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March 24, 2016

Dana Altman

Casey Benson

Jordan Bell

Anaheim, California

Duke - 68, Oregon - 82

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement and then questions for the student-athletes.

DANA ALTMAN: Very happy for our team. I thought they did a great job defensively. I thought our activity was good. I thought we did a good job of running their three-point shooters off the line for the most part. We missed a couple rotations, but I thought Jordan did a great job defensively protecting the middle. Casey did a nice job running the offense. We had 22 assists on 32 baskets, which meant our ball movement was pretty good. Our rebounding plus-10 was very good. The only problem, we didn't shoot free throws very well tonight. But other than that, I thought we played very well.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Jordan, but Casey I'd love your answer too, obviously you guys were the No. 1 seed, but Duke carries such an aura about it, defending National Champions. Did you guys feel at all that you were maybe slighted publicly in the media coming into this game?
JORDAN BELL: Yes, but I think that's because we don't really have a history of being a basketball school. But I think we did some great things this year to prove that we're well deserving of the No. 1 seed.

CASEY BENSON: Yeah, Duke's a great program, but we wanted to come out and show that we're confident in ourselves. To get a win against a program like that is special for our team. It's another steppingstone to where we want to get to.

Q. Did you feel like you proved to the nation just how good you guys are? Jordan, you talked about not having much of a history. Do you feel like you've shown everyone just how good Oregon basketball is?
JORDAN BELL: Yes, I think we played one of our best games this year. Everybody, not just including me, and I think we showed everybody we're a great team.

Q. Jordan, what does it mean to you personally to have the kind of game that you had here in front of your family against Duke?
JORDAN BELL: It means everything to me. I don't get to see my family as much as I would like to. But I just wanted to go out there and play my heart out in front of them. They were sitting behind my bench. They always support me. They've been supporting me all my life, so I just wanted to go out there and play my heart out.

Q. With the win tonight you guys set a program record with 31 wins. What is that significance of being statistically the best Oregon team of all time?
CASEY BENSON: We don't necessarily think about it that way. We just want to be the best team that we can be. It's pretty special to win 31 games. It shows that you're playing with one another and just enjoying it. We just want to have as much fun as we can and continue to lay it all out there and just play as long as we can.

JORDAN BELL: Same. We don't really talk about history and stuff like that. We just try to play our best game and just be the best team that we can be.

Q. You guys seemed to play, it appeared you guys were playing pretty loose tonight. Would that be correct?
JORDAN BELL: I wouldn't say we were playing loose. We were just playing with a lot of energy. We knew it was win or go home, so we just wanted to play our hearts out. We didn't want to save anything for the next game because if we lost this game, there wouldn't be a next game. So we just wanted to go out there and fly around.

CASEY BENSON: No, it was definitely just trying to play with freedom. At this point like Jordan said, it's win or go home. So just have fun with it, enjoy the moment, stay in it. Just kind of the focus that we have right now and just not focusing on the pressure, but just having fun with it. It's a dream come true to play in games like these. This is what you play for. So to have a shot at the Final Four is really exciting and we're looking forward to it.

Q. Jordan, can you talk about the blocked shots. What you were seeing there on all those, and how much you think your team feeds off that when you're blocking shots?
JORDAN BELL: Our main objective was just to run them off the line. We know they're a great three-point-shooting team, so just to make them put it on the ground, I told everybody once you make them put it on the ground, don't foul them. I'm gonna come get it.

I know that gives us a spark, getting the big block and getting on transition. So I wanted to do my part to help the team out as much as possible.

Q. Guys, have you had a chance to see Oklahoma during the year enough to comment on them? Can you give an opinion on them?
CASEY BENSON: Oklahoma's a great team. We've seen them a decent amount. They can really score, so it's just a matter of making it tough on them defensively and just coming out, laying it all out there, playing as hard as we can and enjoying it, having fun with it. But knowing that they're a good team, we've just got to get ready for them, watch the film and study them.

JORDAN BELL: Yeah, we've obviously seen them play a lot. They have some great players over there. Buddy Hield is a great scorer, so we just want to stick to whatever game plan Coach has for us and go out there and play our hearts out and try to win.

Q. Casey, you hit some big threes to open up the second half there and hit some more later. Was there a point where you felt like you guys had it or had the win in the bag and Duke felt a little defeated?
CASEY BENSON: Maybe I guess when the buzzer sounded kind of. They're really talented offensively. They can get hot. They hit some threes, after they cut it to 10 maybe. It was just a matter of finishing the game out. But towards the end you kind of knew that we were going to pull it out. But up until about a minute left in the game, you knew you didn't really have that. You just wanted to continue to finish it out and focus on that.

Q. I don't know if you knew Kobe Bryant was there. Does that get old hat ever or is that still pretty cool when he's there watching at a game?
JORDAN BELL: Casey told me at halftime that Kobe was out there. I didn't see him. But when he told me, I turned into a fan. Obviously it's his last year, so every time I had a chance I peeked his way to see if he was looking at me. Once I saw him I was like, I got to score because he's a scorer. I got to score.

CASEY BENSON: Yeah, I guess I'm kind of an observant person, so I happened to look over and Kobe was in the stands. But that's pretty cool to have obviously one of the greatest players of all time at your game. But I guess other than that I didn't really think about it or anything.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Altman.

Q. This is the first time you've made the Elite Eight, and obviously you're hungry for more. But what's this mean personally for you?
DANA ALTMAN: The team's excited. I'm excited. It's a great opportunity for our school, for the guys that have worked awfully hard. So it's a great opportunity for us.

You know, it's been a long time coming for our school. It's been a long time for our coaching staff. So we are very excited about the opportunity.

Q. Coming into this weekend there was a lot of talk about the ACC and how it's performed and kind of at the opposite end the Pac-12 and how it might have struggled. Do you think you guys made a statement for your conference? Was there anything different about playing an ACC team than what you saw in conference play?
DANA ALTMAN: No, we haven't played anybody from the ACC this year. Our conference had a good year. We didn't play well in the tournament, but we did have a good year and we did have good teams. We do have good teams. So right now it's about Oregon. It's about us.

In defense of our conference, you look back at the history of this tournament, there's always one or two leagues or conferences that get attacked because they didn't perform well. This year it was us, and the ACC has had an unbelievable year. They really had 12-1 or whatever going into this weekend, so they did have a great tournament.

Q. As significant as the win obviously and the advancement is, is it almost equally as important to some degree by the team you beat tonight just because of the tradition? So much was talked about leading into this about where they are.
DANA ALTMAN: Absolutely. I mean, Duke is a household name, and Coach K, I have a great deal of respect. So, yeah, our guys knew the significance of playing Duke, defending national title, all the Final Fours, all the National Championships that their program has been able to win. It was a different feel to it. It was a different feel for our fans when you haven't been to the Final Four since 1939 and trying to get yourself in that position, it's something that was special for our program. When it's all said and done, we can reflect back on it.

But we've got so much respect, the nation does, for their program and what they've accomplished. So it is significant for us.

Q. It's always a quick turnaround. Next game up, have you thought about the fact you get to go against Lon Kruger, a guy you obviously have a long relationship with?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, 30 years ago he gave me my first job in Division I, and he's been a great friend and great mentor for the last 30 years. We've avoided playing each other because I've got so much respect for him. Like I said, he's been unbelievable to me throughout the 30 years. But the good thing is one of us is going to go to the Final Four, and it will be a battle. They're a great team and well-coached. We've got our work cut out for us, no doubt.

Q. Before we let you go, you had great attendance by your Oregon fans. Did it feel like a home game at all?
DANA ALTMAN: Not quite a home game, but it was great to have our fans in the stands. Great contingency of Ducks and I sure hope they make it back on Saturday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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