Virginia 81, Virginia Tech 77 (OT)
Feb. 11, 2006
VIRGINIA HEAD COACH Dave Leitao
I told the team at the end of regulation, that if we could rewind a little bit, we found ourselves in this position against Florida State and we didn’t do the things necessary in the final five minutes. I like to think that’s where you define yourself a little bit. We weren’t perfect in executing sometimes as well as we wanted to, the defense was good, okay at times, but the last five minutes I thought we did what was necessary in rebounding the ball. We were able to win a very difficult game. Virginia Tech has had some on and off the court hard luck. My heart goes out to some of their personal family issues that they are dealing with, but they have been able to maintain themselves and play everybody really really hard and as a result, give us all we can handle.
Wins like this can make you grow up a little bit more in a hurry. I hope that we do that, especially in the last stretch of games we have to play.
They made a big three-pointer to make the score 75-72. At that time we were getting a little bit antsy. The possession afterwards we did a really good job of being calm. We had some possessions and got antsy and took some off-balanced shots. From that point on, we relaxed enough again to work on our execution. We haven’t been the best in late stages of the game in executing and I thought today we were. As a result we got high-percentage shots and got to the line late in the game.
I think we’re learning. What happens this time of year for truly good teams is that they rely on a lot of past experiences. All of these experiences are first time for a lot of these guys. So we still have to go through the process. Fortunately or unfortunately that means you have to go into games and get into tight situations and you have to make quality stops and execute. We’re a work in progress right in front of everybody. We’re going to unfortunately not be good at it at sometimes and other times be very good at it. We just have to keep moving forward.
VIRGINIA TECH HEAD COACH SETH GREENBERG
I thought it was a hard fought basketball game. We dug ourselves a pretty good hole the first half. Like we normally do, we found a way to get back in it. We couldn’t make a shot and then we were getting pretty good shots. They saw a big basket; we have to give them credit for that. We wanted to chase them on those ball screens and I thought we did a good job of chasing them pretty much the whole game, but it’s hard to get around certain obstacles. I’m proud of our guys. I thought that they continued to fight back and find a way to get a stop. We played a lot of different lineups and we were best in transition. It was a game that could have gone either way.
The possession that I would like back is the one coming out of a timeout, they went zone and we went to our “T” game and instead of attacking and trying to get some penetration, we just reversed the ball in the perimeter and no one really stepped up and attacked and tried to make someone play. We needed to be aggressive on that possession. They were more aggressive on their final three possessions.
We did a pretty good job of containing Sean (Singletary). We didn’t want to help up off of Sean. We wanted to bluff and stay home. He’s so good at getting in the lane that he forces you to help up and forces you to make passing lanes. He makes other guys better. He’s really a talented player and he’s a guy who you know is going to make a play at the end of the game. He has the ability and confidence to do it; he’s playing at a pretty high level.
The first half we didn’t guard. The biggest mistake in this game is that I should have given Cheick Diakite more minutes. He gave us good energy. He single-handedly got our motor running. I look back at that and I probably should have done something with that.
There is such a fine line between winning and losing. We’re in position to win a game. The one possession that, like I said, that I wish we were a little more efficient in is that possession coming out the timeout. We wanted to be aggressive. We told them, “We want you to be aggressive. Make people play.”