home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 19, 2015

Dana Altman

Elgin Cook

Joseph Young


THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Oregon Ducks, Elgin Cook and Joseph Young. The Ducks will play Oklahoma State on Friday's third game. The Ducks are the No. 8 seed out of the West, out of the Pac 12 Conference.

Q. You guys are really some of the -- two of the three players who have actually played in an NCAA Tournament before. I know Dana has said he wants the freshmen to be selfish and want this feeling again and again. How do you help the freshmen, which is the majority of the team, become conscious enough of this tournament?
JOSEPH YOUNG: Just be prepared for the tournament, the games and how to be focused. That's one of the things that us vets, me, Elgin and Jalil, that's what we do for the younger guys. We are more mature and we just want them to have the mind-set that they have to come out and be more focused than the regular season and the second season, and that's pretty much it, take it one game at a time and go from there.

ELGIN COOK: We just want to give them a little bit of leadership and a little bit of guidance. It's the NCAA Tournament, so it's a dream come true for them to be playing here. When tip-off comes, they will be ready.

Q. Joe, rebounding after the Arizona game was something you have been harping on, those few days of practice back in Eugene, how have you transitioned? Do you think you have enough rebounding skills now?
JOSEPH YOUNG: Most definitely. We have really been harping on rebounding and everybody coming back and rebounding, all five guys on the board. That's what we harped on all three days of practice, and Coach really wants us to rebound from the point guard to the center spot, and the guys that come off the bench, we just need a lot of energy on the rebounding; and we communicate and play good defense and good board play, we will be good.

Q. Joe, what is it about the biggest stages that tends to bring out the best in you?
JOSEPH YOUNG: The biggest stage is when you have your team with you, you know? It's just not an individual stage, you know. Just playing and you got your teammates behind you and you got a good coaching staff and the fans and the support. It's just fun to really give the fans, and I got help from my teammates to put on a show, because if it wasn't for my teammates, I couldn't put on a show, you know, like getting the ball from Elgin, giving Elgin the ball and them finding me and making plays for them. It's just a highlight, coming out and being a big show for the team and the team with me, it's all a team thing at the end of the day.

Q. Fellows, can you speak to what it has meant for Coach to be back in Omaha? Do you have a sense of what it's meant to him? Have you seen any enthusiasm from him in that regard?
ELGIN COOK: Coach is really excited. He comes into every practice with the same mind-set; he always brings the energy; he's always really excited. He coached here for so long, and the least we could do is come out and play hard for him.

JOSEPH YOUNG: The day we got announced we were playing in Omaha, Coach was so excited because he was talking about his father didn't get to come to most of the games, and he really wanted his family to check out the game, and his wife's family to come check out the games. It's a big deal for Coach, and we really took that for granted and came out and practiced these last three days, we really worked hard, listened to Coach. Everybody was focused, no attitudes, nothing. We really prepared for this game.

Q. Joe, you were at Houston, and with Coach Dickey and now he's on the staff at Oklahoma State. Do you draw any motivation from that or is that a non factor in getting ready for this game?
JOSEPH YOUNG: Non factor. Coach is a good coach, and not about that, you know. It's about me getting my team prepared, Elgin getting the team prepared and Coach getting the team prepared and getting the Ducks prepared. That's just another thing, something that happened a long time ago, it's over with, and now we just got to prepare for tomorrow's game and be focused.

Q. Joseph, the text messages you're sending to your teammates, can you tell us what inspired you to do that and how it's been working out?
JOSEPH YOUNG: Something told me one day I got to communicate better with my teammates and the team needs to be more of a family. Families text each other, call each other every day, and we are a family, so I felt like putting a text message together every day, every other day for us to really communicate and get to know each other as a brotherhood, being focused, saying that we need to get ready for this game, have a good practice. Like these last three days, we have been texting each other that we need to have a good practice today, and it transitioned to practice. We talk about it. Really it's like communication. If you have communication off the court, you will have communication on the court.

Q. Now that you've had a couple more days since we talked last, since the match-up was announced. Speak to the match-up and what the coaches have been harping on with this match-up with Oklahoma State.
ELGIN COOK: We just know Oklahoma State is like a real physical team. We just want to stay on the boards and we just want to compete with them; get up and down and play Oregon basketball, basically.

JOSEPH YOUNG: Oh, Oklahoma State? Good team, you know, NCAA Tournament, they're all good teams. You really can't look by 'em. Everybody is a good team here, and really just gotta get on the boards, play good defense, communicate, make sure no player goes off. Everybody is a good player on that team. We need to make sure we do the right things that Coach wants us to do and go from there.

Q. You guys have both mentioned how important winning the rebounding battle is. What are the keys to that and how important is Jordan Bell going to be in that?
ELGIN COOK: We just want to be physical. We just want to play a team game. We all want to find our man and box out and just be scrappy, come back and get the loose balls and 50/50 plays and just win the rebounding battle. It's going to be real big for us.

JOSEPH YOUNG: Just to piggyback off what Elgin said, it's the team that come out with the most energy and whoever wins the 50/50 balls. And it's not about who's bigger. It's about who has heart and who has the toughness. And Jordan Bell, last week, he didn't give us all that he got, but that's last week. And I talked to him; he's my roommate, and he's ready. He's going to give us good activity; he's going to head ball screens, play good defense, communicate, run the floor and give us good energy on the floor.

THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, thank you. Good luck tomorrow. Coach of the Ducks is here, Dana Altman. We will have him start off with a statement. What does it feel like being in Omaha?

COACH ALTMAN: It's always great to be in Omaha, a lot of great friends and family here, so it's wonderful to be back. Great arena, great atmosphere. Our team has had an up-and-down year, we started off a little shaky, but the guys really did a great job, made tremendous progress throughout the year, led by Joe Young and Elgin Cook. Those two guys did a great job. We made progress throughout February, which was encouraging. We've played four freshmen all year, and those guys have continued to grow. We're not a deep team; we're not a very big team, but our guys have managed to hang in there and win a number of close games. Joe has bailed us out in a number of close games. Guys have made plays; different guys have stepped up throughout the year. Very encouraged by their progress and we hope to play well tomorrow.

Q. You've had a couple more days to break down the match-up. What kind of game, pace, all that do you expect tomorrow and what are going to be the keys for you guys?
COACH ALTMAN: I really like Oklahoma State's athleticism, their quickness. They run a lot of sets. It's kinda hard to prepare in two or three days, without seeing a team, to get ready for all their sets. They can score, Nash can really score, Forte can really score. I think it will be an up-and-down game. We've averaged 76 points this year. We play fast. I think they will get encouraged to do that. I think they want to play at that pace. It should be a pretty up-and-down game.

Q. You've mentioned before that your dad wasn't able to travel to as many games this year, and now being back in Omaha, seeing where you have coached for so long, having him here, can you touch on what that means for you?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, Reva and I are both from Nebraska, so I think the ticket list was over 50 for our two families. So it's nice to be back, but Dad has been really supportive. I've done this for 35 years, and no matter where I've coached, he's always been there. So it's nice. He was only able to get out to Oregon for a couple of our series this year, which is the least that he's been out in the last five years, so it's great to be back. It will be great if we win. If we lose, he will be yelling at me like everybody else. He's been great, he's been very supportive and he likes watching us, so it's good to be back.

Q. Coach, I know you're good friends with Lon Kruger. Oklahoma beat OSU three times this season. I'm assuming you've talked to him as you try to find out more information. How do those conversations go and how much can you get from a good friend like that when you prepare for a game like this?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, he's got a good team. There is a reason they beat 'em three times. Our teams play differently, so I'm not sure there is much that we can get from the Oklahoma Series. We talked Sunday night. He called to congratulate us on getting into the tournament. He's got his own game to worry about; he's not too worried about mine. There is not much because we press, we do different things. They don't zone at all; we zone. So we've got two teams that have totally different looks. Their defensive numbers are really impressive; ours aren't. They're a better rebounding team than we are. So if there were more similarities between our teams, we might be able to get something from that, but I just don't really think there is much there because we play so much differently than they do.

Q. Last time we talked when the match-came out you said you wanted the freshmen to be selfish since they are the majority of this team. You want them to be confident. How has the leadership of Joe and Elgin and Jalil helped create a confidence that this team can bring out on the court?
COACH ALTMAN: I wanted them to be selfish in the fact I want them to do this again. I want them to enjoy this experience so that they knew what they were playing for and so they would want to get back here every year. Don't want them to be selfish on the floor. We want them to continue to move the ball, and they've done a great job with that. They have really been easy to work with. They've been really giving up part of their game so that Joe and Elgin and Jalil can do some things. So it's been a good group to work with, but we want the freshmen to really soak this up, really enjoy it, and make sure they know what they're working for in the off-season. It's a long season. We started practice October 3rd, so we're in our sixth month here, and when you have a long season like that, you want them to know what they're playing for. So I hope they enjoy this experience and work awfully hard in the off-season to get back.

Q. I don't know how much time you've had to kind of interact with the public, but do you have a sense, I mean people are just kind of happy to see you back in town and rooting for you a little bit? Have you had much of a greeting from the general public in town?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, I don't know; we got in late last night, and as usual, you're with your team the whole time. So I haven't been out. Just got up this morning, watched film with the team. But it's great to be back. People were unbelievable to me and my family for the 16 years we were here. We've been so fortunate. Marshall, Kansas State, here and now at Oregon, we've been treated really well everywhere we've been. And the 16 years we spent here were special because our children all grew up here, and our families are here; and the people at Oregon have been just unbelievable to us. So Reva and I have been really fortunate, no matter where we've been, that the people have been really good to us. We worked for great people here at Creighton and now Rob and everybody we're working for at Oregon have been great to us.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else for Coach Altman? All right, Dana, good luck.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297