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March 25, 2017

Dana Altman

Tyler Dorsey

Jordan Bell

Dillon Brooks

Kansas City, Missouri

Oregon - 74, Kansas - 60

THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by the champions of the Midwest Regional, the University of Oregon Ducks, Coach Dana Altman. Student-athletes are Jordan Bell, Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks. Coach, congratulations. You're going to the Final Four!

DANA ALTMAN: Thank you. I am so happy for our team, our staff, our university. 1939 was a long time ago, and I think everybody will be pretty excited about the opportunity to go to Phoenix and play for a national title. We've won two four-team tournaments here now, so we have an opportunity to play in another one. I know our guys will get ready.

I thought Jordan Bell was unbelievable on the defensive end tonight. He got a couple of blocks early and I thought it really put a thought in their mind. Tyler hit some big threes, especially the two right before the half and the one when it got to 66-60. And Dillon Brooks just gives us a lot of passion. He played extremely hard. He gave us some big buckets, and I thought Dylan Ennis gave us a big lift both offensively and defensively.

I'm happy for our team. I'm happy for, as I mentioned, our university and our state. It's been a long time coming and now we just need to go continue to play well.

Q. For any of the players, late in the second half you guys were up six. I think Tyler put up a desperation three to beat the shot clock. It went through three KU players hands and you guys got possession. How critical was that sequence?
TYLER DORSEY: We was running a play that was supposed to go down the gut to Jordan and I wasn't playing attention to the shot clock, so it was my fault and when I was looking at it and I just threw up a desperation shot and I guess they didn't box out and Jordan got a big rebound.

DILLON BROOKS: Jordan has been grabbing big offensive rebounds for us this whole tournament. Grabbed another one. We weren't running the play, and Tyler threw it up and we just played hard throughout the whole game and when you play hard throughout the whole game you catch some breaks. We caught a break there and Jordan got the rebound and we got to set up another play and TD hit a clutch shot to put us up 9.

Q. Dana, Jordan said after the game last year he promised you after the postgame stuff he promised you that you guys would get to the Final Four. Before that, too, Dillon mentioned that the freshman group, no one believed in them, they were picked 8th to finish in the conference. What is it about the difference of that group?
DANA ALTMAN: Our basketball program, our staff owes those guys so much because they've stayed with us three years now. This is their third NCAA Tournament. It was their second Elite Eight. It's a very competitive group. I watched them develop as players, watched them grow up a little bit and really think about the team and worry about their teammates.

It's a special group. I've been fortunate. The seven years we've been at Oregon we've had great guys to work with. I feel great for those guys that our staff had a relationship with, but I also feel good for the all the other players that have built Oregon basketball. 1939 is a long drought, but there are a lot of guys that played and built some tradition at Oregon. We owe all the ex-players and our staff in particular the last seven years, Joevan Catron, EJ Singler, and Garrett Sim. I would miss guys if I tried to name 'em all, but those guys stayed with us and helped us build something.

Q. Coach, congratulations. Building off that, you have a lot of upperclassmen, you have significant depth such that you can lose your top shot blocker and make the Final Four playing great and playing well inside. As a coach, recruiting today, how much can you plan that out and get guys who are going to provide that depth for you three, four years from now and how much it is just you recruit guys and see what happens?
DANA ALTMAN: It's development. Jordan has developed over the three years. That may have been his best performance in his three years. He was phenomenal today. He set the tone early. I thought that was really important. I said in the locker room that he played like we had Chris and him out there. He was a one-man. He dominated inside. He developed.

Dillon has gotten better each year. Tyler, I mean, his -- the way he stepped up in the tournament was unbelievable. He is playing with tremendous confidence, not only making plays for himself but his teammates and defensively he was solid. Get any boards, Tyler? He had five the second half because he didn't have any at halftime. I jumped him about that. He had five at the second half. When he's rebounding and playing defensive and gets involved in the whole game that's when his offense is best. If he relies too much on his offense he doesn't get totally involved in the game, and throughout the tournament he's gotten really involved in the game.

Q. One of the keys that Coach Self felt like was a difference maker tonight was being able to beat the clock and make the big shots which Coach alluded to with the threes late in the first half. He also felt Oregon did a great job at winning loose balls and 50/50 balls. Do you think that was more a case that you outhustled them to the ball? Just muscle? Why do you think you were able to win loose balls on the court?
TYLER DORSEY: Coach tells us we have to be the tougher team at the beginning of the game. Those 50/50 balls means we was the tougher team tonight and we went and got 'em. We just went and competed and we didn't quit on the play. We got every rebound and we sent the guards -- Jordan was blocking shots and everybody was cracking down and then we got second-chance points, and like I said, the 50/50 balls we got 'em tonight.

DILLON BROOKS: Coach says all the time, we want to make the special offensive play. But today we were making special defensive plays. Jordan blocking shots, us getting 50/50 balls, Dylan cracking back and stealing the ball from them making easy baskets. We were working and we had more heart. We really wanted to take down one of the greatest teams in Kansas.

JORDAN BELL: What they said, winning the 50/50 war, second chance points, being the tougher team overall. We knew that we had to do the little things to help us get the victory today.

DANA ALTMAN: We had some lucky bounces. I think that's true. We had some balls that bounced right to us. We did outrebound them by 4, and I thought that was critical. We had a five-minute stretch that we ran out of gas. We were really bad there for about five minutes especially on the offensive end. We found a way to finish the game and that's what you do on the road.

Basically it was a road game for us. I look at the attendance figures, 18, 6. We had 600 and they had 18,000, and it was basically a road game for us! The guys had to make those plays. The guys had to make those plays. We did get some lucky bounces on some of those balls, no doubt about it.

Q. Coach, what was the major difference between how these guys approached tonight's game compared to last year when you were in the same situation in the Elite Eight?
DANA ALTMAN: First of all, we felt so good after beating Duke and we patted ourselves on the backs so much that we didn't have that edge when we played Oklahoma. I don't want to take anything away from Buddy and Oklahoma, because they kicked us. But I didn't feel like we played with an edge that day and I was real happy when I came in after the Michigan game and we weren't celebrating. We were focused on, we got one more game here.

So I thought maybe the experience of a year ago maybe helped us. There were two teams, you know. Kansas went to the final eight. We went to the final eight, and we were both not successful. We both had veteran teams. Both were starting one freshman, but we had seniors and we got juniors and a sophomore who were all starters and played significant roles last year. So two teams that got there last year and didn't get it done. I just loved our team's focus. Going in we knew it was going to be a tough atmosphere. We knew we were going to have to be sharp.

Again, I can't overemphasize Jordan controlling the paint in the first ten minutes of the game and just putting a thought in their mind that they were not going to get easy baskets. I thought that really set the tone and gave us a big advantage. Because of that, they took 25 threes, and almost half their shots were threes because they were looking over their shoulder for Jordan, I think. That was my impression of the game. I thought he did a tremendous job in there.

Q. Dillon and Coach, what was the key to stopping Josh Jackson and Devonté, their two leading scorers?
DILLON BROOKS: We stopped Josh Jackson early. We didn't let him get easy baskets. And for Devonte' Graham we didn't let him take easy shots. When he came into the paint Jordan was sending him back. They were taking tough shots and when you do that it's tough to get it going. We know that from our own experiences. Coach tells us all the time tough shots won't beat and you we forced them to take tough shots and then we pushed it down and got great shots.

DANA ALTMAN: I thought the two early fouls took Josh out of the game a little bit. That does to a lot of players. You get two early fouls and it sticks in your mind. I did like our activity on the perimeter. I thought most of the threes were challenged. I thought we did a tremendous job there. The open ones in transition they seemed to knock down, but I really thought our guys had great activity with their hands and didn't get 'em get comfortable with their jump shots. We knew going in that was going to be really important, just like it was against Michigan, to not give 'em a lot of open looks and rhythm threes.

Q. Jordan, did you sense them getting frustrated like Coach was saying where they had so much talent going to the basket but they kept finding you there. Did you sense frustration on their part from your presence?
JORDAN BELL: No, I blocked shots and they kept going. Couple of them were missed. I fouled Josh Jackson on one of them. I don't think I scared them. I think I made 'em change their shot maybe a little bit at the end.

Q. Dillon, you guys talked about embracing being on the road and people say that and doesn't work out that way, but when you were hitting threes in the second half I saw you laughing at the crowd. The place was nuts at certain points and you pushed ahead.
DILLON BROOKS: It gives my teammates confidence. I can get rambunctious sometimes and Coach tells me to calm down and my teammates tell me to calm down.

It's just a motivator to me and it motivates my teammates to do great plays and TT was playing his mind off and Tyler was playing his mind off and it gets the guys going and I want to be an energy giver and not an energy taker.

Q. Got to make you feel doing it this close to where you've coached for so long, Dana and with a reboot most of the way through the season when you lost Chris.
DANA ALTMAN: Again, I think these guys have all stepped up. Personally it is great. Had a lot of family here today. A lot of friends from Moberly and Kansas State and from Omaha. For me personally, that does make it good. Again, we have had a lot of opportunities to try to do this and haven't been able to get it done but these guys got it done.

I feel really good for them. Hopefully we will have a few more opportunities at the University of Oregon, but these guys got it done. I feel really happy for them. It's an exceptional group. Very competitive group. They've been a lot of fun to work with. Happy for 'em. We're not done! We would sure like to go and make a great showing for ourselves in Phoenix. We've got one more four-team tournament to try to go win. We're not done yet. We're not going to celebrate too much we're going to get focused for next Saturday.

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Coach and guys, and let me be among the first to say welcome to Phoenix.

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