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March 11, 2017

Dana Altman

Tyler Dorsey

Casey Benson

Las Vegas, Nevada

Arizona - 83, Oregon - 80

THE MODERATOR: Coach, compelling basketball, but didn't go your way. Could you comment?

COACH ALTMAN: I thought it was two teams that played really hard. The difference in the game was the start of the second half. We gave up some really easy baskets and didn't have very good offensive possessions there. So I really thought that was the difference in the game. You know, they're a great team. Tough, hard-nosed.

And I love the way our guys battled back. I don't know what we got down, 13, 14 points, but our guys really, really battled back. Put ourselves in a position. Our press helped us. Got us in position a couple times. I thought we were really close on a couple of five counts and really close on a couple things. So we just didn't get it done.

Q. Do you think the absence of Boucher affected the time element for you guys to get it going again?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, you know, Chris is a very talented young man, and he's a big part of our team. But that's part of any season. I just feel really bad for Chris. He's a wonderful young man, and it's really hard for him. It was a big blow to our team this morning. We were all kind of down, because he's one of the most popular guys on the team. He's the one guy that picks everybody up. He's a wonderful young man.

So everybody was a little subdued because Chris is a big part of our team and well liked. But we just had to get ready to go, and I thought our guys did. But we just didn't get it done.

Q. Can you detail what about the start of that second half it was that made that difference, as you said, in this game?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, the first thing was the three easy baskets. We were down six, and they got three very easy baskets to start the second half. So we had to take a timeout. But it went from 6 to 12 really quick. And our offensive ball movement wasn't very good, and we didn't get any -- so it went from 6 to 12 pretty quick.

Q. Last night you were a little concerned with the stagnation of the ball. You said that was a big part of the problem in the first half. How much of that was a similar story tonight, and what helped you get it moving again in the second half?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, I thought at times it was. I thought part of it the second half was Tyler taking the ball at the basket. I thought that really helped us some. We didn't shoot the ball well from three. We had some good looks that didn't go down. We just needed to hit a few of those. But the first half the ball didn't get going side-to-side like we wanted it to at times. At other times, I thought we had some good possessions, just didn't finish some plays.

Q. Coach, moving forward with the loss of Chris Boucher, it has to be a little bit encouraging that you got some good minutes out of Bigby-Williams in his rebounding and defense out there tonight with two blocks?
COACH ALTMAN: I thought Kavell played really well. I thought he really gave us a big lift defensively. We went and got six rebounds in a very short period of time. So, absolutely, helped us a great deal. I thought he was really good.

Q. Tyler, what about the second half? You were able to get going, start making shots and able to sort of steamroll and get active. What about the second half were you able to do a little differently than maybe in the first?
TYLER DORSEY: In the second half I felt that we got the flow of our offense going. I think we scored enough. It just came down to the defensive end and they jumped on us at the beginning of the second half, like Coach said. It came down to defensive stops, and we weren't getting them. We weren't buckling down. I think we scored enough. We scored 80 tonight, so it came on the defensive end, not the offense.

Q. Tyler and Casey, what can you take away from a game like this going forward, I guess, into the NCAA Tournament and then in the future for you guys?
TYLER DORSEY: We're going to remember this feeling. We're going to bounce back, let it in our rear view mirror and get ready. We're going to come out, get ready and play harder and bring more energy. Starting off in practice, seeing where we're going to be seeded, where we're playing and then get ready for that team and make this run. And our goal is still intact, so we've got to get ready. Make this motivation to keep going and get to that goal where we want to get to.

CASEY BENSON: Yeah, definitely. Just put it behind us. Obviously see what we did wrong. Going into the NCAA Tournament with a clean slate. Everybody's 0 and 0, and it's a new season. We've just got to be ready to go.

Q. Coach, what was your plan going in with the loss of Boucher? Did you have a different plan going in? Can you talk about the defense on Markkanen? I think he had 12 as opposed to 29 last night.
COACH ALTMAN: Well, we knew Kavell would play a little bit more. We're going to try to play Keith and Roman a little bit. So we just planned on using everybody. But the plan didn't really change. Chris has been a big part of our team, but we felt like Kavell could give us some boards and give us some defense. He did a great job of that. I thought his 14 minutes were really good.

Q. Coach, can you talk about Dillon's game tonight? He had a lot of shots and points in that first half, and second half he kind of struggled with the fouls and whatnot?
COACH ALTMAN: Yeah, he didn't start the second half very well offensively and got himself in a little bit of a jam. We just, again, didn't execute some things that we needed to. You know, he rushed a few things. He was trying to make some plays, all of our guys did. We had guys trying to make plays on the offensive end. Trying to make plays on the defensive end. So, a lot of guys. One or two mistakes here or there and it's a difference in the close ballgame.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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