Dec. 31, 2005
HARTFORD COACH LARRY HARRISON
I tell the guys all the time that I’d rather win and learn than lose and learn. I don’t know that you get a whole lot out of losing and saying that you played well. But I thought we played really hard. We didn’t quit, and we weren’t intimidated. I think the last eight minutes of the first half, we went 0 for 6 from the free throw line, Adrian Joseph hit two threes, Singletary hit a three, and J.R. Reynolds hit a three – I thought that stretch there was where they opened it up. We were a lot more patient in the second half, and we did a better job defensively.
We probably won’t play anyone as big as number 11 (Mikalauskas) in our conference, and we have a pretty good big guy ourselves. Kenny (Adeleke) plays hard, he always has two or three guys on him, and I thought he did a good job.
(On Sean Singletary) He’s so quick with the basketball, it was hard to keep him in front of us. In the first half, he split our zone and got in the lane and score. In the second half, when the game did get close, he got in the lane and made a couple of pull-ups and floaters. I don’t think he hurt us as much as we thought, but it seemed like he could turn it on when he wanted to.
VIRGINIA COACH Dave Leitao
This was another game where credit goes to Larry and his group for being very aggressive, especially as it played out on the offensive boards, and us not being able to meet the challenge. As a result, for the first time this season, it looked like we were not playing the game the way we’ve organized ourselves to play. We’re not locked into a rhythm just trying to do what we’ve tried to do since day one.
There are key moments in the first four or five minutes of a game where you can tell about the tone of the game. Early in this game, they got a couple of loose balls, and we were a step slow. So I wasn’t too happy with our intensity level coming out of the gate. We were able to play through some of those things and get better at it and have a comfortable first half lead, but those minutes in the first half where we got that lead were the only minutes from a consistency standpoint that we had.
(On Virginia’s rebounding) We didn’t box out. We didn’t go after it. We were the less aggressive team.