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March 19, 2017

Dana Altman

Dylan Ennis

Tyler Dorsey

Sacramento, California

Oregon - 75, Rhode Island - 72

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to the Oregon Ducks who move on. They will next play Michigan in Kansas City in the round of 16. Our student-athletes are Tyler Dorsey and Dylan Ennis along with head coach, Dana Altman. Coach, you had a couple of runs in the second half that turned the tide in this game. What went into that?

DANA ALTMAN: I think the difference in the game the first half, our turnovers really put us in a bad hole. We had 10 turnovers, and they scored 16 points off of those turnovers. The second half we had 4 turnovers and they only got 5 points off those turnovers. So I thought that was really significant. The second stat that jumps out at you is we had 22 second chance points. None bigger than when we missed the free throw and Jordan Bell got a rebound and Dillon Brooks missed a shot and we were down 3 and Tyler hit the big 3 to tie it up. I thought that was the possession of the game.

It wasn't pretty game to watch. It was kinda ugly, both teams getting after each other. Their defensive pressure and athleticism on the perimeter really gave us problems.

Tyler didn't do much wrong offensively, but he had 4 turnovers. Payton had 4. Dylan Ennis had 3, so their pressure on the perimeter did bother us. Other than that I thought our guys made the plays when they had to, got the stops when they had to. They shot the ball 60% in the first half and only 40% in the second half. I really think, again, we take the turnovers out of that and we played okay. But those turnovers did make a big, big difference in the game.

Q. Obviously very emotional game, intense, back and forth. Was their defense everything that you expected?
DYLAN ENNIS: Yeah. Coach told us that they were going to get up and in on the passing lanes, pressure us, really far away from the basket. I think once we started running our plays and getting through what we planned, that's when we had success. We stopped having success when we stopped sharing the ball and stopped being strong with the ball. When we finally got used to it and played together we were successful.

Q. Phenomenal game, Tyler. Dylan on the game-tying shot by Tyler Dorsey you were able to keep that play alive and we were just talking about your yoman's work and how important it is. Can you talk about the importance of that? Coach, can you talk about that play in the keys to a big victory like that?
DYLAN ENNIS: Coach is always on me being that guy to do the little things, whether that's deflection, rebound. That's my job. I love it. I know I can do it really good, getting that extra shot for us was big.

It's a team effort, and I'm just working as hard as I can. Coach has the confidence in me to play me and keep me on the floor, so if he's going to do that I have to make the plays for us to win and I was able to get a hand on the ball. Jordan Bell got the rebound from that and Tyler hit a big shot. That's all she wrote.

DANA ALTMAN: I agree. The game isn't as simple as shooting the ball. There are a lot of things. I thought us winning the rebounding by 7, and I mentioned the second chance points to combat our turnovers was the only thing that kept us in the game. Like I said, the missed free throw and Jordan getting the first one, kicking it out to Dylan and the ball kept alive and Jordan securing it again and kicking it out to Tyler and Tyler nails the shot!

That gives him one three and now he's got the confidence and then we ran a double drag for him late and they switched a big on him and Tyler saw that his hands were down and he made a decision to let it go. Like I said, I was joking with him, 9 for 10, how the heck did you miss that one shot? But when a player gets that confidence, the one in front of our bench was wide open. Tyler just planted the step, knocked it down and his foot work was great on his last shot. Tyler really finished our plays for us. Again, it's a team effort.

It's something that everybody -- Tyler didn't start out really good. He kinda came on in that second half and we were able to get it done with our rebounding.

Q. Tyler, how have you suddenly asserted yourself the way you have late in the season?
TYLER DORSEY: It's just my teammates. They've been finding me, and all I've been doing is spotting up and making the simple play and the right play, the right basketball play. Like Coach always says, keep my focus first on defense and rebounding and the offense, let it come. That's all I've been doing these last couple games and my teammates have been having confidence in me and I've been knocking down the shots.

DANA ALTMAN: I think the biggest factor is Tyler is a player. He's not just a scorer. I thought for a while he locked in on his offense and we weren't getting him the ball enough for a period in the season and that was my fault.

But I really think like tonight Tyler gets 5 rebounds, he had 3 steals. When he's playing as a player, not just a scorer, I think that's when he really comes alive. I mentioned that in the conference tournament. He starts the first game, he gets 9 rebounds. Against Cal, his defensive effort saved us. I just think when he's thinking about himself being a player, the rest of his game comes. He doesn't focus just on that missed shot or a bad play.

He's a player. That scorer mentality I want him to have, but defense and rebounding, when he focuses on those two he becomes a special player. He becomes really special. I think that's part of the reason why he's exploded here lately, is that he's been a complete player, offense, defense, and the boards, 5 rebounds, 3 steals today. Those are just not maybe as important as those two threes, but pretty close.

Q. Tyler, I wanted to ask about the last three. Looked like you had a thought of going -- driving to the bucket, but you stepped back and took the shot. How much do you debate that? I wanted to follow up with what Coach said about the rebounding. You have to be pleased with both the way Tyler and Payton rebounded. They got some good boards for you towards the end there.
TYLER DORSEY: It was a double drag and they switched and the big got on me and I practiced that hesitation pull-up shot a lot, so in my mind I was going there.

Is hands never came up and I let it go, but if his hands would have came up I probably would have thought about driving. That's how I was thinking through that process.

DANA ALTMAN: I thought he made a really good read on it. I yelled at him to shoot it because I saw his hands down and I saw his feet were right. The other one right in front of the bench, I was, you know, I said, "hit it buddy." And the one, I saw his feet were right and the guy's hands were right and I was yelling at him to shoot it because I thought it was the right play.

I agree with you, when he gets 5 rebounds and he gets 5 rebounds or anything above that it helps our team out tremendously. The 7 plus 7 on the boards and the 22-11 second chance points was the difference in this game. Because of our turnovers, we put ourselves in a hole. Our offensive execution was not good today. Their pressure got us out of sorts and we never had a flow to our offense and that was all because of them and our bad turnovers.

Q. Could you touch on the atmosphere here and Sacramento as a host for the NCAA Tournament?
DANA ALTMAN: We've been treated unbelievable. I love this arena. I think it's a great facility, the locker rooms, everything behind the arena is first-class. The crowd was great today. We had a lot of Duck fans here, so that's great. But the city of Sacramento, the people here at the arena, we could not have been treated any better. We've been here since Wednesday. We couldn't have been treated any better the days that we've been here.

DYLAN ENNIS: I think the atmosphere is great. The arena is one of the better arenas I've ever played in. The city is real nice. The weather is better than Eugene right now. I tell you that much. It was great playing here. I'm glad we're going back to Eugene knowing that we get to play on Thursday. It was great.

TYLER DORSEY: Definitely this is a great arena. It was a great atmosphere tonight. Good thing we got to play in the west. We had a lot of fans here tonight and we feed off their energy when they get it going. It say a great atmosphere tonight.

Q. Tyler, you guys were down by 11 then you made a 23-10 run. Before that, Dillon Brooks was missing a lot of shots around the basket, but he made 9 of the 11 points to get you tied at 68-68. Talk about the way he kept coming like a great train to get to the basket and make things happen? He made a couple big threes for you guys, too.
TYLER DORSEY: Definitely. Those were great plays and he just didn't finish and we're going to live with that. He's always going to stay in attack mode and that's what he did. He got to the rim and drew some fouls and he drew that three foul and that was some big free throws he hit to keep us going. That's what good players are going to keep doing, keep going and if the first half doesn't go good you have to bounce back in the second half and keep pushing and keep pushing.

Q. Early in the first half you guys attacked the rim, your guard play attacked the rim. Was that by design to get their bigs in trouble?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, they pressure so much that they get you spread out and it creates some driving lanes. We had a couple of really good drive and kicks and they weren't successful and then we made bad decisions. Then we thought we had to take it and we had to shoot it and that got us in trouble. A lot of those turnovers came without the ball movement. The defense was set and we were just going to go make a play. We weren't very successful doing it after the first couple times because of the ball movement.

So we wanted to drive the ball but we wanted to drive and kick a lot more than we did. That's what created a lot of those turnovers.

Q. Tyler, no doubt they're a great defensive team. They switched a lot and we found you on one of their bigs down low. How did you defend their bigs on the switches?
TYLER DORSEY: Played up the floor and play on the high side and not let 'em get an easy catch, so they can do a quick jump hook or quick move to the basket. Playing up the floor and we practice that every day and Coach preaches that every day. I was playing up the floor every time I got switched on the big.

Q. Dylan Ennis, as I remember, 72-72 and you were talking to Terrell, you were both smiling and laughing. Were you kind of saying how great of a game it was?
DYLAN ENNIS: He was actually talking to us the whole game, nothing too bad. He was saying, "This is what we live for." I think it was a little intense for it to be an emotional time between me and him, but he's right. We grew up watching college basketball and during the conference games it's great, but March Madness is something that is special. These are the type of games that you are going to remember and tell your kids and grandkids about one day.

Q. Tyler, watching you these last couple games you seem to be a guy that plays with a lot of confidence, don't mind talking to people the way you carry yourself on the court. Is that something you've always had? How does that help you in situations like this when you are down 3 and then tied and be willing to take shots like that in those spots?
TYLER DORSEY: My coach and teammates are confident in me, and Coach put the ball in my hand at the end of the game and I just made the right basketball play. That's all I did. They found me on the rebounds they got, the first three, and I felt it going and the last one I read the play and let it go and it went in. It was just great and my teammates and my coaches give me that confidence.

Q. Tyler, what was going through your mind after you missed the two free throws at 3:36 and probably determined to make up for that?
TYLER DORSEY: Definitely. After the game I thought about those free throws, but during the game I had to let it go. There was two minutes left and I dropped them and I had to keep playing and we kept playing and kept fighting and hit the glass and got crucial offensive rebounds. It went from there and we got it going, and I just hit some big shots. It didn't start with the big shots. It started with the defensive rebounds and offensive rebounds to get that.

Q. Tyler, from what I've read, your maternal grandfather is Greek and your maternal grandmother is Israeli. I wondered how that shaped you on and off the court?
TYLER DORSEY: My whole life growing up I always eat Greek food and my grandmother cooks Greek food. I've been part of that culture for a long time. I got to go to Greece this summer, and it was great to see that type of basketball as well and it helped and I'm great to have that part of my heritage.

Q. Dylan, can you talk about Stanford Robinson? He came off the bench in the first half, scored some really big points for the Rams and then he got it going a little early in the second half but kind of waned after that. Talk about that?
DYLAN ENNIS: He played great. Having that spark off the bench is big in this tournament. He knew it was a big game and he was on the attack most of the game. He hit a few big shots for them. He's a young guy who is going to have a bright future and I hope the best for him.

Q. Dana, did the officials give you an explanation on Dylan's technical foul? Gave him his second personal?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, they had warned us, Dylan got the warning and we informed everybody on the team not to say anything. Dylan got the tip in and said something and they T'ed him. We were warned and that's on him. Unacceptable. We haven't had a "T" all year and that's not the right time to get one. Gave him his second foul. I told him after the game, how would you have felt in a close ball game like this if that was the difference. Control what you can control, and that was something he should have controlled. I was disappointed. I was disappointed in Dylan, first of all, for getting us in that position, definitely disappointed in Dylan for that and sat him for a while and then he had to play the rest of the half with two fouls and put us in a bad spot.

Q. Along that line, it was no doubt chippy especially in the second half. Were they doing a lot of talking and egging you guys on, talking back?
DYLAN ENNIS: It was an atmosphere that was intense. As Coach teaches us and us being Oregon Ducks we can't get into that. I put that on myself, being a more experienced guard I have to keep my cool with that stuff, and I know the game was intense. But if we would have lost then me and Dillon would have looked at ourselves and been really hurt. Coach tells us play as hard as you want and stay within the confines of the game. I'm sure we won't have that problem again the rest of the year.

TYLER DORSEY: Let our game speak for itself and go out there and play. If they want to talk that's not how we play and Coach always preaches that so that's all there is too it.

Q. Coach, I wanted to ask about another trip to Sweet 16 appearance. What's the difference between this one and maybe some of the previous appearances and what will your routine be?
DANA ALTMAN: This is very similar to our first one. I'm very proud of our team. This is our third Sweet 16 in five years, and the first one we had a couple of games in San Jose and then we went to Indianapolis to play against Louisville who won the tournament that year in a hostile environment. A lot of Louisville fans there that night.

Now we go to Kansas City. We will get home tonight. We will meet tomorrow and start working on Michigan. We will leave Tuesday after practice. We are in finals this week, so we've got some adjusting to do. We're going to have a crazy week. I'm sure glad we got it. I'm sure glad we got a crazy week. We'll get home tonight, get together tomorrow, practice Tuesday and then fly to Kansas City and hopefully be ready to play on Thursday.

Q. Coach, I don't know if the players probably didn't get to watch Michigan. Did you watch Michigan before this game? I imagine they watched you?
DANA ALTMAN: Just a little bit when I was taking a shower and getting ready I had it on. I didn't really watch it. I watched one of Michigan's games in the Big Ten tournament and wow!

Beating Louisville with their athletes, I've only faced Coach Beilein's team one time and it was in the NCAA Tournament in Cleveland. He was at West Virginia and I was at Creighton, and we got beat by 1 point in a last-second shot. We did play Michigan in New York three years ago, so those are the two time. They're hard to guard. What he does offensively is really unique and special and they're an outstanding, offensive team. Kind of a contrast.

Danny -- that defense we faced is as good as any defense we faced all year. Their activity, their toughness, that's a well-coached defensive team. So we were very fortunate today with our turnovers to be able to get that done. That's a very good defensive team and nine-game winning streak and really good players. We feel very fortunate to be moving on and we know how difficult Michigan will be on Thursday. Hopefully we'll be ready and be able to give 'em a good game.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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