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 22, 2021

Dana Altman

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Oregon Ducks

Postgame Media Conference

Oregon 95, Iowa 80

DANA ALTMAN: Well, I'm very proud of the guys. Man, they played hard. We had 25 assists on 38 baskets. We got the rebounding tied up, and Garza is such a good player and just ripped us up, but we really wanted to make sure that they didn't get the threes going and beat us from the three-point line.

We knew we didn't match up inside with him, so we just wanted to make sure the threes didn't kill us, and I thought our guys did a tremendous job with focus and talking on the defensive end the second half.

I thought the first half we got beat in transition, really gave up some easy baskets. I thought we were in trouble. But the guys did a much better job the second half.

Q. Dana, can you speak to after the third three-point play from Garza with 4:29 in the first, you went with your starters, they're all in foul trouble except for Will, and LJ just absolutely goes off, and you guys go in with an 18-4 or 18-6 run into the half and never looked back. That's a bit of a gamble. Walk me through the strategy and your reaction to LJ's play there.

DANA ALTMAN: We did, we had three guys, Chris, LJ and Eugene, all had three -- excuse me, two fouls, and I told them we've got to be really careful here, but we can't get behind these guys. We can't be chasing them. So we're going to have to score with them. Those guys are a big part of our offense, and you're right, LJ got a couple threes down there that gave us a little cushion.

Those guys have been with us this year. I stressed to them when I put them back in, fellas, I trust you here, can't have stupid fouls, got to pull back, no stupid reaches, let's finish the half, let's get in the half with all three of you. I wanted to keep them in there. I knew we had to stay with Iowa. They're such a potent and offensive team I felt like if we got behind we would be in trouble. I just didn't want to chase them.

Q. You talked so much about the first five, ten minutes of this game and how key that would be. How were the guys so ready to go from the start?

DANA ALTMAN: No, I did talk to them about it. I said, fellas, we've been out for 10 days. Our advantage may be in the second half when we're a little fresher, but that first ten minutes they've got a big advantage. They've played a game. They're not going to be tired the first 10 minutes. We've got to come out, move the ball, make plays for each other, get some easy shots, and not let them get easy baskets.

Now, we got shots and we scored, but I thought our defense really gave up some easy baskets there that really concerned me. Transition, I think they had 11 transition points the first half, McCaffery got out, got a couple lay-ups. We didn't do a very good job getting back at times. I thought the first 10 minutes was very important for us, and I thought we handled it okay.

Q. In the second half, what was the adjustment on Garza? You guys did a better job limiting him. It seemed like the inlet passes from Bohannon, you guys really seemed to cut him off really well, getting the ball to him. Was that it or was there more to it?

DANA ALTMAN: Well, it got a little easier because they weren't shooting the ball real well from three. We were able to collapse a little bit more when some of their subs were in because they're not quite as -- their numbers aren't quite as good as some of their starters.

We really felt like we could collapse around Garza a little bit more. I thought Frank did a great job. I thought Frank gave us great minutes both first half and second half of changing the game a little bit. So very pleased with his effort. He just played hard. He gave up two threes on a pick-and-pop that he just wasn't quite ready for that, but other than that, I thought he did a tremendous job.

Q. I'm curious, this is kind of a unique situation for your team or any team really ever since the tournament expanded to have had this kind of a unique time off. As bad as everybody feels for VCU, you guys had a unique experience, too. How do you go about dealing with it? Did you have to do anything extra or have any talks with these guys to make sure that they were able to deal with the last couple of days?

DANA ALTMAN: Well, we were really disappointed Saturday, and then we got to the practice floor and it started out slow but then the guys kind of bounced back, like hey, we've got a game. They were excited about playing. A lot of our guys, we only got two guys that have played in the tournament, and so the rest of our guys were just so excited to play, and when it didn't happen, they were a little down, but we just kept stressing, hey, we've got a game.

So we practiced -- we ran a lot Saturday night and then we practiced hard yesterday, not real long, but we went live. We scrimmaged some and just felt like we had to get some game action because we had really backed off on Friday getting ready for Saturday's game. We had gone fairly hard on Wednesday, but Thursday we toned it down, Friday we basically just had a long shootaround. Just felt like we needed some game action, so we practiced yesterday and didn't go real long, but the guys did a great job, and I think it helped us get ready.

Q. I think you had 11 threes and 10 dunks, about half your points in the paint. Where does that performance, especially the last 25, 30 minutes offensively kind of rank for you as far as most complete offensive performances you've had in the tournament?

DANA ALTMAN: Well, it was pretty good. I don't think we've ever scored 95 points, and so we shot it well that first half. I think Will was 5 for 5, Chris was 5 for 6, LJ was 4 for 5, whatever. Those three guys really shot it well. Us scoring 55 points in the first half is something that's really good for us.

The shots were falling. The energy was going. Again, 25 assists on 38 baskets is very good ratio, so our guys were really making plays for each other, and we got a lot of good looks because the ball was moving.

Q. Just wondering if you could comment on Eugene's contribution today and what he did to help shut down Iowa for you tonight.

DANA ALTMAN: Well, Gene is our most physical player. He battled his tail off in there, giving up five, six inches and 20-something pounds. He battled. Eugene has been our physicality all year. When we lost Dante, I was really worried about that. Frank joined us at Christmas time, so he's been gradually building in. But when we lost Dante, we lost our inside presence.

Eugene has done such a tremendous job of battling every night and giving us that physicality, we'd be in trouble if we didn't have Eugene. He takes charges. He works his tail off. He's physical. He's an awfully good player.

Q. Coach, how proud are you of your guys, and what did you think about the way that your team has just battled through all the adversity of this year and to come out and have an impressive performance like they did today and know that they have more basketball to play this season?

DANA ALTMAN: Well, to answer your first question, I'm very proud of the team. You can see how much Will Richardson has meant to our team, and we go without him for the first half of the season, and so that was tough. We lost N'Faly. We had two nine-day pauses where we didn't get nothing done in January.

And the guys fought through it. They stayed together. Again, they put up with our coaching staff, with me just constantly: We've got to get better, we've got to get better.

So I hope they feel good about what they've accomplished today and hopefully what we can do moving forward. The Pac-12 has shown exactly how strong it was. I'm so proud of the conference. And for us to be the champions of the regular season, I'm proud of that, and I'm proud of the guys the way they responded.

Mick has done a great job at UCLA, Wayne has done a great job at Oregon State, USC's doing great, and Tad at Colorado. Our league has done great, and I hope we can keep it up. It would be great to have five of us all in the Sweet 16. We've had some years -- I've been at Oregon 11 years. We've had some years that we haven't played well in the tournament, and I thought we played pretty good during the year, but the tournament didn't prove it out, and this year we had a good conference season, but whether it's match-ups, whatever it is, our teams are playing really well.

Q. So much was made about Garza's inside presence, but did you guys have an advantage on the perimeter? Seemed like you were just quicker than they were.

DANA ALTMAN: Well, that's what we hoped for. We knew that we couldn't stop him. He averages 24 a game. On a bad night, he gets 18. Without a physical presence inside, we knew we were going to have a hard time containing him.

We felt like we had to take away their threes and not give them a lot of good looks because that's where Bohannon and Wieskamp and those guys can really beat you. They get it going from three.

So we felt like our advantage was on the perimeter. Our advantage was driving the ball at them and making plays. We knew we were at a disadvantage inside.

The guys were really good. I thought the ball movement, again, was the key to our offense, and I love seeing 25 assists. I thought our guys were ready to shoot it, but we had some good looks because the ball was moving pretty good.

Q. What's the significance overall of these guys just being able to play when the building play was taken away for so long and so many multiple times even this season?

DANA ALTMAN: Yeah, you know, I hope they appreciate the fact that we are playing. I felt so bad for our senior class last year, Payton Pritchard, Anthony Mathis, Shakur. They came and they wanted to compete, and they didn't get another chance.

But through the ups and downs of this year, not getting started until late November and then we didn't get started until December because we had some complications with the schedule with teams that were supposed to play, and then January was just a miserable month. Not being able to get in the gym, we had a couple guys fortunately asymptomatic. We didn't have anybody with symptoms, but we had to get through January. We played some games without our roster, and we struggled. But for the guys to fight back in February and March and win the conference and now make a little run, we just want to keep it going.

A lot of fun. I enjoyed working with these guys, and I sure hope they're having a good time.

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