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Carson-Newman vs. Virginia
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Charlottesville, Va.

Virginia Coach Dave Leitao

Overall game comments…
“It’s a hard game to play when you know you’re physically better than a team. Sometimes when you are making plays on either ends of the floor, are those plays made because we’re carrying over what we’ve been teaching everyday or because you’re physically better? I thought both of those things were true today that we were physically better and as a result we were able to get some things, but at the same point in time, we looked a little bit more cohesive than I actually thought we would. We’ve been so disjointed since we started practice and when the guys came off the bench we try to maintain ourselves at a level that there wasn’t really any drop-off to the level of play. I thought there was good intensity on defense for the most part for most of the game. It didn’t matter who was in the game, which is a good sign and something we can build off of. Obviously we still have a ton of work to do, but with a game like this I can afford myself and my staff the opportunity to nitpick and try to get better at a lot of different things going into what will be our first game next week.”

On the play of the freshmen…

“I thought that there might be some butterflies or jitters and as a result forgetting this and forgetting that, but they looked rather comfortable. Jeff (Jones) on the first basket or two of the game kind of got himself situated, and the guys that came off the bench, Sammy and Mustapha, really fit in. There is a learning curve that they still have to go through and we’ll face that, but at the same point in time, I thought they adjusted to being on the floor as a collegiate player really well.”

On the starting five players…
“We’ve still got a week to go. As we are right now, it’s hard to make a change going into game prep which is probably what a lot of this week will be. Not having Mike (Scott) and Will (Harris) shortens us at the four spot. I didn’t plan on having Adrian start as a four; he and Mo (Mamadi Diane) were more in the backcourt. We were forced to make some adjustments and Jeff has played well so far in the preseason so it’s not by default that he’s in there; it’s by him earning it.”

On the play of the Virginia guards when Sean Singletary was not in the game…
“I thought that Sammy (Zeglinski) was very active with passing lanes and deflections and steals. He can really see the game and see the floor and find people and actually made a couple of shots. Calvin (Baker) really did a good job and was solid on defense and yet he led the break and finished the break. You saw him kind of get into the teeth, and that’s good from him. Mustapha (Farrakhan) did a good job as well of being active and making shots. Hopefully, more than last year, we have a number of guys that can make shots and as long as they play hard on defense and share the basketball on offense that guys like the freshmen or other guys will all be in the position to display some skills which I think is something we can really take advantage of.”

On where the team needs to be next week…

“It’s a little bit harder because we knew we were superior athletically, but the only comparison I had was that they played Georgia Tech Friday night. It’s hard and it’s a little bit unrealistic but at the same time, it’s the only comparison that I had. I was a little worried because we’ve been so disjointed because of the injuries as to how cohesive we would be. I think looking at it both of those ways, I was happy because we were cohesive and maintained ourselves. I can walk away a little bit more pleased with that and use that as a barometer to move forward.”

#44, Senior Guard, Sean Singletary:

On Jeff Jones’ performance:
“He looked solid. More than solid, he was aggressive out of the gate, and we need that, especially when we go on the road. It’s nice to have it at home though. The offense won’t get stagnant when we have somebody aggressive and trying to make plays, and he did a good job on that.”

On playing with his teammates:

“I feel comfortable playing with everyone. This team is better than we were last year, a lot more tough-minded, and everybody can score. It may have just been Carson-Newman, but the object is to get the ball in the hole when given the opportunity. These freshmen haven’t played in college, so during the season, teams aren’t going to say much about them in the scouting report. They are going to get a lot of looks and knock them down.”

On fan support for him in his senior year:

“I really appreciate it. It’s a warm welcome back, even though I never really left. But it feels good to be in this town playing for UVa.”

#1, Freshman Guard, Jeff Jones:

On his play:
“I am definitely a scorer. I wouldn’t label myself as a jump shooter, but as a scorer. But I am just a basketball player. I can play defense, I can rebound, and I can take it to the hole, which a lot of people don’t know.”

On being a starter and his chances of being one next week:
“Right now I am just going with the flow. When coach calls my name, I am ready to go.”

On being a part of a defensive-oriented team:

“Defense is our first priority, and it is something I take a lot of pride in. Coach Leitao always tells us we have to take pride in our defense.”

On team chemistry with this new team:
“We have been playing pick-up games all summer and practicing all preseason. We just know each others’ games from playing with each other a lot, and I think that carries over to the court.”

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