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March 10, 2017

Dana Altman

Tyler Dorsey

Jordan Bell

Las Vegas, Nevada

Oregon - 73, Cal - 65

Q. Coach, tough, hard game.
COACH ALTMAN: Yeah, it sure was. Cal really got after us. Mullins had a great game, hitting five threes, and really kept that thing close. We weren't very sharp offensively, a lot of individual plays that really got our ball movement stopped and got us out of sync offensively.

But, again, they had a lot to do with that. They did the same thing at their place, got us out of our rhythm and we didn't do a very good job.

So we're fortunate to move on. Anytime in tournament play, all the games aren't going to go as smoothly as you want them to. You've got to grind some out, and I thought that happened today. Fortunately Tyler, offensively, really did a great job. Also defensively down the stretch I thought he really picked it up. And Jordan's 15 rebounds, you know, gave us a plus-2 on the boards and didn't give them a lot of second opportunities. I thought that was a big key, because they got a lot of second opportunities last time we played them.

Q. Coach, a lot of coaches never prescribe to a loss propels you, but going forward tomorrow and into the coming weeks, what has this team taught you about what maybe getting that close last year, what can that do for this team, whether it be tomorrow or in the coming weeks, what they learned getting that close to the four last year, or can it?
COACH ALTMAN: You know, I'm not sure. I think every group, every team's different. We do have -- moving on to tomorrow night, we do have four or five guys on the team that this will be their third championship game. This is our third one in a row, and Jordan and Dillon, Casey Benson, Charlie, Roman, this is their third final. So moving into that game, I think that will help us. Moving to the tournament, that experience, I hope pays dividends because we can add Tyler to that group and Chris Boucher and Dylan Ennis who all have postseason experience.

So we are experienced. But as you can tell from today, I don't think we use that experience like we should have.

So it's a learning experience with every game. I hope we learn something today. I hope last year's tournament taught us something. We had a really tough second-round game against Saint Joseph's where I think we were down seven with five minutes to go and had to really fight our tails off to get back from that. So we faced a good team in Oklahoma who beat us pretty good.

So, yeah, I think we've learned some things. Now we've got to apply those lessons. That's something only those guys can answer, but I do think they have some experience.

Q. Coach, can you talk about Payton's play tonight and your ability to win a game where neither he nor Dillon had their best games?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, offensively the whole team was out of rhythm. Dillon had a lot to do with that early. He took some really quick shots, bad shots, and kind of got us out of sync. That first half I think he was 1-for-9 and three turnovers. So it wasn't a good first half. Then Payton, like all of our guys, I just didn't think our ball movement was very good because Payton has the ball in his hands a lot, some of that starts with him. But we didn't run the floor very well. We didn't get enough runouts. We didn't push it like we wanted to. But that falls on everybody; that doesn't just fall on Payton.

Q. Coach, how much have you thought about the weight of tomorrow's game and whether or not that will have any implication on which region y'all will end up in when the team's announced Selection Sunday?
COACH ALTMAN: Yeah, I don't know. I'm not sure it matters. It matters more who you're playing. Location is important. We played Wisconsin in Milwaukee, that wasn't much fun. So some of those things do matter. But you've got to go play the game, whoever you get matched up with, you've got to figure out a way. So we would like to win the conference tournament. Whatever implications those have on our seeding, I don't know. But we'd like to win the conference tournament again.

This is the fifth year it's been in Vegas. We've been in the finals now four times. We've won a couple of them, we lost one, so we'd like to win three out of five, that would be a pretty good accomplishment. I'm proud of the guys. Like I said, Jordan, this is his third straight one. Dillon Brooks, Casey, those guys have been in this game. So hopefully that experience, that energy will help us tomorrow night.

Q. Tyler, how are you able to be so effective offensively?
TYLER DORSEY: My teammates were finding me in great positions and I was just spotting up, and my man left me and I just stepped into the shots.

Q. Jordan, that block on Domingo towards the end of the game was a pretty big one coming from the help side. It almost looked like you were baiting him into that drive. Can you just talk about that play as you remember it?
JORDAN BELL: I don't remember that play, honestly (laughing). I think it's the one where I think Chris was guarding him maybe, yeah, Chris was guarding him. I just knew he was going to drive it because Chris gave him the middle. So I was just waiting for him to go, get to the highest point and just try to go get it.

Q. Tyler, when your star player goes to the bench with two minutes into the second half, what is the feeling of the team when Dillon picked up his fourth foul?
TYLER DORSEY: We knew the ball was pretty stagnant mostly in the whole first half. We just had to move the ball and move it side-to-side, get it four sides and then drive or find our teammates. We started doing that in the second half, and picking that up. That's how we got our offensive flow. But most of the game, the ball was pretty stagnant.

Q. But not panic, but how much concern when your top scorer is out for virtually the whole second half?
TYLER DORSEY: Just everybody has to pick it up and pick up their role. That's what we did tonight. We can't control how the refs are going to call it, and they called a couple on Dillon early and everybody had to pick up.

Q. For the players, can you speak to the stakes of playing for your conference's championship tomorrow?
JORDAN BELL: It means a lot, obviously, because you obviously want to win the regular season and the tournament to show that it's not a fluke. But also seeding. I know he doesn't care about where we play. I kind of care where we play, yeah, so obviously that matters a lot.

TYLER DORSEY: Yeah, we want to win this championship. We want to win it back-to-back. Getting another ring, that's a great feeling.

Q. Coach, aside from the team not playing a great game, do you feel there's value though in having a close game like that?
COACH ALTMAN: Absolutely. No, no, you're not going to shoot the ball well. Your offense isn't going to flow well in every game. We've learned that in past games. So when you have to depend on your defense, you have to depend on your rebounding, you've got to go through a close game and guys got to step up and make plays, and you've got to step up and make stops and get rebounds. That pressure of going through it and accomplishing something, I think, does help you. Guys know you can fight back. You can hold the lead, you can figure out a way.

I mean, we had a seven-point lead there and we had two or three really bad possessions. I mean, we were stuck in the mud. We came out of timeout wanting to run a set play, and guys lined up in the wrong spots. That's my fault. But we really were stagnant there. We couldn't get Jordan to sprint out for a pick, and everybody just stood there pounding the ball.

So we had two or three really bad possessions, some other ones that weren't very good, but those ones were really bad. So you learn that, okay, we made a mistake. We didn't get it done. We better gear up defensively. We better get the next board. And I thought our guys did a good job of that.

Too many times you just depend on your offense, and if you're not hitting shots, you fold up. But we didn't hit some shots there. But like I said, Tyler got through a couple screens, because Mullins was really hurting us, 7-for-8 from the field, 5-for-5 from three, and he was killing us. Tyler took on the challenge and got him stopped. I thought that was just as big as hitting shots.

Q. Jordan and Tyler, I know Dana and the coaching staff will have their makeups and what to expect tomorrow, but coaching within the huddle of the players, what will you say to each other? How will you coach it up after this game and looking forward to tomorrow's game, given the experience you guys have already been here?
JORDAN BELL: Obviously whoever we play tomorrow is going to be a really tough game, whether it's UCLA or Arizona. So we obviously know that we can't play like we did today, especially in the championship game. We know they're going to come out with a lot of energy, they're going to be focused. So we just have to come out with that same intensity, be focused and try to have one of our best games this year.

Q. You guys have been here now four of the last five years playing on Saturday. Is there a comfort to the routine as you prep for Saturday? And, Dana, what do you try to do to keep these guys as fresh as possible with the quick turnaround so that they're as sharp as they can be physically as well as mentally?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, we have a recovery process. They'll have to get in the ice tub. That's something that Jordan and Tyler really like. We'll go through our recovery right now. We'll try to get them off their feet as much as possible. They'll spend a little time with their families. A lot of them have their families around, so we want them to spend a little time. We'll get them to bed early, let them sleep in. That eight o'clock game takes all day waiting for that, kind of tough. But we'll go through our regular recovery. Try to get them off their feet as much as possible and have them ready to go at 8:00 tomorrow night.

Q. Guys, what are your thoughts about the familiarity with this recovery period playing on Saturday?
TYLER DORSEY: It's a quick turnaround, and we've got to get our recovery, our rest, and rest up. But we're going to come out with a lot of energy. It's a championship game and we want to win it. So I know it's a quick turnaround, but we're going to come out with a lot of energy and get our guys going and just be ready.

JORDAN BELL: Same, what he said. As soon as we get to the hotel, get straight to recovery. Obviously our families are here. We want to try to stay off our feet as much as possible and really get focused for tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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