Before Wednesday’s practice, Oregon men’s basketball head coach Dana Altman informed the media that Johnathan Loyd broke his nose in Tuesday’s practice and his status for Thursday’s matchup against UCLA is uncertain. Altman said redshirt senior guard Jason Calliste could be one of Oregon’s players to replace Loyd if Loyd is unable to go.
Calliste talked about this and several other topics directly after Altman spoke with the media. Calliste also discussed Arik Armstead’s departure and the 71-44 win over Washington State Sunday, which Calliste called a season-saver.
Are you prepared to do whatever’s needed Thursday night if Loyd misses the game?
“I’m ready to do whatever to help the team win. Whatever he (Altman) needs me to do, I’ll do.”
What happened to Loyd in practice yesterday?
“We were doing block-and-break and he caught an elbow. I caught an elbow last year and broke my nose, too.”
Who elbowed him?
“I think it was Mike (Moser) or Elgin (Cook).”
What was it like playing with a broken nose? Did you have to wear a mask?
“I had to wear a mask. The mask was a little uncomfortable, at first. It starts fogging up on you. It gets sweaty. It starts sliding around. I had to wear a headband with mine. I’m pretty sure you could find photos of that if you look for it. He (Loyd) will be alright.”
Did you miss a game when you broke your nose?
“I think I might have missed one. I’m not really sure, I can’t remember. I know I missed a couple of practices but a game, I might have missed one or none. I don’t remember.”
Altman said if there’s one guy on the Ducks who is tough enough to come back early, it would be Loyd.
“I’m expecting him to play tomorrow, to be honest. We’ll see what (trainer) Clay (Jamieson) says. We’ll see what coach says.”
Have things gotten better, in regards to morale, after Sunday’s win over Washington State?
“Yeah, guys’ heads are up more. More confident, obviously, after a win. But we’ve still got work to do. We can’t be satisfied with one win.”
Is there any sense of relief or a weight coming off your shoulders after the win?
“It feels good to get one, yeah. We were in a slump, so it was good to get a win, get back on track. I think we should be OK.”
Did you feel a pressure to get that win?
“I told the guys, if we don’t win this, our season’s over. That’s how I felt, personally. That was a personal feeling, so it felt good to get that win. Now we’re back on track, so we should be alright.”
Do you feel like the season now has new life and optimism?
“Eh, it’s just one game at a time for us, really. Like I said, it was good to get a win and we’ve just got to keep on rolling.”
Have you seen much on UCLA yet?
“I’ve seen them play a couple times on TV but I haven’t scouted yet. They’re real versatile. (Kyle) Anderson’s real good. Someone we’ve got to keep on our radar, but I think we should be up for it.”
Was it tough to lose Armstead?
“Yeah, it was tough to see ‘Smooth’ go, but he has to concentrate on football and I respect that. He’s going to be a pro one day.”
What was he like in practice?
“He was real physical, especially when we were doing block-and-break drills. Somebody way bigger who you have to fight around and easier when it comes to the game, so we’re going to miss his physicality, his presence.”
Joseph Young has struggled shooting the ball lately. Do you give him any advice?
“I notice when he misses a couple, he kind of looks over at me and I just give him a little face like, ‘Keep shooting, you’ll be fine.’ I’m not worried about Joe. He’s going to figure it out.”
Did you put extra pressure on yourself to have a good game against Washington State?
“I just tried to set the tone coming off the bench. I didn’t want to lose. I was tired of losing. That’s a game I know we had to get, so I just tried to set the tone and it worked out.”
Follow Victor Flores on Twitter @vflores415