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March 13, 2019

Ernie Kent

Robert Franks

Las Vegas, Nevada

Oregon - 84, Washington State - 51

ERNIE KENT: I thought Oregon was just exceptional. People have talked about them being the hottest team in the league. When we played them in our place, you can feel, not only see, but feel the change in them. The energy was changing. Their length on the floor is really difficult to score on, as they've shown the last five opponents they've played against.

When you combine that on the strength inside, the outside scoring, they're a tough team. They're playing extremely well right now, and I can see them continuing to play better and better. As long as they keep their heads in it, they have a chance to make a run.

I don't think we helped the cause, 16 turnovers, 21 points in the first half. That's tough to beat anyone staying in the game. If you take away the 16 turnovers and give me shots, it will eliminate not only turnovers but will eliminate 21 points that we gave them off those turnovers where we couldn't get back and play defense, we just dug ourselves in a huge hole, because that length and athletic of a team, it's very difficult to push back.

Hats off to them. I think them and Colorado are both two teams playing extremely good basketball right now.

THE MODERATOR: They seemed to do a good job early. What can you say about what happened?

ROBERT FRANKS: I wanted to leave it all on the line today. Unfortunately our turnovers kind of slowed our offense down. It didn't let us play our game. It got us out of our rhythm. And with turnovers and them getting out in the open court, it was tough for us to find rhythm anytime during the game.

Q. What specifically is Oregon doing on defense that's really causing problems for teams?
ERNIE KENT: When you play 6-9, 6-9, 6-8, 6-11, you have a shot blocker on the back line, you've got three shot blockers, one who is a phenomenal shot blocker, and when you do that, even with Pritchard on the floor, you have a chance to switch a lot on defense, which forces teams out of their offense and forces them into a one-on-one game. And then you're playing one-on-one now against an athletic, 6'8", 6'9", 6'10" guy. Well, you're not going to drive them, because the shot blocker is sitting back there, so they force you into a lot of one-on-one jump shots.

So when you look at the point total, I think Washington had 47, they held somebody else, Arizona State, I think, to 47. 51 with another opponent, and now this game. They're playing outstanding defense. And the press I think is another component that slows you down and keeps you in a hurry-up mode once you get it over half court because they do a good job with the press to take some seconds off the shot clock. And you're hurrying up against a very athletic team with some terrific shot blockers, and one of the better ones in the country in the back line.

Q. Can you explain why you guys haven't been able to solve the turnover problem over the last five or six games, and why so many transition buckets, and why you haven't solved that?
ERNIE KENT: Our skill has really gotten away from us. And I think teams have made adjustments on us as well, too. When you do that you've got to play extremely smart in movement and all those types of things. Bol Bol has been just exceptional and sometimes he has carried us, which helps and hurts, because we tend to stand around and watch him carry us, and then teams tend to sit on top of him and kind of take things from him.

And when we can't have all the guys on the floor, play as good one-on-one games, it bogs us down. The turnovers to me are a result of just trying to force a lot of things because our offense has gotten so stagnant, so many adjustments defense has made on us.

Q. What's the big picture assessment for you coming away from this season? Do you see the progress that makes you confident you'll get a chance to turn this around?
ERNIE KENT: The big picture is the guy sitting next to me, here. That's going to be a hard replacement. We've got a lot of work to do with what's coming in the door recruit wise. But we've definitely got to add pieces to our program. And when we lose an offensive talent like this -- but not only offensive talent, but Bol Bol and Viont'e Daniels that have been sitting in the league four years, and known the league so well, that's a lot to replace. Our assessment big picture really comes about recruiting, and where we can add in terms of what's coming in the door already and other pieces we need to get this spring.

Q. Can you just talk about reflecting on your decision to stay and if it was worth it and what you got out of this last season?
ROBERT FRANKS: It was crazy. I thought about that last week. I think it was the best decision of my life. Just to come back and improving everything I worked on in the summer and showed more of my game. The senior year wasn't the year winning-wise I wanted to and this program wanted to. But the moving forward, I think I have the right pieces to move forward to be successful. And just take time to relax and rest and in a couple of weeks get after it again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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