home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 1, 2017

Dana Altman

Dylan Ennis

Casey Benson

Phoenix, Arizona

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Oregon head coach Dana Altman and student-athletes Casey Benson and Dylan Ennis.

COACH ALTMAN: I thought both teams played really hard, which scrambled the game a little bit. Neither of us shot it very well. But I didn't think there were a lot of wide-open shots to be had.

Obviously the turnovers really hurt us. We didn't get enough opportunities. We had 10 less shots than they did, and the turnovers were a big part of that.

So I like the way our guys tried to battle back and stay in the game, but we put ourselves in a position that was tough to dig out of because of some bad decisions, some quick 3s, and some really bad turnovers.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Dylan and Casey, could you give me your assessment of the progress this team made, and just kind of summarize this year. I know it's a disappointing end, but I remember talking to you guys back in October, you had high hopes and you may have came a step short, but what's your assessment of this year?
DYLAN ENNIS: We started off this year hoping to get to where we are today. Went through our ups and downs all year. We stuck with it, and Coach kept confidence in us when we started the season.

Nobody thought we'd be the team everybody thought we would be. But we stuck with it, kept pushing. And I'm just happy that we started playing good at the right time and got this far.

CASEY BENSON: As Dylan said, we had a rough start to the season. And just continue to work and get better day in, day out.

And I think that's just a testament to Coach and him continuing to push us and knowing there was so much room for growth. And so obviously a loss stinks, to say the least. There's a lot of positives to look back on.

Q. Casey, if you could talk a little bit about the rebound at the end of the game off the missed foul shot?
CASEY BENSON: Yeah, I mean the first one, it just got tipped out and they got it. And the second one, they got it again. So I wish I could've dove and gotten it. That was on me.

Q. It's hard to quantify not having Chris Boucher in a game like this. Having him in a game like this, how big would that have been, with the way he rebounds and defends the rim and can stretch the floor out against their bigs?
DYLAN ENNIS: It would have been great to have him. Chris changes the game, especially on the defensive end. But we didn't have him. We knew we were going into this game without him.

We won a lot of tough games without him. But he's part of our family. We would have loved to have him out there. But because he wasn't, it was on us to get the job done.

CASEY BENSON: Yeah, no, obviously we would have loved to have Chris out there. It hurt more for him not to be out there than us. It would be terrible not to be able to play in games like these. I mean, we missed him.

Obviously we had to pick up the slack for what he brought to our team. So I think once he went out, we did a pretty good job of that for the most part.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Dana, after all is said and done with this season, as really the way the postseason has ended and how the regular season sort of culminated, with the way this all ended, what do you say to your team, what do you say to them after the way they played tonight, came close, after the kind of, you know, playoffs that they've had?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, I wish I had something that I could say that would make them feel better. It hurts. Those guys are great competitors. I thought that was the greatest characteristic they had was they like to compete. And they showed some of that tonight.

They were down 10 with seven, eight minutes to go, and wouldn't give in to it. They're going to look back and it's going to hurt because we didn't play very well at times. And our turnovers were bad and we made some really bad decisions and quick 3s.

So they're not going to feel really good about it when they watch the film. But I can't fault their competitiveness. I can't fault their effort. I wish we would have been a little sharper. But I'm sure Roy feels the same way. Like I said, it was two teams really playing hard, really wanted to win. Meeks had a great game, and we just didn't stop him inside.

Q. Obviously winning it all would have been the ultimate goal here. But how can you put this season into words with how historic it was and the things you guys were able to do?
COACH ALTMAN: I think that we'll look back, you know, in a couple of weeks and this will -- this hurt will start to be a little less and guys will feel pretty good about it.

I know it's pretty hard to feel good about it right now. But I do believe as the summer goes on and they reflect, the guys got along great. They were really fun to work with as a coaching staff. Pretty unselfish.

They tried to make plays for each other. So I think when they look back they're going to have really good feelings about it. But it will take a while for the sting to get over and the next few weeks, the next couple of months they're not going to feel real good.

Q. It's safe to say that this tournament kind of grows you as a team and individually. What are some things that you think that your team has learned, I guess, the past couple of weeks and you as a coach?
COACH ALTMAN: I think that our team learned some things about working together and teamwork and fighting through adversity. And we fought through some adversity with injury to Chris and still tried to compete.

They'll learn from tonight that every possession counts and the same with our Michigan game that went down to one possession. So they learned that. And hopefully they'll learn, looking down the road, that every possession counts but every day is going to count, when you're working on your career, when you're working on your family. You know, everything counts.

And a close loss like this, you know, it drives coaches crazy, it drives players crazy because you think about every one little thing, a free throw you missed, a turnover that you had, a rebound that you didn't get, defensive assignment that you missed. You know, it really messes with you for a little bit longer.

Q. The two free throws, what were your views on those? Did you not box out? Did your guy go too far under the basket? Did he get pushed in the back? What happened?
COACH ALTMAN: I don't know. There was a scrum there and we didn't come up with either one. So Jordan felt terrible. But I told him I said, "Buddy, you got 16 rebounds, we wouldn't have been in this position if it hadn't been for you." So all the guys felt bad. We had 5.8 seconds. We had time to get a look. And we just didn't get it done.

Q. Dylan Ennis and so many of the guys on this team play with heart, they wear their emotions on their sleeve. Dylan Ennis, you could see that he wasn't okay with, you know, this is the last game, he wanted that, and it showed in the way that he played. What could you say to sort of quantify the way he played and the kind of heart and hunger that he showed in this game tonight?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, I think he -- I'd say that for the rest of the team. I thought all our guys. But when you're a senior, that sense of urgency is a little bit more. But I don't know how many of our guys will be back. I'm sure all of them will look at their options. I want them to. We want what's best for them. But Dylan Ennis knew it was his last game. And so that sense of urgency when you're a senior and you're thinking it could be the last time you get to play, I think that takes it up a notch.

Q. There was some high expectations for the team coming in this year after beginning the season, it was specifically two back-to-back losses. Can you talk about how you kept your team motivated and optimistic about how they could still be able to get to this point and be one of the last four teams playing?
COACH ALTMAN: Well, it's a long season. We started the season fighting injuries to Dillon Brooks, and so we got out of the gate kind of slow. But we knew it was a long season.

We knew we had good basketball players and it was a matter of just working and keeping them together. And again we had an experienced group, a competitive group. There was never a doubt in my mind that we wouldn't put things together and have a really good team. But we fought some adversity to start the season. We fought some at the end, but I was really proud of the guys for trying to fight through it.

Q. You talked a little bit about the urgency for Dylan, it being his last game and some of the kids maybe not knowing what their future will be, but you will be back. How do you process this? How will you learn from it and what will you take forward with it?
COACH ALTMAN: It's going to sting for a while. And I'm so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with those guys. And all my past players, all past teams have put us in this position.

So you'll reflect a little bit and then we've got to start putting together a team for next year and see where everything's at. But when I look back, no doubt I'll have great feelings for a special team that would really compete, would come to practice every day and try to do what I asked them to do.

I'll have great feelings about this team. It will just take a while for us to get through and get rid of some of this hurt. But we will. We will.

And the guys, they'll bounce back. And the guys that are coming back will work their tails off to be better next year. And the guys that decide to make the jump, then I'm going to wish them the best of luck and hope like heck that everything works out great for them.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297