 98. They had a big offensive game.

But they hit ten threes and they had 20 in the paint, 20 baskets in the paint, so there is 70 points right there. They were 22 of 25 from the line. So right away you're at 92 points. So one of our big things today as we switched all the ball screens and just told our bigs to keep the ball in the paint.

Jordan Bell's a good perimeter defender, and I thought he did a nice job. That's where keeping that ball from getting to the basket was big on the defensive end. Then offensively I thought our guards got the ball to the basket. I thought we were aggressive driving it in there, and that gave us a lot of easy opportunities.

Q. Dylan, as a debut in the tournament, the first game, what's your overall feeling of how the team performed kicking off your postseason season?
DYLAN ENNIS: I think we did a good job. We understand that, you know, these rankings don't mean anything. We have to come out every day and play like it's our last game. We rebounded well. We got defensive stops, and we're going to have to continue doing that throughout the tournament. But overall I think we did a great job today.

Q. Andy Enfield was talking last night about how he thinks some of the start times for games in conference have hurt the perception of the conference nationwide. Do you agree with that? I think some of the perception is that after you guys and Arizona and UCLA, there is a dropoff in the conference. How would you assess the accuracy of that?
DANA ALTMAN: Andy must have a lot more time to think about things than I do. The TV coverage that our league has received is a big plus. The first couple years in the Pac-10 with a lot of games not on, that creates some problems. Because we're on the west coast, those 8:00 starts, there are not a lot of people at eleven o'clock going to stay up until one o'clock on a Wednesday night or Thursday night to watch a game. So that puts us at a little bit of a disadvantage, but we can't change the time zone we're in. That's not going to change. Six o'clock starts for ballgames are tough for our fans to get to the games and so forth.

You know, it is what it is. I think the league's trying to do a good job. Our contracts with ESPN, CBS, FOX definitely help us. It's our job to continue to grow the league. I think that's why the move to this building is so important. We've got to continue to grow our tournament, all 12 teams. It's got to be a destination for all our fans to be here and to enjoy it.

Vegas is a great city. There's other things to do besides just watch basketball, from what I hear. So getting here and getting people to come all the time I think is great. I think this new building is great for our league. Now it's our challenge as coaches, players, the Pac-12 staff, all the individual staffs on every campus to make this an event. I think the players are doing their job. I think they're playing their tails off. So now it's got to grow, just like it did over at the MGM. It turned into a very good -- the last four years have been a lot of fun over there. I think this can be just as special.

Q. Do you guys feel like this is just the beginning of something special here? Like what is kind of in your mindset in terms of March Madness? You know, the expectations for you guys seem pretty high?
CASEY BENSON: No, absolutely. It's just kind of taking it one game at a time, having fun. That's kind of the biggest thing, enjoying it, soaking it up. Just kind of knowing that it doesn't happen like this, to have these opportunities to play on this stage.

So just giving it everything we have. We know we can play anywhere from two more games to eight or nine, whatever it is. So knowing that we want to play as long as we can and just continue to have fun with it. We love playing with one another. We've got a really tight-knit group, so just continue to keep it rolling.

DYLAN ENNIS: I think all the players are saying they enjoy Vegas. It's a great city. However, we can't use it to distract us. We're here a little early, and Coach allowed us to walk around the hotel and everything. But when it's time for business, we're here for business.

I think that's what makes championship teams, is knowing when you can play around and you know when it's time to lock in. For the rest of the time we're here to lock in. It's a great city, but you know it's time to get to business.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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