VIDEO: Alford after Oregon

Steve Alford says he's proud of the team's effort, particularly defensively, and also discusses the suspensions of Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams prior to Thursday's loss to Oregon...

Steve Alford:


Opening statement:
I'll just tell you what I just told my team. I've been in this business a long time. Had a lot of different situations and scenarios in 23 years. Regardless of what the adversity is, injury, sickness, today, having two guys out. I don't know if I've been more proud, of a regular season basketball game, than I was with this team. These guys had no prep, we didn't have days of practice. These guys did an incredible job and we had a lot of guys step up. They played extremely hard. I'll have to watch the tape, but that was arguably as well as we've played defense all year. I thought we made some things difficult. We gave up some rebounds but we took their transition away. This is a high octane team we held to 38% shooting. Being down double figures, the better part of 20-25 minutes, I was really proud with how continued to fight. Both teams were just battling. I'm really proud of my group. We just have to get some rest and ready for Sunday, thankfully, we have a Sunday game instead of Saturday, and not as quick a turnaround.

On Bryce Alford:
He is tough. That's one thing he is, tough. I'm proud, I'm proud of he and Zach, you know, 28 games in to their careers, you get your first start against a team that is going to give you everything they've got. It was such a big game for Oregon. I'm really proud of both of those guys. They handled the ball well. We were able to do some things we haven't done much this year. We played Zach and Bryce in the 1-position and the off-guard position. They complimented each other really well. They combined for 11 assists and just four turnovers. Being without Kyle, we only turned the ball over 11 times. Oregon kept coming at us and I thought our young guys did a lot of good things. Bryce got hot, he got to the free throw line, drove hard, and made good decisions. I'm really proud of how he and Zach handled the situation.

On David Wear's three-pointer to tie it:
I wish I could tell you that I drew that one up. If you go back, you'll have some fun, because Dana (Altman) and I go back to our Missouri Valley days. He was at Creighton and I was at Missouri State. I don't know how many times we played them. But they were always tight. We win by two at their place, they win in double overtime here. I'd bet our last ten games were just like this. We played twice when I was at New Mexico. In very tight games. We had them beat at home, they had us beat at Creighton. We've had wars justt like this. He'd tell you that they had a defensive breakdown where we got behind them and it was really just a great play by Dave. When you only have 1.6 seconds left, it's going to be a quick pass and a 3/4 short. I think they wanted to miss that free throw. We had an inbounds and made a good pass, and Dave just made a tremendous shot. And that was fun, our guys were excited. It was a fun time for our guys, we were obviously beaten and it took a tremendous shot to get us into overtime.

On the suspensions being made on Thursday:
It was difficult and I appreciate you guys, and I know you're doing your job. We keep things internal. They broke team rules. Together, it wasn't one or the other. It was a tough deal and you always hate suspending. I do think that them sitting there, they were very good and supporting their teammates and that's what we wanted to see. Our teammates really responded to them. I don't think they could have responded any better way than they responded tonight. It was a one-game suspension, they'll be back at practice tomorrow and they'll be ready on Sunday.

On if an earlier decision to suspend would have made a difference in the game:
All that comes in to play. I can't control timing. If I can control that, I'd give us another 10 seconds on the clock. It is what it is. It was a violation of team rules. I thought the suspension was warranted. I talked to Dan and I talked to Mark. The decision was made in the afternoon and the timing is what it is. That's why I'm proud of the guys. We didn't have three days of practice to get rid of this. We had a shootaround at 4pm and Noah and Waanah were going to get some minutes and some roles were changing. Bryce and Zack are thrown into the starting lineup, to handle the changes they handled, I was really proud of them.

On fatigue from a limited rotation:
I'm sure it was a big factor. Would have helped if it was a 40-minute game. I wish Dave's shot would have given us one more point. We held them to two the first overtime. The second overtime, both teams shot and got to the free throw line. We got 12 four-minute games, we held them to six or fewer in 8-9 segments. Hopefully our defense grew and got some confidence in these guys. Now we get two guys back this weekend and we play a team that beat us the first time around.


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