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Oregon Basketball

Post Game Remarks

March 28, 2019

Following Oregon’s loss to Louisville Thursday night, players and coaches met with media to discuss the game. 

Oregon head coach Dana Altman was present as well as Payton Pritchard and Paul White.

From Virginia, head coach Tony Bennett answered questions about his teams victory over Oregon.

Read below for some highlights from the conference.

Q. For both of you, what was going on in the final 5:43? Didn't have a field goal go down in that stretch. Was it what Virginia was doing, or what was the challenge there?

PAYTON PRITCHARD: “I think we just started over-dribbling too much. We just got away, what was -- what got us there in the first place. I mean, we just forced up some bad shots and it didn't go down for us.”

PAUL WHITE: “Yeah, I think during that stretch, there was some possessions where we came down, took some quick shots, maybe some that we didn't know were about to go up or kind of what Payton said, kind of over-dribbling.

But I think what could have helped us was getting to the free throw line and maybe some offensive rebounds. But, you know, Virginia does a real good job of just making things difficult and kind of stretching possessions out. So I think that played to their strong suit.”

Q. Again for both of you, is the emotion right now frustration, disappointment? To come that close and not be able to pull it off.

PAYTON PRITCHARD: “For sure, I mean, we're disappointed. We were right there, down to the wire. We're going to look back at this and we're going to be -- it's going to be frustrating for a while now.

But for the way we turned around this season and proved all the doubters wrong and won ten straight to make it this far, we're going to look at that as a positive. And me personally, I will always remember this team and the run we made.”

PAUL WHITE: “Yeah, I think the emotions are high. People coming to terms with that this is the last game of the season. This is my last collegiate game, so me and Ehab -- I said a couple things to the guys in the locker room, just telling them, if anything, the character that we showed kind of speaks more volumes than the results that happened tonight.

So, you know, we really slugged it out and I think this team going forward is going to be a tremendous team.”

Q. Coach, could you see what was going on? Is there any way to try to settle them down there? You've got the game so close, those final five and a half minutes to just try to get a ball to go down. What were you trying to get them to do?

COACH ALTMAN: “I did a really poor job. We've got to get better possessions than that. That's my job. We got rushed a little bit there and just we had poor possessions. And I told the guys in the locker room, I let them down there. We needed to have some good possessions. We fought our way back. We were in good position, and offensively, you know, we had a couple turnovers, couple late shot clocks where we just threw it up. Just bad possessions.

So disappointed there in myself, disappointed for the guys. We had a couple sets that we just didn't execute. But we should have been in a better position than that, and we should have got better shots.

I don't want to take anything away from Virginia. They make a lot of people take bad shots. But we didn't handle that very well.”

Q. Tony, you heard me ask the players. What was your message at that timeout with 4:42? And how well did they respond defensively to then, I don't think, let Oregon hit a shot after that?

COACH BENNETT: “I can't remember exactly what I said, but we tried to draw an action for a shot. I felt we were a little winded and that's why I called the timeout, to rest them. I knew we'd have to take care of the ball.

I think that was the key, only eight turnovers against them, and then just say do not give them -- we talked about rebounding defensively and not giving them anything easy. It's just getting our defense set when a shot goes up, get those guys back and make them make tough shots. We had a couple of little adjustments defensively.

But it was nothing too out of the ordinary, but it was to rest them, get a look at a shot, which we didn't get a great look, if I recall. No, we didn't. And then just reset and score-stop or stop-score. It was kind of one of those games and it was a little more stop-not score, stop-not score. But it was what was required.”

Q. Coach, you mentioned they're a little tricky defensively. What were they doing to frustrate you guys and are you worried it's a blueprint for future opponents?

COACH BENNETT: “Well, they run it -- whether it's a match-up zone or a switching man. Usually, their four guys are 6'9" or they're long. And then with Payton, it's something you don't see a lot of in how they do it. I thought we were a little stagnant early and they did a good job taking away a couple things.

We wanted to get movement against it and try to run somewhat of a man-to-man offense. It was hit or miss. We caught our rhythm, hit a couple shots, started attacking off the dribble in the paint. I thought that helped.

But we never really, I would say, solved it offensively. You've got to probably make some shots. And, again, 9 of 33 from 3 is not -- it's not probably too good and we did get some good looks. We just didn't knock down.

Kyle took -- we maybe took a couple early ones that weren't wise, but after we got some pretty good 3s and didn't knock them down.”

Q. They had, I think, four starters, 6'9" or taller. How do you feel you neutralized that? You were leading them in rebounding at the half, 30-22, I think.

COACH BENNETT: “Again, that's what makes their defense, it's unique. They switch like sizes. But we just talked about trying to block out a couple times. We did not. If they went inside, we tried to trap the post.

It was just make them make plays over the top and then fight. I thought Mamadi's rebounding was significant in that game. We needed that. And then, you know, everybody else, Ty came back and had six rebounds. The guards needed to rebound. It was just kind of a slugfest, it felt like it, and it was sort of last man standing.”

Q. Tony, kind of what I asked the players. When defense is kind of part of your DNA, as it is with these guys, how much does that help when you're in a game like this where it's pretty ugly?

COACH BENNETT: “Offense can come and go, and they're really good defensively. And we stepped up defensively, so you just hang on. You hang on and hang your had on that defense and hopefully you get enough offense. Again, ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe it wasn't great, but I thought it was pretty good looking for us defensively.

Offensively, there were struggles, but you have to just -- you've got to hang in there defensively. That's how we're built. We will have a test against -- you look at the offensive output that Purdue had and how they move -- and I know Matt, and I think he's one of the finest coaches, and so is Coach Barnes. That was a hard-fought game. They're tricky. We'll get on to that one. But your defense had to outlast them, because it wasn't going to be our offense that was going to win that.”

Q. Tony, De'Andre said the last five minutes were an example of how great you guys can be. What were you seeing over the last five minutes?

COACH BENNETT: “Just we were trying to be in position, trying to slide hard, make them shoot contested shots. One and done them. They got a shot up, rebound. Just fight for position. Just kept talking about just fight, just fight and don't give them anything easy.

And fatigue comes into it at the end. The shots aren't quite as clean and as easy. I thought we did a good job of keeping the ball in front, helping each other, scrambling, as he said, and that's -- you know, that's what helped us advance from being down in the first round and then we started scrambling and made it tough. Same thing against Oklahoma. And then I thought it carried over at least, you know, you watch tape and you'll figure out if it was. But it felt like that's what carried us to this point.”

Q. One, what's it like when he is here in the building? Would you have liked to have given him maybe a less stressful game?

COACH BENNETT: “Yeah. That's great that he came. I wasn't sure if he would. I just saw him when I walked out, he was sitting there. He's been through this. Ironically, he went against Coach Keady in 2000 and the trip when he got the team, the Badgers went to the Final Four.

But I'm just thankful that my whole family. For all of us, when your family's right there, that's significant. And he's had a huge influence and I'll probably get chewed out when I get back for the bad offense. We'll see. And all that stuff. I'm just glad he's there. It will be a mystery if he'll show up for the next one. I know that.”

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