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November 21, 2016

Dana Altman

Payton Pritchard

Casey Benson

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Georgetown - 65, Oregon - 61

THE MODERATOR: Oregon's Coach Altman is joined by Casey Benson and Payton Pritchard. We'll start with opening statements from coach.

COACH ALTMAN: We didn't play good basketball. When you look at the stats, it's a fundamental game and we didn't shoot free throws well. We were 11-for-20, and I know a couple of those were front-ends, one-and-ones. We had 17 turnovers which is hard to overcome. We took some quick, bad 3s to start the game.

So fundamentally we are not very sound and we've got a lot of work to do. But I did like the effort on the comeback. I thought we made some plays for each other. We came back all the way and took the lead.

But then, I think, on the next four or five possessions, we had three turnovers and two front ends of one-and-ones that we missed.

So as great a comeback as it was we weren't tough enough to finish it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the players.

Q. You came out here, didn't feel like it was the kind of start you wanted. Pretty aggressive and jumped on you in the beginning.
CASEY BENSON: Give them credit. They came out fast and we made some mistakes at the start of the game, so we have to limit those. But give Georgetown credit, they played well.

PAYTON PRITCHARD: I just think we need to come out harder and more physical on the defensive end. We're kind of letting them punch us in the mouth in the Baylor and the Georgetown game. We can't let that happen at first. We've got to be delivering the punch and that's what's going on right now.

Q. Casey and Payton, what clicked in the second half to get you guys going? There's a lot more energy. Was it the halftime speech or what were you doing to really get that lead back?
CASEY BENSON: Being down 17, obviously we needed to come back. So we got to have that energy to start the game. It's obviously a big comeback but didn't finish it off. So just kind of the way it went.

Q. Payton, to play in this game as a freshman, what are some of the things you're taking away from moments like this?
PAYTON PRITCHARD: That you've got to play hard every play. You can't take any possession off. Because any possession can turn the game around.

Q. The old cliche in sports is that when you catch up you spend so much energy doing that to hold on. When you guys caught up and you're up and pretty emotional, did you feel a little gassed? Maybe they were going to come back? Did you feel like you guys were still going pretty good when you got that lead?
CASEY BENSON: We took the lead, as Coach mentioned, we had some tough plays and took a couple of bad shots and some turnovers that led to easy baskets for them. And so just have to limit those mistakes in order to win against good teams.

PAYTON PRITCHARD: We just gotta be more physically strong and mentally strong at that point in the game. That's why we spent the whole offseason training for, to not get tired in those moments. So that's as easy as I can put it.

Q. Can you tell us how tough Pryor was today?
PAYTON PRITCHARD: He was hitting. He hit three 3s on me, and he was getting going. He was hard to stop. He was balling out today.

CASEY BENSON: He played well. It was obvious in the game. We let him get going early with easy baskets, and that fueled him for the rest of the game. So we should have stopped him earlier.

Q. Payton, what's that feeling like in that run, during that run, you hit two or three 3-pointers. You seemed to be getting pretty fired up, the whole team was. What was that feeling for you in such a big moment to get the team back into it?
PAYTON PRITCHARD: It's just, we want to win as a team. Nobody likes losing. So coming back, being down 17, you're going to get hyped. And we just tried to bring it all the way back. And it slipped away at the end. But it was a good moment.

Q. What did you guys think of Chris Boucher's effort, especially in that second half? He gave it literally his all as he was falling down to the ground in pain and what did you take away from his play?
PAYTON PRITCHARD: He played tremendous. He's a rim protector. We get away with stuff with him in there. He did play his heart out. And he's the main reason why, one of the main reasons why we came back in that game.

CASEY BENSON: Yeah, tremendous second half, obviously, 13 rebounds, five blocks. He saved us multiple times on the defensive end. He played his heart out.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Are you worried about these early two games now where the starts, seemed like their team, they came out and punched you first. Casey talked about not having energy today. What do you do to kind of turn this around at the beginning?
COACH ALTMAN: We took bad shots. We came out of the gate and took three or four bad 3s that led to transition baskets. I know our communication offensively wasn't good. We kind of got standing up and we had a hard time getting into something.

And that's disappointing with the amount of vets that we have. We should have been able to get into something and move the ball. But again it's not good basketball.

Fundamentally we are not sound. And I really thought that we made a big adjustment against Valpo and taking better shots and getting our better ball movement. But we reverted back there. And we just got off to a bad start and didn't get it going the first half.

And, again, fundamentals, ball movement on the offensive end wasn't good. And defensively, we gave up some easy baskets. I think they had seven transition points early. Most of them were because of those bad shots.

Q. You said that it's bad fundamental basketball. Is this what's happening in practice, or is this something they're not translating, good practices into the games?
COACH ALTMAN: I've mentioned before I've been concerned about where our basketball team's at. And we're not consistent in practice. And that lack of consistency has carried over to the game floor. And this is the first game we've shot free throws poor. We were 11-for-20. And I know they were two front-ends, big front-ends, when the score was tied there.

So you go 11-for-22 from the free-throw line and they went 17-of-22. And there's your difference right there.

Q. You mentioned when you guys got that lead and I think you went 10 of the next 11 possessions, you didn't score. Did you feel like you guys were at all gassed or kind of emotionally run after that, or did you just feel like some of those fundamentals came apart there?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, both. We did expend a lot of energy. I'd stay with kind of the same group. But when we did get it tied, I know we had three turnovers in that run. And I know we missed two front-ends. So there's five possessions.

I'm not sure -- I can't remember exactly the other possessions, but I know right at that point we had three turnovers and missed two front-ends. So we didn't allow ourselves to take the lead and put pressure on them.

Q. How do you think Dillon Brooks looked coming back from his injury, and how was it having him back?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, it's good to have his passion on the floor. And he's trying to do a lot of things. But we held him to the 10 to 15 minutes that we thought we'd play him. And he was mad because he wanted to play more.

But we're going to stick with the plan that we have for him. But his passion and his level of intensity really helps us. We really miss it.

Q. You talked about -- they were talking about lack of energy. Tomorrow's an 8:30 start. What do you do to get them -- now you're in the bracket that maybe people didn't expect; you're not facing a ranked team, it's early in the morning, what do you do to get them for these next two, it's going to be morning games against possibly unranked teams?
COACH ALTMAN: It doesn't matter. We're unranked now. We don't have to worry about that. I don't know who the heck we think we are. We're unranked, you know. We're going to have to go play.

And I've been scolding the team a little bit about this is -- last year's team is what got us ranked, not this group. And I know there's a lot of players back. But take Elgin and Dillon Brooks off that team and we're not a ranked team.

So we better get some guys to step up and play a lot better. And if we don't make some adjustments and play fundamentally sound, things won't go well for us tomorrow either.

It's a simple game. You execute. You take away easy baskets. You take good shots. You hit your free throws. And we didn't do any of the above.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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