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October 11, 2018

Dana Altman

San Francisco, California

Q. As a player, what does Bol Bol add to a team that will help you all this year?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, he's very unique. He can score from all three levels, and for someone that size, he really presents a lot of problems. He's got a soft touch. We've got to move him around a little bit because physically he's not real strong. You just can't put him in the block and let him bang around. But he does move in there very well. He catches the ball well. I've been really pleased with his instincts and his ability to pass the ball.

He's a unique talent, similar to Chris Boucher, who played for us previously, and I think Bol liked the role that we put Chris in, and I think he kind of envisions himself doing some of the same things, both on the perimeter and inside.

Again, a unique young man, unique player. I've enjoyed working with him so far, and I think he's going to be fun to utilize. It's going to be a challenge to our coaching staff to make sure we get him the ball enough and make sure we let him show everything that he can do.

Q. How has your team dealt with some of the early hype and expectations, picked to win the league?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I think they'll do all right with it. We haven't had to deal with it too much. You know, it's not like a couple years ago where we were kind of projected to do well. This year we do have five players back who played double-figure minutes, which is encouraging, and the freshmen are talented. We have a grad transfer that gives us a little bit of experience that we need.

I think the guys will handle it all right. They were a little disappointed last year. We didn't play very well. Defensively we weren't very good. We've got some major adjustments and we've got to get a lot better on the defensive end to have a good team.

Q. Brian Bowen Sr., on the witness stand in New York said he couldn't recall assistant Tony Stubblefield making a payment. He couldn't remember that. What was your reaction to what Brian Bowen Sr. said?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I have a lot of confidence in my staff and in Tony, so I wasn't surprised. Tony has done a great job for me, and like I said, I've got complete confidence in my staff.

Q. Is there a message to your team as far as maybe blocking out distractions?
DANA ALTMAN: No, I mean, we haven't talked about it that much. Obviously they saw it, but it hasn't been a distraction.

Q. Has that specific allegation against Tony been vetted by your school?
DANA ALTMAN: They haven't talked to me. I was out of town one of the days recruiting, and I'm not sure if they've talked with Tony or not.

Q. Your school said that they did a review last year. Do you know what the review constituted in terms of looking into the program?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I think our compliance people review all our programs all the time, but they definitely did a review last late September, early October, and they conducted another interview a week ago.

Q. Do you know what they asked in that?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, they ask a lot of questions. But I'm not sure specifically what they asked.

Q. Mr. Bowen Sr. clearly has testified he had his hand out. Is it reasonable to believe that he was going on unofficial visits across the country without asking for expenses to be covered?
DANA ALTMAN: I'm not sure what his unofficial/official visits were. They stopped on a -- they were at an All-Star Game in LA and just stopped on the way back.

Q. What was your response when you heard the astronomical sum thrown around with Oregon, your program?
DANA ALTMAN: I didn't have any response. I knew it wasn't true, so there wasn't any response.

Q. With some of this stuff, does it make you -- some of the testimony sounds -- this one is involving Adidas and they're doing this with the dads. Do you think it's possible some of this stuff is happening without coaches knowing, or could it be a mixture of --
DANA ALTMAN: Oh, I wouldn't speculate on that. I just worry about my program.

Q. Do you keep an eye at least out of curiosity on all the stuff that's coming out, because it's unusually public scene that's going on there.
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I have assistants who tell me what's being written, and I don't have quite enough time to follow everything. I think everybody is following it a little bit, yeah.

Q. King's knee?
DANA ALTMAN: You know, he's making progress. I would anticipate maybe sometime around December 1, whenever the doctors release him. I'm not sure what that timetable will be. I think we'll be conservative with it because he's got a tremendous future, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Q. When you said December 1st, getting going, practicing, or at full strength?
DANA ALTMAN: I doubt he'll be full strength by December 1. I think whenever the doctors do clear him, I think it'll be a slow process, almost a minute restriction to bring him back.

Q. You guys have some high expectations, and it's the first time in program history that the men's and women's basketball game were both chosen for the preseason poll. How do you expect to live up to those expectations, and how do you keep that in mind heading into the season?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I think the women will have a lot easier time living up to them than we will. Man, with Sabrina and Ruthy, that core group back from two Elite 8s, they're really good. Sabrina and Ruthy have been really fun to watch the last two years.

But no, we like the expectations. We hope that we can live up to them. We hope the media is right and we play well and develop as a team. We do have a long ways to go. There's no doubt about it. On the defensive end, we've got a lot of adjustments, a long ways to go there to get everybody to get on the same page.

Offensively they've done a pretty good job sharing the ball so far and trying to work on some of the things we want them to. I think we'll be able to score some points, but our big concern is defensively and on the boards, we're going to have to be really good in those two areas to make the improvement and to try to challenge for a conference championship.

Q. Paul White was kind of talking about how your identity is you're long, you're lean and your athletic. You have a lot of talent. How are you layering your veteran talent and your incoming talent to make a cohesive team?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, we do have five guys that played double-figure minutes for us last year back, so we do have much more experience than we did a year ago coming back at this time when Payton was the only player back.

I hope those five guys will blend with the six new ones that we have and really form a cohesive unit. But that's -- all of them giving up part of their game to be part of a team and making each other stronger.

Q. The conference in general has a lot of really great backcourts. You talked about the emphasis on defense. How much is that going to matter when you get into conference play, really emphasizing playing great D on those great backcourts that are in the conference?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I think it's going to be really important. You don't go through a conference season and usually win without a great defense because you're not going to shoot the ball well every night. That's what we've got to make sure our players understand, that there are going to be nights we just don't shoot it very well, and we're going to have to do a great job defensively and a great job on the boards.

Q. Is there any new incoming talent that's really just stuck out to you or surprised you in the first couple weeks?
DANA ALTMAN: I don't think surprised me. We were -- we felt pretty good about the class coming in, and they've been good to work with. Obviously with Lou taking some time to heal up, we don't know exactly what we have there, but the other freshmen and Ehab have all been pretty good to work with.

Q. How fun has it to be able to have Bol Bol on the team with that length and size?
DANA ALTMAN: He's a unique talent. In your coaching career you don't get many guys 7'2" that can shoot a three and run the floor like that. I'm looking forward to the challenges and the uniqueness of his game to make sure we, like I said, put him in the best position to be successful.

Q. His three, is it going to help you guys spread the floor a little bit more?
DANA ALTMAN: I hope so. Any time you have a big that's able to step out and shoot it, it definitely helps the game.

Q. Is there anything else that throughout the season you've got to look to improve upon? You guys have a lengthy team and you've got a great defense, but is there anything that you think is going to be needed to improved upon as the season progresses?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, I think all facets of the game right now are going to need to take steps, but sharing the ball when you have a number of offensive players that are all very confident in their ability to score, getting them to share the ball throughout the year I think will be a big factor, also.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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