March 2, 2004
Virginia Coach Pete Gillien
I thought it was a tremendous game. It was fitting that it came down to thelast couple of seconds. The shot went up and it was a chance for overtime, butthank goodness it didn’t go to overtime. Wake Forest can really shoot theball, they are tough.
I’m proud of our team. They played with great courage. It was a great teamvictory. We got a lot of great minutes, as a lot of guys stepped up andcontributed. Derrick Byars gave us some good minutes. Devin Smith, again, 15 points in19 minutes without practicing. I just can’t say enough about him.
It was a terrific game and we are fortunate that the last shot didn’t go in.
On maintaing the lead in the final minutes:
It was big for us to keep the lead. Wake Forest plays with great poise andconfidence. It was good that they tied up or we were up one or two, so we didn’tstart doubting ourself. Our players felt that they could win. I thought wecould win too, but I knew we would have to play hard.
On the play of TJ Bannister:
TJ has been steady. I can honestly say that he’s been putting in a lot oftime and doing extra. He’s been doing extra shooting and dribbling drills. He’squick and strong and has a big heart. With 12 assists tonight and one turnover,that’s terrific.
On the last possession of the game:
We knew that Wake Forest would not let Todd Billet beat them. We ran the playand we swung it. We knew they were going to trap so we tried to get it to theother side. We got it to Devin (Smith) and he drove and made the three-pointplay.
On the last two weeks:
We go day-by-day. We’ve been very fortunate. It’s a great tribute to ourplayers’ character and heart. We have good talent, but I think we have biggerheart-more guts and character that’s been able to get us through. We’re beatinggreat teams and our heart and determination have been the determing factor.
I thought we played our best game tonight. We met a team that was playingvery well and we put everything together.
Wake Forest Coach Skip Prosser
The better team won tonight. When you allow a team to shoot 61% in the secondhalf, you set yourself up for defeat. Give Virginia credit, they made theplays.
We have to learn to guard if we’re going to continue to play. We werehorrific (on defense).
It’s team defense, not one on one. It’s collectively. It doesn’t help eitherthat they shot better from the field than we shot from the free-throw line.
(Devin) Smith made a great play at the end. I’ll have to see the tape to seehow open he was.
My way of thinking is that Virginia is one win away from the NCAA tournament(if) they go 7-9 in this league, with three wins over the top 15.