March 9, 2012

Arizona – 72 Oregon State – 61 An Interview with:

COACH ROBINSON DEVON COLLIER ROBERTO NELSON
THE MODERATOR: Coach, some opening remarks, please. COACH ROBINSON: Well, first of all, I want to tell you guys how proud I am of my team. I spent most of the time in there after the game consoling guys who are completely beside themselves in grief, and I tried to tell them they shouldn't be, because given how hard they worked and how much they play together. It's been an honor to coach them this season. I thought we ran out of gas. I thought we ran out of gas. We got stuff. We were getting stuff in the first half. In the second half, we were getting the same things, and it just was hard to finish, and that's a sign of fatigue. Given the way we play, it doesn't surprise me. Doesn't surprise me. Given the way these guys play. They play so hard, and they play with such passion, and they're always hustling. I think if we hadn't run out of gas, we'd have given them a little bit better of a game. With that, I'll open it up for questions. Q. In the last ten seconds, you had your team trapping and they didn't foul, then they fouled after they didn't have an opportunity to get a steal and you applauded that. Can you just talk about with the young team the importance of coaching wire to wire regardless of the score? COACH ROBINSON: Yeah, we're hoping we're not done playing, first and foremost. But that's how we play, and I want them to remember

that. I didn't want them to hang their heads and sort of let the clock run out. That's just not our style. These guys know the importance of it. That's why they work so hard. So it was more, I just felt that we owed it to ourselves to keep playing all the way out, because that's the team we are. Q. By making it to the semifinals and beating the regular season champion in Washington, do you think with that, plus 19 wins and the talent you've shown during the tournament, would that be a good enough resume to give yourself an NIT invite? COACH ROBINSON: Truthfully, I don't know, because this is as close to analyzing that as we've gotten since I've been here. So I don't even know what the criteria are. I haven't been paying attention to who is on whose bubble and all that kind of stuff. But ideally I'd like to think so. I'd like to think that people would look at our team and feel we'd be a good participant in their tournament, but you never know. We'll just wait and see. We'd love to keep playing. We'd love to keep playing. Q. You mentioned earlier about running out of gas in the second half. At what point did you guys realize you ran out of gas, and is there anything you can do to shift the players to give them a little bit of rest? COACH ROBINSON: Yeah, we were trying to do that, and Kevin got hurt. Eric Moreland's been hurt. Joe Burton's hurt. So I was trying to sub a little bit offense, defense, and I was trying to sub a little bit after foul shots and I tried to use my timeouts. I tried everything. But I could see it. Maybe you guys couldn't tell, but I could see it. I could see it in our execution of things. We were cutting hard, but when we had to finish, it was just a little bit short, and that's okay. That's all right. I like the fact that they kept running their

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stuff even when they were having trouble finishing it off. Q. Can you talk a little about the physicality of the game? It looked like it was getting physical out there at times, a little bit chippy. Can you talk about that, and Devon, can you talk about that as well after Coach? COACH ROBINSON: Alex. Alex is from our school newspaper, The Daily Barometer. He's trying to get me in trouble with the officials again. It was a very physical game. But that's how semifinals of big-time tournaments are. So we were trying to match their physicality and came up a bit short. But, again, I was happy with our guys because they were attacking. It seemed like they might have gotten some hits that didn't get called, but that's part of the game. Part of the game. DEVON COLLIER: This is a physical sport, so we were just playing through the physicality. We didn't let it faze us. We just kept on playing hard and not let our heads down. We were just playing. Q. Your team had come back from losing leads and then bouncing back in the last two games after they used 4:00 minutes and took the lead. Did you think maybe you could do it again? COACH ROBINSON: Oh, yeah, we always think we can. When you're playing at this level against the kind of competition we're playing, that team's an NCAA Tournament team. Washington's an NCAA Tournament team. They're going to go on runs. They've been doing this a lot longer than we have. So we were prepared for it. We were just hoping to weather the storm and be able to finish it out and just couldn't do it. My hat's off to those guys. They really shot the ball well in the second half. I thought we did a great job against them in the first half, but in the second half, we just could not stop them. Q. Roberto, can you describe the emotion that Coach was alluding to in the locker room after the game? ROBERTO NELSON: A lot of the guys -we tried to keep our heads up, but a lot of guys definitely had their heads down. We played really hard and put our all into every game and every play that we had out there. We wanted to play

tomorrow. I mean, we kind of let it get ahead of ourselves. But we came out in the first half and we played well. Arizona went on a good run, and it was tough to kind of come back and try to do the same thing to them. But they hustled and they got all the extra stuff that we didn't get. I mean, they just played better than we did in the clutch. Q. What's the schedule going to be like in the next couple of days not sure where you're going to be yet and everything? Practicing? Extra days off? COACH ROBINSON: Yeah, we'll probably take a few days off. This was a grueling tournament for us. I guess -- will we be the only team that have played on the first day that was still playing in the semis? Q. Colorado. COACH ROBINSON: So Colorado. We'll see what happens. This was grueling. So we'll travel back tomorrow. So tomorrow's Saturday. We'll have off Saturday, Sunday, probably Monday. Wait around and see if we're invited to play in anything and then start practicing then. But I might even give them an extra day off, and they deserve it. These guys come to work every day. You folks who don't know Oregon State really well, what I've talked about all season long is we've had some tough losses, and this was actually non-characteristic. Usually our losses have been this year 5 points and under. I think we lost seven games that way. And each time my team came back to practice that next Monday as if they had won the game. They were working hard. So they deserve some time off. So I think I'm going to give them a few days off. Q. Pac-12 semifinals, Pac-12 tourney semifinals, that's uncharted territory for this team. Can you talk about what that means for a young team like this? COACH ROBINSON: It means a lot, and it means a lot to this team. But first and foremost, it means a lot to our fans. It means a lot to the university. It means a lot to the athletic department. It means a lot to the alums who have been here. The big time players who you saw supporting us. But to this team it's really important

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because it gives them a little bit of reward for all their hard work, and it shows you. It also shows them that nothing's guaranteed. Nothing's guaranteed. Even if you're doing well and playing well, you don't necessarily get rewarded for it. So you have to keep doing well and playing well. To your point about it being a young team, everybody but Kevin McShane is going to be back next year, hopefully. If that's the case, these guys have gotten some seasoning that we didn't know we were going to get this year. The glass is half full. Q. The way you guys played in this tournament, do you think your team found themselves and you know what you need to do next year? COACH ROBINSON: Oh, yeah. I have been talking about -- Brandon knows this, but you guys don't know. My team, being as young as it is, it was the first time I've been around guys who didn't think they were as good as I thought they were. This is the day and age where everybody thinks they're better than they are. And these guys never really started to believe how good they were until we went on this last run here. It was really important for us to have the success so they could start believing. You look at those games, we believe we could win. We believed we could have beaten this team. We believe we could have beaten this team. So that's really important for all these guys when they come back next year to believe they can beat anybody when they put in the kind of work they put in. Q. I just wondered why Eric Moreland didn't play more in the second half? COACH ROBINSON: His back and shoulder and ankle are all bothering him. When your back goes on you, it's just painful and hard to move. It was really hard for him to cover his man and get going on offense. I didn't want to cause anymore damage than was already there. Q. Can you tell us, did Eric hurt his back today, yesterday? COACH ROBINSON: No, no, he hurt his back sometime toward the end of the season and has just been toughened through it. Joe Burton has been sore probably since the middle of January. Kevin got hurt today. Angus is banged

up. It's just season-wide stuff, and we don't talk about it a lot. These guys don't make excuses. You saw Devon Collier hurt his knee in the Civil War game and got it put back into place and came back and finished the rest of the game. I mean, those are the reasons why I work so hard at what I do. I work the refs and watch the films because these guys are working harder than I am. Q. The other thing I was wondering is, will you take any postseason bid given to you, or are you only looking to take the NIT? COACH ROBINSON: We haven't decided that, but we'll see. Q. Every year since you've been at Oregon State you've picked up the tempo a little bit each season. Are we going to see a faster version of Oregon State next season? COACH ROBINSON: We're tenth in the nation in scoring. How much faster do you want me to be? (Laughing). I mean, my goodness. We are tenth in the nation in scoring. That's pretty fast. I don't know if we can get any faster, but if we can, we'd love to. This team has done something too that a lot of teams don't do. They have completely revamped both sides, offense and defense in one season with a bunch of young guys because we played differently on defense as well as offense, which I take the blame for because we wanted to change the culture here; and that's -- I should take blame for a lot of the losses because it was my doing to do that both in one year. I think next year you'll see somewhat similar style of play, and we'll be better at it. Q. Roberto, before the season you guys were talking about NCAA Tournament hopes and where you want to go with your team. You guys struggled a little bit this season. Do you think the end of this tournament maybe your mentality has changed in terms of you know what you need to do and what kind of steps you need to take to get there? ROBERTO NELSON: Most definitely. Playing against teams like Washington and winning against teams like that has definitely given us momentum going into next season. Hopefully the season doesn't stop here and we can just continue to keep building and

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getting better so we can progress into next year. But we've got a lot of talented guys on the team. Everybody loves each other on this team. You can see it out there when we're passing to each other, getting people open shots and screening for each other. I mean, the only thing we can do is get better. The sky's the limit for next year, and we're just lucky to have a team like this and have a good coach like Coach Robinson. We're just ready for next year. Q. Devon, if you could just talk about what Roberto was speaking about and the state of the program and your role and kind of wrap up the year for us and your feelings after this game? DEVON COLLIER: Well, it's been a pleasure playing with a team like this. We always stick together. We've been a family for a long time, and we've matured during the season. I've seen it and Coach has seen it. We've just been playing as a family, played through games. We haven't given up yet. We're going to bring it to next season with the same mentality and try to do more. FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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