I want to talk about Oregon, because Dana's team reminds me of the Malik, Maarty Leunen team where they've got skill all over the floor. They can spread you out, really beat you off the bounce. Everybody can score. He's got a really, really nice squad and if they just continue to defend and keep their heads focused the right way, they have a chance. They have a chance to win this thing, close it out obviously and then have a chance to do some damage in the tournament, as well, too, because they should get an excellent seed.
For us, it was the same old thing that we've seen a lot this year. We had that stretch of the game, and this time it was at the start of the game, where we give up a 17-4 run. Outside of that, you play a home team, one of the best teams in the country, even with this team that I have, that's relatively young, with all these junior college players on here.
I go back and look at stat sheets where you give up 15 second-chance points, gave up 23 points off our turnovers, although we didn't turn it over as much in the second half, and then you give up another 19 points, and you just shouldn't do that, on the free throw line, and stuff like that.
So when you look at things that are in your control: The rebounding, not fouling, not turning the ball over. Those are still areas we need to clean up. And with all that said and done, I thought there were three times in the second half, late in that game, where you knock a bucket and cut the game to eight, and it could be a different game. We played better on this floor, just not good enough.
(Shot clock violations indicate Oregon trap set offense back?)
No because again, if you think about the first half where we had 10 turnovers – we only had three turnovers in the second half – I think it's more of our play, on ourselves. You look at Que Johnson, great game. Josh Hawkinson, great game. Viont'e Daniels, for a freshman, Robert Franks in this environment, Derrien King. Here's Ike Iroegbu now, where's his game? We lost his game again. If we can get them all on their game again, shot clock violations are going to hurt but we had opportunities in this game. We really did, too, and we didn’t take advantage of it.
(Is Que Johnson the third scorer you've been looking for?)
Well the thing is, and I've said this before, Ike's better in a speed game. So now all of a sudden you play where teams are taking your transition away and keep you more in the half court, Que rises up. He's better in a half court game. So I've got to somehow get those guys to complement each other a little more, because we need Ike's game as well as Que's.
(The 2007 Oregon team was similar to this one?)
That was the Malik and Maarty and Bryce Taylor and them. Some similarities and just the way they could spread the floor. They press a little more. We never pressed like that. But we had pretty good offensive firepower and I think they have it as well.
(Same energy around the program?)
No. And I say that because Mac Court was one of the greatest places, one of the top-10 all-time places to play. That's voted on by ESPN and the country, in the history of college basketball. This is a great arena but it doesn't have that Mac Court vibe and that energy in the building. That's hard to duplicate. They just don't make buildings like that anymore. I don't sense it, because you don't have that buzz in the building over here. And yet Dana's done an incredible job without having that buzz in the building. That buzz was pretty good for us.