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March 16, 2013

Dana Altman

Damyean Dotson

Arsalan Kazemi

Johnathan Loyd


Oregon – 78
UCLA – 69

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, an opening statement, please.  Coach, championship, automatic bid, how does it feel?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, I'm very happy for our seniors.  E.J. Singler who really has been kind of the solid guy on our team for the last three years has just done a great job.  Tony and Carlos came a year ago and really helped us, and then Arsalan coming in this year.  Those four guys, I'm just happy for them.  It was their last opportunity to have some tangible evidence that they helped us bring our program along.  They were just tremendous to work with.
Arsalan for only one year that we've been together, I've enjoyed working with him so much.  I've enjoyed working with E.J. for three years and having the opportunity to work with those four guys, Carlos and Tony for the last two years, that's why you coach, to spend time with those guys.  I really enjoy the guys.
So I'm happy for them.  I'm happy for the rest of the team.  Johnny Loyd really picked himself up and gave us a big night.  The guys fought their tails off.  I feel a little bit for UCLA, because Jordan Adams would have made a tremendous difference for them.  We were able to get them twice this year, once with their full team, but we know from experience how tough it is to lose a player and not have your full team.
So I thought UCLA played really hard, really well.  We played hard.  I thought it was a good game.  We got off to a really bad start with the turnovers.  We were a little tight.  But after we settled down, I thought we were aggressive.  I thought we attacked the basket.  We hit some shots.  Defensively guys got up, and I thought we played okay.

Q.  Jonathan, what's this experience like doing this at home and all that?
JONATHAN LOYD:  This is an amazing feeling.  To do this in front of my family, my friends, hometown, it's just an amazing feeling.

Q.  Coach, what do you expect in terms of seeding?  Do you think there is any additional cache from winning the title here?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, it doesn't hurt us.  We can't be worried about that.  Wherever they send us, whatever seed we get, that's just part of it.  We just go play.
So we'll be excited when we see where we're going and who we're playing.  We'll just get excited about playing that first game.  But I look forward to it.  I know the team does too.

Q.  Arsalan, when you came to Oregon in the fall, did you have this kind of vision in your head?  And how has this ride been all the way to winning the Pac‑12?
ARSALAN KAZEMI:  I mean, when I decided that I wanted to transfer from Rice, I told this to Coach, too, there were some teams that I was considering that I'm going there.  I looked at Oregon, and my strength is my rebounding, and I saw Oregon was not very good at rebounding last year.
So I just decided that this is the team that I can help the most, and I think I came here and I gave them my rebounding strengths, and they have everything else.  They have really good young players.  They have a bright future in front of them, and they have a really good team.  So I'm really happy.
I came here to win, because that was my goal and that is the coach's goal too.  I'm really glad it all worked out right now.

Q.  The emotions of the past week, you were really disappointed a week ago and losing a share of the title, but now to get one this way?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, it's something that I hope the guys can learn from.  What a difference if you keep looking ahead a week can make.  A week ago at this time I think it's safe to say that we were probably as low as we could get.  But we bounced back.  I think it showed a little bit of the character of our team.  Guys stayed with it.  They accepted our coaching, our criticism, and we bounced back.
But I think it takes a lot of character to do that.  We played a really good Washington team the first night that had won four or five.  We played a Utah team that had won four in a row, and UCLA's a very talented team.
So we had to play well.  I thought we were aggressive, but it just shows you what a difference a week can make.  And I told the guys that.
Life, basketball, you know, you've got to look ahead.  Don't look back.  You look ahead.  You learn from your mistakes, but you keep looking ahead.
We have a little, let's go win this four minutes and all those TV timeouts that we have.  I don't have anything to talk about, so I just say let's go win the next four minutes.  You've got to keep looking ahead, and that's what these guys did.  And they overcame adversity.  It was a tough week.  A lot of negative things were said about us.  The guys bounced back, and I thought they showed a lot of character.

Q.  Johnny, can you talk about the team and what they had to do the last week?
JONATHAN LOYD:  We had a lot of good leadership.  Our seniors really kept us, like Coach said, looking ahead.  We lost the opportunity to win one championship, so we said let's go get another one, and that's what we did.  We just tried to play hard, defensive rebounding, and get it done.

Q.  With Artis still maybe not all the way back, how big of a boost would it be for you guys if Johnny's able to play like this next week as well?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, I think Johnny got on a roll, and that's what you look for as a player.  Somebody steps up.  Last night Dot got off to a great start, which enabled us.  Very rarely does it happen that the same person gives you that burst.  And throughout the year we've had a team, and different guys have given us that burst, E.J. Singler some nights,  Dot some nights.  D.A., we were 17‑2 when D.A. was healthy.  I mean, he's struggled a little bit tonight, but he was a pretty good leader when he was playing.
Then Johnny struggled a little bit when he took over and he showed great character and bouncing back.  So that's what a team does.  Tony the first night here gets 19 for us, so we've had different players step up all the time.
I want Johnny to play his role, to run the team, to take shots when they're open when he likes the shot.  I don't expect him to go out there‑‑ I don't know how many he had tonight‑‑ but shoot it every night.  That's not my expectation.  My expectation is to get on a roll.  He was on a roll, and he felt it tonight, and there were a couple that I said, "What are you doing?"  And he looked at me and nodded his head and said, "I know that was a bad one, Coach, but I'm on fire."
I don't expect him to do that.  I just want him to play his role because he's been really good down the stretch here with his role.

Q.  Can you just talk about what is it about Las Vegas?  You come here in the fall and win a couple games at the Thomas & Mack and bookend it here with the championship?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, we beat Vegas.  But Cincinnati beat us.  But you know, it's a great atmosphere.  Again, I commend the league for taking a chance and doing something different.  The crowds weren't good in LA.  It was really expensive for our fans to come.  If your team did lose, you're stuck with airline tickets.  What do you do?  This is a little bit more fan friendly, I think.
The arena is really suited for the crowds we're getting right now, and I know we can expand in that one area if we get it going, like we should.  But the crowds are good.
You've got teams that can drive in.  If you look at any conference tournament that really does well, you've got to have somebody who can drive in.  I think Arizona drove in.  Salt Lake's probably close enough.  LA's close enough.  Can you drive?  You can take your family and load it up and come.
Other than the northwest schools and maybe Stanford and Cal, everybody else can kind of get here.  So I think that helps.  But definitely, it's a fan‑friendly city.  Other conferences have done well.
So I think Larry did a great job of getting this.  The venue is good.  The people here have been unbelievable to us.  Everyone has treated us really well, so we've had a good experience.

Q.  Damyean, what's been going on in the first half so much that you've been scoring like fire?
DAMYEAN DOTSON:  I don't know.  It's just me coming out, trying to be aggressive.  It's not that I'm thinking about my shots.  It's more me being aggressive on defense.  So me being aggressive on defense can help me score baskets and get open.  I've just been hitting shots, so I just keep shooting.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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