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Dec. 19, 2002

Recap?|?Final Stats


It was certainly a war. When you’re best player, Travis Watson, scores two points and gets injured and Todd Billet and Devin Smith combine for nine and you win the game, you’ve got to take it and run. Our bench has helped us win this year. … Tonight, it was Nick [Vander Lann] and Derrick [Byers]. It wasn’t pretty.

I give a lot of credit to Nick. He’s definitely the hardest worker on our team and I was thrilled for him. He’s terrific.

[On Keith Jenifer]
He has no confidence. He hit one three pointer tonight, but he’s got to be able to shoot it. Big time guys have to step up and shoot it. He made some free throws — four big ones down the stretch that helped us.

[On the play of Derrick Byers]
He works hard in practice, but I didn’t see it coming. Tonight, he was tremendous. He’s really stepped up in the last three halves. You can’t expect freshmen to play well every game. He had more confidence than some of our other guys.

Rutgers will be a tough one. Rutgers will be very difficult to beat. They were 15-2 at home last year. Obviously, they’ll want to kill us. We beat them here last year in a tough game and Todd went there.


[Virginia] is the best team we seen. They have the most depth. They are strong. They didn’t lose their poise. They play at two different speeds. The other teams we’ve played have been able to play one tempo. They could either go fast or slow.

It is a growing process, moving up to Division I. We cannot emulate what we see in games. We can’t emulate that kind of quickness and strength.

I wanted to see how Virginia would respond when we got [the lead] down to four. If we had taken the lead, I was going to get someone to pull the fire alarm.

[On fouling Todd Billet late in the game]
We didn’t want to foul him when the shot clock was running down. That was tremendously bad coaching on my part. The kid though I was saying ‘foul.’ And I told him, ‘You know, my coaching strategy is always to foul somebody who shoots 95%.’

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