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October 23, 2014

Dana Altman

Joseph Young


THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to introduce Oregon head coach Dana Altman and senior guard Joseph Young.
Coach, if you would like to provide an opening remark.
COACH ALTMAN:  Our team faces some challenges this year.  We have a limited roster, not much experience back.  Our guys are going to have to stay healthy.  We're going to have to make progress throughout the year.  Got a very difficult non‑conference schedule, so our guys will have to blend together very quickly.  We have six newcomers that will all have to play a role for us.
It will be an interesting year.  We're going to go through some ups and downs.  Our guys are going to have to continue to fight, continue to get better.  If they do that, I think we can have a good ballclub.
I like our talent.  We just don't have much experience.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for coach and Joseph.

Q.  What is something specific you've done to manage this drastic turnover you're experiencing this year?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, we've had a few more two‑a‑day practices to try to get some guys familiar with what we want to do.
I think the new guys are going to have to do a better job of following Joseph and Elgin's lead, Jalil's lead.  We've only got three guys who have played on the big stage.  I think our new guys are going to have to do a little better job of following them around, trying to get a more consistent work ethic.
Other than that we haven't done much.  Just trying to spend as much time with the new guys as possible to get them ready to go as quick as possible.

Q.  Joseph, you were the team's leading scorer last year.  What did you do to improve yourself coming into this season?
JOSEPH YOUNG:  Well, I stayed in the gym.  It all started out this summer.  I went to LeBron camp, learned a lot from the experienced guys, especially LeBron.  I just want to take what I learned, bring it to the team, such as leadership, make sure everybody is on time and make sure everybody is getting extra work in.
That's one of the things that we need to have this year, is more team bonding and everybody to come together as one whole.

Q.  Are there any specific things you've done to help the team bonding?  Dinners or anything like that?
JOSEPH YOUNG:  A couple Sundays ago, everybody went to I think Safeway, everybody bought their own food.  We came together and everybody cooked their own portion of food.  It was a good team bonding to be in there, talking to the newcomers, trying to figure out what their mindset is, pick their brains a little bit.  We did.  It was a good team bonding.  We're going to have more of that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JOSEPH YOUNG:  I made the best dish.  I had seasoned pork chops (laughter).

Q.  Dana, I realize this was a tricky situation for you last year.  In hindsight, do you think it might have been a mistake to play Austin and Dotson and Artis in the NCAA tournament?
COACH ALTMAN:  Brandon was a transfer, so he wasn't eligible to play.  At the time I was not aware of the extent of any of the charges against the young men.  I didn't really have a decision‑making play.  The decision was made by the president on how to handle the situation.  I think the three of us made the right decision.

Q.  Dana, these last couple months obviously people on and off campus have been questioning your judgment because of those incidents.  What have you tried to do to maybe restore faith in your program and your coaching career?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, I've had a 25‑year coaching career as a Division I head coach.  Six months has not been good, but the other 25 years have been pretty solid.  We've relied on that.
The only changes we've made with our players, we've moved them all into the same apartment complex.  We have our graduate assistants living with them to try to help them with some of the day‑to‑day decisions they make.  Other than that, we haven't made many changes.

Q.  Coach, obviously a lot has been made of Joseph's scoring ability which may improve this year.  Do you think that takes the spotlight away from some of the other things he does as a player?
COACH ALTMAN:  I think Joe knows his defense has to get better.  He knows this year it's going to be imperative that all our guys rebound, so his rebounding numbers are going to have to go up.
I think he's very capable of that.  He is a good scorer.  This year he's going to be relied on to do that.  But defenses are going to be tilted to slow him down.  Anybody that gets 19 a game, any coach is going to look at that, that's where their defensive preparation is going to start.
We're going to have to manufacture ways to get him the ball.  But also he's going to have to play the complete game.  I think he did at times last year.  But I've seen him make improvement.  We need that improvement to continue.  He's got to be a good defender for us on the ball, off the ball.  The leadership, we've spent a lot of time talking about that.  As I talked about since day one, everybody's got to be a rebounder.  I think he's doing a good job there.

Q.  Coach, the Civil War is always a big deal in the state of Oregon.  Have you crossed paths in your career much with Wayne Tinkle?  What do you know about his coaching style?
COACH ALTMAN:  You know, I haven't.  I've watched his teams play occasionally.  I think they were in the NCAA tournament.  Caught a little bit of that.  Really don't know Wayne.  I don't know him that well.
But his reputation is great.  He's had a great career.  I'm sure the series will get more competitive, and we look forward to that.  I know he's having a good recruiting class with his son and some other players that they're recruiting.  Both of us will be recruiting some in‑state players, and we look forward to the challenge.

Q.  With just some of the flux of the roster during the summer, how did that change your routine preparation for getting ready for a season, not knowing what you had cemented as your roster coming in?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, we are a lot less experienced this year than we have been in previous years.  I don't think it's changed our preparation too much.  We're trying to do a lot of the same things that we've traditionally done.  We'll still press.  We'll still get out and run.  We're going to be a little small at some spots.
As I mentioned, we've got to rebound the ball, keep the ball in the middle.  Defensively that will be important to us.  Everybody has to stay healthy.  If we're going to play nine or ten guys, we have to have some good fortune and everybody has to stay healthy.
But I don't anticipate us changing the way we play too much.  I think we have a good talent level on our team.  The inexperience is a concern, especially with the schedule that we face.  But I don't anticipate us changing our style too much.
THE MODERATOR:  Gentlemen, thank you so much for your time.

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