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


March 23, 2019

Dana Altman

San Jose, California

MODERATOR: We welcome Oregon coach Dana Altman to the dais. We'll have Coach give us a brief opening statement, then we'll open it up to questions to the group.

DANA ALTMAN: Well, we face a very difficult task tomorrow. Irvine is really a good basketball team. Anytime you see a plus seven on the rebounding and their defensive numbers, you know, really impressed with what I've been able to see. You win 31 games, that's not by accident. 17 in a row. And we think we're kind of on a roll because we won nine. And they've won 17.

So good ball club. Deep, experienced, fifth-year seniors. Guys that have played together a long time under Russ's system, very well coached. We're not going to be able to make some of the mistakes we've been making and be successful.

So very difficult game for us. One day to get ready, and I'm hoping our guys will get the rest and be ready to go tomorrow night at 6:40.

Q. Coach, kind of along that same line, how difficult is it to flip that switch and scout a team like that in such a short period of time? You do it at the Pac-12, but you've seen those teams before. How do you do it in this position?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, we've had a couple of coaching assistants working on the games, the possibility of playing Kansas State and Irvine. You know, we went to work on those teams, just in case we were in this position.

So Kevin and I worked on getting ready for Wisconsin, and then the other coaches were working on, you know. And so now it's just getting ready for them. We had a lot of information, a lot of tape ready to go, and the scouting report was ready to go. It's just now getting it across to the team, you know? Doesn't matter whether I know it or the assistant coaches know it, it's how much our guys know.

So you go back to what you believe is a defensive philosophy, a rebounding philosophy. You try to apply those things, you know, shots that we can't give up, shots that'll get us beat. So we talked to them about those types things and their offensive sets to try to get those shots.

So I think they'll be ready. One thing about playing in the Pac-12, you play a lot of Thursday-Saturdays, Thursday-Sundays. So you're used to the one day off. So the Friday-Sunday doesn't bother us. We're used to having a day to get ready for the next opponent, and in that regard I think our routine throughout the season helps us.

Q. Speaking of the Pac-12, is there a team in the Pac-12 that reminds you of Irvine or that Irvine reminds you of?
DANA ALTMAN: You know, not really. Back a few years ago Arizona used to play the big guys and really try to beat you up in the lane, and defensively when you drove it, everybody collapsed. So going back to some of those good Arizona teams, you know, I think that's a little bit of simulator. They shoot the three well. They're a little slower paced than teams in our league. I guess going back a few years some of those Arizona teams that were big and physical. Four guys they rotated inside. They're physical. They try beating you up. That's why they're a plus seven on the boards and why they don't give up anything in the paint. They're not afraid of foul trouble. They're not afraid to be aggressive.

Q. Dana, we were talking earlier about how fun this tournament is because of all the Cinderella stories, you know, the underdogs or the mid-majors. But this doesn't necessarily seem like a Cinderella team that you're going to be facing. As you said, it's a team that's won 31 games. I asked the guys, does it seem like a Cinderella matchup to you or to the team?
DANA ALTMAN: You know, I haven't talked to the team about it, so I don't know how they feel about it. But I don't. I look at their ball club, and it reminds me of some of our good Creighton teams back when we were in the Valley. We never thought of ourselves as Cinderellas or underdogs, and I'm sure they don't either.

So they don't think of themselves as Cinderella, and I sure don't. Again, I haven't discussed it with the team, you know, so I have no idea what they're thinking. But as a coaching staff, we definitely don't. They're a big, physical team. Kansas State, you know, they're Big 12 co-champs. And if you watch the two teams, you don't see any physical difference in the teams. Didn't look like Cinderella or Goliath, you know, David and Goliath. It looked like two good basketball teams.

So their athleticism is good. Their depth is good. Again, they're playing guys that are older, red-shirted. So we've got four freshmen that we're trying to play, and so it's kind of a different makeup of our team compared to theirs. Theirs is an old physical team, and ours is kind of a young team that's trying to figure things out yet.

Q. Coach, I know you're not on Twitter personally, but Jim Leavitt, Oregon's former defensive coordinator, had some well wishes for you yesterday, called you a great friend. Even though he's not connected to the university anymore, you still have the support of a fellow coach?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, we probably should have talked to Jim about our defense earlier in the year. But, no, he's a good friend. We've known each other for 30 years. Our relationship goes back to '89, '90, when he came to Kansas State. So I've known him for 30 years. So that's the great thing.

We even had some K-State people cheering for us last night. I was there a long time ago, went there in '86 and spent seven years there. Two of my children were born in Manhattan, so a lot of good memories.

But, no, I appreciate everybody who's -- we've had a lot of people reach out, a lot of people know how frustrated we were throughout the year. It wasn't going quite as planned, but it is sure good to have everybody on our side now that we're playing a little bit better.

Q. Dana, you talked the other day about teams that shoot well behind the arc and running them off the line. This is a team, UC Irvine, that can shoot well from the three. I think they got three guys that shoot pretty well. How do you defend that and still rim protect at the same time?
DANA ALTMAN: Well, we're probably not going to ask Kenny to get out there too often. We've had a little problem when teams have really spread us out. But, you know, we can't let Hazzard get going. He's proven when he gets going, he's a handful. And their other three point shooters are consistent, too.

They actually have five guys that we're kind of concerned about. So we're going to have to do a good job of locating those shooters. They're going to hit some, but we just can't give up uncontested ones. If they hit contested threes, that's just part of the game.

And there are some nights when teams are throwing it in and not a darn thing you can do about it. But we just can't give up easy ones or ones that they consistently get in their offense.

So when you're watching film as a coach and you see a player getting a shot consistently and knocking that shot down, those are the ones you show your team and say, fellas, we can give up this one, but this one's gonna hurt us. And hopefully in a day our guys understand that and we don't give up too many of those looks.

MODERATOR: Anything additional? Looks like we're good.

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