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March 12, 2015

Dana Altman

Elgin Cook

Joseph Young


Oregon – 93
Colorado - 85

THE MODERATOR:  We'll open with some general remarks from Coach Altman.
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, we really had a sluggish start.  Guys' activity defensively was not very good.  And our ball movement on the offensive end was not very good.
But we gradually got into a flow of the game and hit a couple of 3s.  I thought we took some good 3s.  We rushed a couple in the first half.  But we hit a couple which energized us and got us close at the half.
And then I thought the start of the second half, Joe just did a great job of with the pick and rolls, Jalil got the lift on the first possession, Joe got a switch on the second, hit one, and Elgin's ability to get the ball to the basket and finish plays, I thought was big.  And then obviously our press gave us some opportunities.
The points off turnovers was definitely the difference in the game.  It energized us.  And 27‑2, the turnovers were a big, big part of the ballgame.

Q.  Coach, on the first half you're off to a sluggish start, you're down by 11, then you put the press in three‑quarter court press.  Did that help you get back on track?
COACH ALTMAN:  I thought so.  It got us moving.  We were dead to start the game.  I must have put them to sleep before the ballgame with my inspirational speech, because our activity just wasn't very good.
And even on the offensive end, our ball movement, got stuck on one side of the floor and we didn't get it moving side to side.  But I thought the press did get us going.  And then when we hit a couple of 3s, then I really felt our energy level pick up, and then definitely we had a different energy about us the second half.

Q.  Did the layoff hurt you at the beginning, or is that overrated?
COACH ALTMAN:  I don't think so.  I just think that we had a lot of new guys playing in their first tournament.  There was no doubt that our guys wanted to play well.  Their preparation‑‑ we had a good practice Saturday.  We had a good practice Monday.  The guys were focused.
They wanted to play well.  But just we were a little sluggish.  And tournaments can do that to you.  We sat around all day yesterday watching those games and today, and guys are bouncing around wanting to play.  And you just kind of psych yourself out a bit.
So we didn't do a good job of maybe getting them to settle down and relax to start that ballgame.  But I thought once we got into a flow and we made plays for each other in the second half‑‑ our ball movement, like I said, was not very good the first half; the second half it was much better, made plays for each other, got runouts, and transition is a big part of our game.
JOSEPH YOUNG:  No, we just started a little slow.  Coach did a good job of keeping our composure, keeping our confidence high, especially at halftime, telling us that we need to be more active on the defensive end, rebound more.  And move the ball more.
So Coach did a really good job of that and we came out, played very well, rebound, played defense, was way more active the second half and really commend Coach for that.

Q.  Did you feel after Colorado play last night and got a big win they would be hot like that and ride some emotion that you guys might have to weather something like that?
COACH ALTMAN:  If you look at their minutes, other than Booker, nobody played many minutes last night.  I knew that they were going to be tired.  They're playing ten guys, and I told our guys that.  And I told our guys you've got to be prepared because they've been on the floor.  They've got that nervous energy out.
You've got to be ready for their first blow.  And we didn't handle it very well.  But, yeah‑‑ no, team's coming off a win, they've won three of their last four games, they lost in overtime.  But other than that, they've won three of their last four.  They got a good win last night.  Booker had 20.  Hit those three big 3s in a row the second half.  And Josh had a double‑double, 16 and 14last night.  So we knew they were going to ‑‑ and their size gives us problems.
We knew they would be really tough.  And, again, I think a lot of times that second game is your better one, because you get that nervous energy out and you're ready to go, and that definitely was the case.

Q.  When you say the size are going to give you problems, is that also where the press comes in?
COACH ALTMAN:  Yeah, we wanted, so they can't run it down and work it side to side and get it in, we've got to make them‑‑ we've got to use our quickness versus their size a little bit.

Q.  Joe, there are stretches out there where it seemed like you were really frustrating them.  They just really couldn't stop you.  What was your mindset when you were out there on the floor tonight?
JOSEPH YOUNG:  Well, you know, I commend my teammates.  Just really setting the pace right and Coach calling the right play and just making the right plays.
Seeing Elgin slip on one of the plays, Jalil came up on one of the drag screens and knocked down a 3.  Just really Coach calling the right plays and me making the right decisions and Coach trusting me to make the right decisions.

Q.  During the start, 7‑0, at any point did you think about a timeout to stem the bleeding, or did you want to let it ride and see what happened?
COACH ALTMAN:  I thought about a timeout.  We've taken some early timeouts.  But I just felt that we were going to be okay.  Again, it's a new situation for our guys, with the exception of these two‑‑ I don't think Jalil played last year's tournament.  So, I mean, we just didn't have anybody out there who had been through it.
And freshmen were playing like freshmen.  And they're just going to take a while to burn through it.  We just were hoping we didn't get down too far.  We did get down 11.  So I was very concerned.  But we were able to come back.

Q.  Joseph and Elgin scored a lot, but what are your thoughts on Casey and Dillon Brooks?  Seemed like they did a lot of the smaller things that don't show up on the box score.
COACH ALTMAN:  Absolutely.  It's a team.  And we had three new guys go up there.  Dwayne hits four free throws.  Casey goes 3 for 4 from the line and Dillon hits two.  I mean, those are three new guys.  We were trying to get the ball to Joe, but they were taking Joe out, away, so we were going different places.  They were fouling and those guys stepped up and knocked them down.
And so I thought Casey handled the ball well.  Dwayne, Dillon.  Our freshmen played good.  Our new guys.  So, no, those two guys carried us and that's what you expect from your vets.  But, no, we had a lot of guys contribute.  Jalil had 15.  Dillon had 11.  And Dwayne had 12.  And you're right, Casey had a lot of good minutes.
He handled the ball.  Was strong.  And he did a lot of good things.  Amad gave us good minutes.  Jordan wasn't very good tonight.  But he'll improve.  So, no, it was some good play by some new guys.

Q.  Joe, where does the tonight's offensive production, where does it compare to the rest of the season's games as to how hard it was for you to get your points, to get your production on the offensive court?
JOSEPH YOUNG:  Well, it's really my teammates setting the picks, finding me when I'm open and Coach calling the right plays.  And I really commend my teammates.  It's all about my team and if I didn't have a team that I have now, I wouldn't be able to get open or find my teammates when they're open or them finding me when I'm open.  So commend my teammates and my coach.

Q.  Was this the hardest night for you to get points this season?
JOSEPH YOUNG:  Not‑‑ I mean‑‑ like I say, I commend my teammates.
COACH ALTMAN:  30.  (Laughter).

Q.  How would you assess this game as the first tournament game for your team?  Happy to win, I'm sure, but was it more of a challenge than you would have hoped, lots to build on, what do you think?
COACH ALTMAN:  No, we knew it was going to be tough.  We knew it was going to be tough.  Colorado's size, like I said, they've won three of their last four.  They're coming in on a little bit of a roll.  We knew we were going to have a difficult game.
And Tad always gets his team prepared to play.  So there was no doubt in our mind that we were going to have to play 40 minutes.  And I continued to tell those guys, whoever we play, the whole week, whoever we play that first game, and we put up signs, with just those two, we didn't want them thinking about anything but one game.
And so no, we knew it was going to be difficult.  And we got a lot of things out of it.  We got everybody out there and I think we'll play better tomorrow, I hope.

Q.  Do you feel this is a good test for your club as well?
JOSEPH YOUNG:  I feel like we just gotta get better on the defensive end.  We came out a little rusty.  But a lot of‑‑ we've got to be more active starting off the game.  We can't start off the game 12‑4, 12‑0.  I feel like we're going to do a better job in the second game by coming out, coming out as a team, being more collective, more active, in the zone and whatever Coach put us in.

Q.  You mentioned Jordan struggled a little bit.  Did anything go into that pregame deciding to start Dwayne over Jordan tonight against the bigger Buffs?
COACH ALTMAN:  We've been changing lineups a lot and Jordan sometimes is a freshman, doesn't pay attention.  And so I was disappointed that he didn't pay attention to me.
But we've changed lineups all year.  And that wasn't the reason for a slow start.  We just weren't active.  And our activity wasn't very good.

Q.  Elgin, can you give us the sense at halftime you guys started shooting so slow, did you have a sense then at halftime of what was to come in the second half?  Were guys still confident?  How would you describe kind of just the vibe?
ELGIN COOK:  Everybody was still real confident.  But it kind of gave us more sense of an urgency we had to execute and we had to be more active and come out and play as hard as we can.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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