Feb. 12, 2005
Virginia head coach Pete Gillen:
I think the story of today’s game in my opinion is our defense, especially the second half. I thought we defended them pretty well and we held them to 35 percent shooting and we made stops. We defend and we have a chance against a lot of teams. We stopped Zabian Dowdell tonight. He’s a tremendous point guard; he scores, doesn’t make mistakes and he kept them in the game tonight. We have to try to win with defense; we’re not going to win with our offense.
We put Gary Forbes in the game in for defense and as it turned out he ended up being our leading scorer. We didn’t expect that to happen. When Gary gets it going, he gets it going. But we put him in for the purpose of defense and he gave us the offensive spark.
We took care of the ball tonight. The crowd at Virginia Tech the last time we played them got us out of sync and we got flustered. Virginia Tech has great hands; they are always smacking the ball. We emphasized to our guys that when you drive you have to put two hands on the ball and protect it. We did a little better job protecting it tonight. Last time we had 22 turnovers and that leads to easy layups.
We’re playing this new style to play better defense. If we play fast, some of our fast-paced guys get tired and then they can’t play defense. We play tag and we’re not going to outscore teams in the ACC, we’re not that type of team. We just try to give ourselves a chance every game. I think our style is not so much helping our offense, I think it’s improving our defense a little bit so we have more energy to play defense.
I felt good about Sean Singletary and I wanted to go to him even more. I thought he played terrific tonight–10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and one turnover–that’s a terrific outing for him. It was a good battle between two talented point guards.
Gary Forbes is a very emotional player. Sometimes he’s a roller coaster–when he’s good, he’s great, but when he gets out of sync he’s not. Tonight he just played; he was in a flow and was great. Coming of the bench is less stressful for him. When he starts, he presses and tries too hard, but when he comes off the bench he’s relaxed. I would like to see him be more consistent. He’s talented and a tremendous player. He was the difference tonight.
Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg:
We just weren’t as tough as we needed to be when we needed to be. We needed to be tougher in that two- or three-minute stretch. They were a little more alert and got out in transition in that little spurt. It was a game that we were in position to win and we just didn’t finish.
Gary Forbes was a big part of our scouting report. The way that they’re playing he’s a tougher match-up and has a little more freedom.
(On Virginia’s style of play) When you limit the number of possessions, you limit the number of turnovers. You’ve got three guards who take care of the basketball. The last time we played them we turned them over 22 times. With the personnel they have, it was a good decision. It’s paying dividends for them.
(On Tech’s recent losses in the ACC) We knew this part of the schedule was going to be tough. I’m not the rocket scientist people thought I was when we won four in a row, and I’m probably not as dumb as people think I am right now. It’s who you play, when you play them, and where that game is. That’s the way this league is.