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Feb. 21, 2006

Recap | Box Score


Obviously on a quick turnaround, from Saturday to Tuesday we had to get back to understanding what was important. We beat a very good team today. Not only are they very good, but they were hot. I thought we beat them at the things they do very well. They are mentally and physically scrappy and I thought we out-scrapped them to the loose balls, the 50-50 balls, especially setting the tone early. Once we got the lead, we didn’t succumb and there have been times this year that we have. We continue to have it figured out a little bit here at home. We have to continue to challenge ourselves to figure it out to bring that same kind of mindset on the road.

Today was a day where Sean (Singletary) and especially JR (Reynolds) were terrific. They made tough shots, they made open shots and more importantly they made plays. They allowed Adrian (Joseph) to get some looks.

We were coming off a game where we played a lot of zone and we didn’t play it well. At times we played zone today, and we didn’t play it all that well. What happens a lot with us is that when we play it we can play it well, but at times we just lose our concentration and start standing and not guarding people in their area. They are far too good a passing team and so it became somewhat of pick your poison. I thought that once we got off to a good start and our man-to-man had enough energy that we could stay with it–we didn’t break down for long periods of time. When we were up 31-13, I thought we got lax, but after that we really didn’t have continued moments when we broke down so that’s why we stayed with it.

We were tougher than a tough team. We had chances for them to come back, but we made enough plays. Our game plan was to be able to move them around–not try to figure out the match up or switch in man or whatever they’re in, but just to play through it. At the end if you can move bodies around and maybe get some mismatches and start to take people of the dribble. I though Sean and JR did a terrific job of keeping them off balance by running the offense and taking them off the dribble. Again to play the kind of defense against a team that shoots the ball, speaks to the mental effort and today was as good as its been all year long.

Tunji (Soroye) was a presence today. He blocked some shots early and didn’t succumb to foul trouble. He was a presence in there. It wasn’t always grabbing rebounds or scoring, but he did some things today that obviously we’ve seen here and there and especially in practice. In a game like this against a team that who knows how far they can go–they’ve got experience, they’ve got shooters, they’ve got depth, they’ve got interior players–they can go as far as the Final Four. When you play against a team of that caliber and he specifically played that well it speaks to his contribution.


Right from the very beginning it was clear that Virginia wanted the game. I just think Virginia wanted it much more than we did. We did not at all meet their energy. I thought the game was physical and we didn’t respond to that. They definitely showed that it was important to them and we did not respond to it very well.

That’s who they are. You have to come out prepared to handle that (guard play). It wasn’t even their offense that I think was the difference in the game–they played well defensively. Defensively as a team, I just thought they did a great job and we did not execute as well as we needed to and you have to give them credit for that.

I did not anticipate what defense they were going to play, we’re prepared to play against any defense you put out there. Again, they came after us.

That’s our defense. What you saw from us defensively is what we do; we just didn’t do it as well as we should have.

There are some pretty good backcourts in this league. They are as good as any backcourt in the league, but I’m not going to say that they are quicker. Miami’s backcourt is pretty good; Duke’s backcourt is pretty good and they are equal to those.

I was impressed more by their defense. They scored the number of points that they were going to score. It’s not like they had a huge night and scored 90 points. 70 points is not a lot of points. It’s more of what they did on defensive end that was the difference in the ball game.

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