Ben Howland talks after Oregon:
BH: yeah, I thought that we came out, got off to a great start. I think we were up 10-4. There were a lot of turnovers early in the game. Both teams had uncharacteristically a number of turnovers there. We had 14 which is pretty high for us, over our average. We only had, I think, 5 yesterday if I’m not mistaken. But give Oregon all the credit. Oregon did a great job today. I thought they really did some good things defensively. You know, their seniors scored 42 points. They’re veteran guys. Really played well. [Carlos] Emory, off the bench, had 20. And he hit some bit 3’s when they were down early in the game and got them off. I thought their point guard, Johnathan Loyd, was fantastic today. Also played at Bishop Gorman where [Shabazz Muhammad] went to high school. [Arsalan] Kazemi, who was a great pickup to get in September. That’s a very nice pickup to get him that late in the transfer from Rice, and be immediately eligible, he’s been a huge addition to their team this year. He’s done a fantastic job. I voted for him, as I did for [E.J.] Singler, for all-league this year. But I’m proud of our guys. Our guys really battled. We had it back to, I think, 54-52. I called a time out to try to rest. And obviously, we were fatigued tonight, having played 3 games in 3 days in a row. And we need to get some rest in preparation for the NCAA Tournament. But I thought at that point near there, they had a steal where Kazemi went and dunked it. He scored on another play. Give Oregon all the credit. They were fantastic tonight and they deserved it and earned their victory.
Q: get this one out of the way. Any fallout from not having [Jordan] Adams?
BH: well, he’s one of our best players. So I guess that when you lose one of your best players, it’s always something you’ve got to try to overcome, and we’ll get better at that. And we didn’t have any time to prepare. Offensively, some things we want to do differently now because now Kyle [Anderson] is playing more on the perimeter with the change in the lineup, and that’s something we’ll have a chance to do this upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday and maybe Thursday, depending on where we’re playing. And I don’t even know who plays when and what region. We’ve just been focusing on the now.
Q: Ben, you talked about the frustration with your suit jacket.
BH: you know, that’s the first time I’ve had a technical in 11 years. That was really… and I should’ve mentioned that in my opening comments. I was very embarrassed by that, to lose my composure. It’s a terrible example for our team to have their coach behave in such a manner. We’re going always to have bad calls. And I definitely thought that that wasn’t a call that was called correctly. But you’re going to have calls like that. I told the team that at halftime and after the game. That that was a terrible example for them. That we have to play through adversity. We’ve done a great job all season long with all sorts of adversity which you’re always going to have in every season. That was really, really poor. I deserved the technical foul and I behaved poorly and am embarrassed by it.
Q: just talk about how Norman [Powell] did, filling in for Jordan.
BH: I thought Norman did a good job tonight. I thought that Norman hit a big 3 to cut it to 2. He’s going to get better playing more minutes and being more comfortable in that role, playing 35 minutes a game. And we hope that we have more opportunities. We know we’re going to have one. Now you’re in sudden death. So now… But I thought overall Norman did a good job which he’s done all season long.
Q: yeah, Ben, I know you were pretty high on Dominic Artis earlier this year when you guys saw him. How impressed were you with Johnathan Loyd today? And did he remind you at all of how Artis was playing earlier in the season?
BH: they’re different. I mean, Artis is more of a scoring point guard. I think tonight, Loyd scored 19 points. It’s probably one of his highs of the year. But he was fantastic. I thought that Loyd played great. He’s at home. He’s from Bishop Gorman High School. He’s playing in front of family and friends. What a great experience for him, to come in here and win the inaugural PAC-12 Tournament Championship in his home town so congratulations to him.
Q: Coach, there’s been a precedence for key players getting injured and then the Committee penalizing them from a seeding standpoint. Do you anticipate that happening with Jordan?
BH: I have no idea.
Q: do you feel that you should be?
BH: our players have done nothing wrong to be penalized. No.