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March 10, 2016

Dana Altman

Chris Boucher

Elgin Cook

Las Vegas, Nevada

Oregon - 83, Washington - 77

THE MODERATOR: Coach, some opening comments about the game?

COACH ALTMAN: Well, we knew we were going to be in for a tough game. Washington's a very talented team, very well coached. Their performance yesterday was outstanding. So going in we knew it was going to be a 40-minute fight.

We had a ballgame with them two weeks ago that was a tough game. They've got really good players, and they were playing with a purpose. Andrew Andrews trying to keep it going and Dejounte, they were really trying to keep their season going.

They were a tough match-up for us, but I liked our effort. The guys on the boards were really good. We had bad turnovers today. We didn't make very good decisions. We'll have to clean that up. But our effort on the boards, I think, was the difference in the game. We were able to make just enough plays to get by.

Q. Coach, in the tunnel before the game you guys were yelling about winning the first four minutes. You come out and kind of don't win the first four minutes. At that point as you're regrouping, what are you thinking?
COACH ALTMAN: We didn't get off to a good start. We were down 12 there ten minutes into the game. So Washington came out and hit us pretty good. The teams yesterday who got out kind of ran downhill, though, the rest of the game. So it was a big concern.

We needed to get some stops. I thought we had some guys come in and give us a big lift there. Kendall Small really gave us some good minutes there. We finally got some stops. Out of the gate I think they were at one timeout 8-for-10 or something like that from the field.

So we didn't do a very good job defensively. Offensively our ball movement wasn't very good to start the game. So, again, they got out to that big lead, and that was very concerning.

Q. Coach, if the Arizona Wildcats end up winning this game, what would it take to knock off Arizona for the second straight time?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, it will be a difficult task. They're very well coached. They're very talented. But our guys, we did a good job when we went down there.

I did tell them if we do have that opportunity, we'll only have 12,000 fans this time instead of 15, 16.

So it's going to be a tough one, either match-up, for us: Colorado, who is big and physical; Arizona, big and physical. Those two teams are really tough match-ups for us, and we would have to play very well against either team to put ourselves in position to win.

Both teams are very well coached, talented, and it would probably help us if they went four or five overtimes today to take their legs a little bit.

Q. You had talked about UCLA and the troubles when you played a little too fast. Did you feel in the first half tonight you were playing too fast and that led to some of those turnovers?
COACH ALTMAN: Without a doubt. We did some things in that first half and the whole game that we haven't seen for a long time. It's the pressure of the situation. Some of our turnovers we haven't seen since November or early December. Just guys were not strong with the ball and making some poor decisions.

Our guys want to win. They want to make plays, and, again, that's why we were able to get to the boards. Our effort on the boards was outstanding. But sometimes we get going a little fast on the offensive end, and we definitely did that today. Guys just feeling like they had to make a play. Because of that we only had nine turnovers, which is low on -- excuse me, nine assists, which is a low for a while for us.

So we're just going to have to slow down, move the ball much better and make plays for our teammates, cut down those turnovers definitely tomorrow.

Q. When you get down to the last stretch of the game, those last four or five minutes when fouls start to play a part, what is it that Coach is saying to you, what are you seeing on the floor, and how do you adjust? Did it feel like you guys were tightening up and maybe getting conservative?
CHRIS BOUCHER: I just feel Coach already told us that Andrew and Dejounte would try to drive in, and we knew they were going at us. We tried to make them take a tough shot, but they were going in the paint all the time and driving and kicking it out.

So it was kind of tough. But at the end we knew if we stayed together and all go to the rebound, we had a chance to win this game, and that's how we won the game, I guess.

Q. Coach, what were you saying to them in those breaks?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, we wanted to continue to play. We got up 8, 10 there, and we put them on the line I think three or four times in a row. They were 21-25 from the line. They shot free throws very well today, and that's what a focused basketball team does. They go to the line.

But they're a tough guard. When Andrew Andrews puts his head down and starts attacking the basket, Murray's so talented. So some of it was our defense, some of it was just gifted offensive players taking the ball at the basket.

Q. Kendall's been developing a lot throughout the year, and it seems like it's kind of been a work in progress. On the floor and efforts never seemed to be his issue, but where's he at now to give you those two quality minutes when it is tournament atmosphere?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, he gave us four and picked up our defensive effort. He did an outstanding job. Kendall and Roman have been in a tough position all year because of my relationship with these guys and the length I've kind of settled on a seven-man rotation, and we've stuck with that.

But Kendall and Roman have shown great maturity and professionalism coming every day and working and staying with it. They're going to be called on at different times, and Kendall was called on today. He gave us four outstanding minutes.

So, again, that's an awfully tough role for a player to take, and it takes tremendous discipline, very unselfish, and he's done a great job with that.

Q. Elgin, this seemed like a pretty aggressive game and certainly there was some talk on the court. As a leader on this team who has a lot of tournament experience here, did you say anything to your teammates to help them settle in or calm down in those intense moments?
ELGIN COOK: Yeah, Washington's a great team and they've got a lot of athletes. So we knew they were going to try to get up in our space and deny us. We were all sped up at first, and I just wanted to tell everybody to calm down and keep their composure.

Q. Coach, you went into a little bit of a trap after the start of the game and disrupted their rhythm a little bit with their guards. What were you trying to do there?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, we were trying to slow them down a little bit. It was a little more effective. The score was very similar to what it was in Eugene. But they're a rhythm and they get a lot of shots up between four, five, six seconds if they're just allowed to blow the ball up the floor.

If you saw the game yesterday, they pushed it hard against Stanford and had a lot of possessions in four to six seconds where they just got the ball down. We were trying to keep those to a minimum. Now, they got a few in the first half and a couple in the second half, but they can really get you spread out and their speed can really give you problems.

So our press was designed to try to slow them down just a little bit so they couldn't get that push, that initial push and really get us backed up.

Q. Elgin, is it good to be tested early in a tournament, or was this a little too close for your liking?
ELGIN COOK: We knew it's March so we knew they were going to come out and fight. It's a 40-minute game. It's a game full of runs and they've got a lot of great players, they shot the ball well, and they've got a ton of athletes. It was just about how we responded.

Q. Dana, in the second half Tyler Dorsey I think three or four threes. Thoughts on the significance of those? It seems like every one of them was a big one to stop a run?
COACH ALTMAN: Yeah, he had a tough first half, 2-for-8, he got a little roll there. Once he got one down, we ran a little set for him. He got another one. Ran another little set, got another up with. So, yeah, those two threes, and then he got a third one that was pretty open that he didn't hit.

But, I thought Chris, his two threes in the first half -- we were struggling. We couldn't get anything going. He hit two threes in the first half, and it got us going. Then Tyler's threes in the second kind of did the same thing. We only hit five for the game, 5-for-17, so you can remember -- I can remember all five of them. So the two in the first half, the three in the second half I thought gave us a big lift.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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