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October 21, 2016

Dana Altman

Tyler Dorsey

San Francisco, California

THE MODERATOR: All right, we welcome Dana Altman, and student-athlete Tyler Dorsey. Coach, an opening statement and we'll open it up to questions.

DANA ALTMAN: Well, our guys have worked pretty hard the first ten practices that we've had. I like their effort. I like the group that we have this year. We're a little bit deeper, a little bit more experienced than we've been in the previous couple of seasons, so lot of expectations for our guys, which is great. So I hope our guys can continue to work hard, play unselfishly and have a great season.

Q. I was wondering being ranked high on the Pac-12 and being selected No. 1, everybody's going to go hard at you this season, right? This is something that happens to the highest ranked team. How do you keep level headed and keep your head in the game and not let the ranking affect your team?
TYLER DORSEY: Well, I feel like we have to come in and focus on the little details every day. Taking one game at a time, not looking to the games previously. So we have to take one game at a time, be mentally prepared and focus on the opponent we're going to play that night, and just come in prepared. We are going to have a target on our back, so we have to be ready.

DANA ALTMAN: It is a different position for our team to be in. I think it's something that our guys will have to learn to adjust how hard people are going to come after them. Not only within the league, but the projections on a national scale. We'll have our non-conference opponents fired up to play against us. So, it will be an adjustment our team will have to make. I'm interested to see how they'll handle it. Because the demands and the preparation will have to be different.

We've always come from the back of the pack, and this year, the expectations are higher. So it will be interesting to see how our group handles it, but hopefully they'll work very hard, be unselfish play as a team.

I like our depth. So those are the kind of things that can help you meet expectations because even if one or two players is off, we have players that have the ability to step up.

Q. Tyler, I was wondering with the Olympics happening this past summer and your experience with the Greek, playing with the Greek National Team system at least, how much that's kind of piqued your interest for playing in the Olympics in 2020 with Greece or might be USA or whatever?
TYLER DORSEY: Definitely it's a great opportunity. I loved my experiences when I went down to Greece. Like you said, the 2020 Olympics, if I get invited to the training camp again and to be able to play on that team, it will be a wonderful honor to do so.

Q. So much player movement in college basketball. You guys have been through that. How rare is it to have so many guys coming back, and what kind of advantage does that give you to have that continuity?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, the landscape of college basketball has changed. There's no doubt about it. With the transfers, the one-and-dones, we're in a unique period with college basketball. And the changeover in roster is something that a lot of programs are dealing with. We've had our share of turnovers the last six years. We've been fortunate to maintain throughout that.

So it is kind of nice to have a group back that's been with us. Tyler and Dillon Brooks has been with us two years, Casey two years, Jordan two years. We've got a lot of guys back. That's good for us if we use it.

I think after talent, experience is the second biggest variable or ingredient to how successful a team can be. So I think we are talented, and I think our experience will be a benefit.

Q. I wanted the latest on Dillon Brooks, and if he's limited or out early, how does that affect you guys do you think?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, he's on schedule. The doctors will let us know when he's available to go. He's champing at the bit. He's ready to go. If it were up to him, he'd be practicing right now. But we'll listen to the doctors.

If he's not available early, it will be difficult for our team because we have a very challenging November. We have to go to Baylor for our second game. We have Valpo coming in right on the heels of that, and then we take off for Maui and play an experienced Georgetown team in the first round. If we're fortunate enough to win that, we play to Wisconsin or Tennessee the next night.

So we have a number of very difficult ballgames in November, probably by far the toughest November we've had in the seven years I've been at Oregon. So if it were without Dillon and the other guys are going to have to step up. Last year we were very fortunate. Casey Benson really stepped up, as did Tyler when Dylan Ennis went down with his injury. We were a little shorthanded at the guard spots with the ball handlers, and I thought both those guys did an exceptional job of stepping up.

If Dillon Brooks isn't able to go, then we'll play probably a three-guard front and be a little bit smaller than we would without Dillon. But I think our guys will look at that as a challenge. We've got good depth at the guard spots, and I think those guys will look at that as a challenge to pick up the areas that Dillon would generally do. He's a good rebounder. He's a good passer. He led us in assists last year. So there will be a lot of opportunities for those guards to step up.

Q. Coach, so you mentioned the depth of the team. You have good freshmen coming in. You've got JuCos coming in. You've got Dylan Ennis coming in, like you said, the whole core from last year. How do you plan on managing that rotation with the difficult non-conference schedule early like you talked about?
DANA ALTMAN: That will be up to our players. A lot of that will be determined in practice. But part of our success the last few years has been the unselfishness of our team.

Last year, Dwayne Benjamin, willing to come off the bench and thriving in that role. Jordan Bell, when he did come back after missing the first ten games, coming off the bench. And he was a starter as a freshman, but came off the bench as a sophomore. So the guy's willingness to be part of the team and give up part of their game so that the team can be better, everybody was unselfish.

Casey was pass-first mentality all year. He gave up a lot of shots to make sure Tyler and some of the other guys got shots.

So we're going to ask each one of the guys on the team to give up a little bit of their individual game for the good of the team. And how they respond to that will go a long way in telling us how far we go because the previous years guys have done a good job of that. Because of that, we've had a little success. If we want to be successful this year, it will be because the guys determine that having success as a team is a lot more important to them than being individually successful.

We've got a team game. There's no individual entries into the NCAA Tournament or anything else. So we have to play as a team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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