Story Links

Nov. 18, 2005

Recap | Box Score


Virginia 79, Liberty 44

November 18, 2005



I’m pretty happy with this first performance from the standpoint of what we tried to emphasize and demand. The first eight or nine minutes of the game, defensively for us, was about as solid and energized for us than what we’ve had in any of the 29 practices before today. I’m pleased.

I thought defensively we did a good job of bringing some energy and as a result we got Liberty on their heels a little bit. That allowed us to get out and gain more confidence and get some easy baskets. I think for our first go round, obviously, it’s something we can hang our hat on–hopefully get the guys to now learn. This is a good atmosphere to learn from. There are enough things there that we can correct, enough things there to give us a lot to work on so we can continue to move forward.

I thought Mamadi Diane played a terrific all-around game defensively. I was worried when J.R. {Reynolds} got in early foul trouble having to put a young guy on a terrific scorer like Larry Blair he wouldn’t be able to hold his own, but he got three blocked shots in the first half and played a terrific floor game. He’s going to be really good. There is just something about Mamadi. I said last week, here is something inside that just ticks the right way.

I don’t play the score. Our team plays box out up 30 or non box out up 30 is the same as non box out down 30. You play basketball a certain way, you practice that way and you conduct yourselves that way. At the end of the game you look up and there’s the score. If you do things consistently, then you have a better chance of winning. I am demanding. I don’t think they would respect me as much if I situational coached them.

As for our foul trouble tonight, I think it’s two-fold. We’re trying to teach defensive aggression. Aggression usually leads to fouls. You can teach down from there trying to clean it up as best you can as opposed to the other way playing passively.

I walked out of the tunnel and said to myself–“Here I am.” Once I got to the bench it was a gym with two teams and I was mentally ready to go. I’ve come in a very short period of time to really really love this place. I hope this is one of many many games to come.

I’m not even a technical guy. In five years I’ve probably only gotten less than 10. I try to get them to the point where they want to give it to me, but not do it. That one was well deserved.


We are very young and we are trying to find ourselves and figure out who we are. A lot of the credit tonight goes to Virginia. I think they played extremely hard early and took us out of it. They did a tremendous job on {Larry} Blair. That’s a credit to the way they prepared. Obviously a lot of enthusiasm about the opening game to start the coach’s era and I think the kids really responded well to that challenge. We were ready to play too, but they took us out of it. Leitao did a great job in preparation for us. I have to give a lot of applause to them and certainly a lot of work ahead for us.

We have a lot of inexperience in a lot of spots. We missed some shots that we would normally make. We started to rush ourselves a little bit and got out of our game.

Singletary is a tremendous player. We worked on transition defense with him, but he was able to take the ball way deep on too many occasions.

If they get that kind of guard play that they got tonight, they’ll be lot better than people are expecting them to be.

You knew it was going to be a pep rally at Virginia tonight. It was the Macy’s Day parade–welcome to the new coach’s show. It’s great for the University of Virginia.

For Liberty we’re going to be good. I think my team has more talent this year than we’ve had in the last couple of years. I think it’s a function of us learning how to play and learning how to make quality basketball plays that serve each other. We have to know every night when we go somewhere Blair is going to be the target and will get everyone’s “A” game on defense. Someone has to step up and help him and they will.

The way Virginia is setting those staggers is very good and it makes it very difficult to get through. It puts the guards in a pinch. Dave is going to do a good job. He’s certainly a good basketball coach. I like what he’s doing defensively; you’re seeing possessional play out there. They work their possessions and they also try to punish you in transition.

Print Friendly Version