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Postgame Quotes
Virginia 90, Vermont 72

Virginia Head Coach Dave Leitao

Opening Statement:
“Opening 1-0 is obviously a better way to get started than 0-1. I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about the word that will come up all year long: parity. The last sport to be affected by that was college football, in that anybody can beat anybody. That, in my opinion, has more to do with the spirit of an individual or a player or a team than the actual physical advantages or disadvantages. One of the first things Coach Groh told me about this team in July was that he loved them because they have each other’s back. You don’t win that many close games, you don’t go down to Miami and do what they did unless you have a team that you can trust and relay on in the locker room, before you ever take the field. When you play a good team, and (Vermont head coach) Mike (Lonergan) has got a really good team that is going to do well in the America East Conference, it’s going to give you a mental test more than anything.”

On things to work on:
“At the same point in time, we’ve got a lot of work to do and I knew that coming in. We’ve got to continue to grow. I can nitpick enough, particularly in the second half, about our lapses, physically and mentally. That gives us a lot to continue to work on and improve.”

On Vermont:
“Vermont is extremely well-coached, obviously. They have a terrific backcourt, they have tournament experience, they have individual and collective experience, and the best thing about them is that they’re mentally tough. But you just don’t go in and say that you’re going to win by 35 and everybody goes away happy. It was going to be a test and I knew it. As a result, I tried to prepare our guys to be able to play through that as best as I could.”

On Calvin Baker:
“He was a guy off the bench who really contributed, on both ends, offensively and defensively. He’s had a year of understanding what is required of everybody in this program, a year of being successful individually on a team, and he got beaten up for one straight year by both J.R. (Reynolds) and Sean (Singletary), but he’s better for those experiences. They allow him to, at the very least, come out of the gate and be a very solid contributor. He creates a healthy situation in the backcourt where the three guys, Jeff (Jones), Mustapha (Farrakhan), and Sammy (Zeglinski), can go through their normal freshman paces, and we can be stable with a guy like him.”

On Adrian Joseph:
“What happens for most guys, and Adrian being one of them, is that they get a sense of urgency in their last year of college. If you’ve had some success and you’ve had some failures, then you look around the locker room and wonder who is going to lead the team. I’ve tried to challenge all of the older guys to put themselves into that position and to be more responsible and to operate outside of their box, and worry about the team as a whole. I think he realizes that and I think it’s his turn. He has a sense of urgency because it’s his last go-round. I’m beginning to think that he can be a pretty vital piece, not just because he can shoot the ball or because he’s had two good games to get out of the gate, but he’s attached, emotionally and mentally. He wasn’t always that way. When you do that you’re going to be a better player and person for that.”


Sophomore Guard Calvin Baker

On sitting out last season:
“It was real frustrating last year, especially practicing every day with the team, and then not being able to really celebrate, and get the full effect of the game time. It feels real good to dress up in a Virginia uniform and go out there and play.”

On today’s game:
We got to get a lot better. We could’ve been a little bit more solid on defense. We got to get a little bit more team unity, but that’ll come with time. We turned the ball over way too much, but it was the first game and there were some first game jitters. Hopefully everybody gets it out of their system and be ready to go on Wednesday.”

Senior Forward Adrian Joseph

On being a leader this season:
“Being one of the seniors and having been through the wars, I think it’s my time to lead and show the freshman what it’s all about.”

Senior Guard Sean Singletary

On the win:
“It feels good to come out and get a double-figure win against a good team. We made it a priority to just go out there and jump out on them. We wanted to come out, defend, and get some early buckets in transition and we did a good job of that.”

On Calvin Baker’s debut:
“His contribution came on the defensive end. He was able to get in on transition and the points he scored was like icing on the cake. He really played hard, and when you play hard like that you always got a spot on this team.”

On starting his senior season:
“I know it’s my last opener but we got plenty more games this season so just try to make it a winning season and get to the tournament.”

Vermont Head Coach Mike Lonergan

On the effect of playing Friday night on today’s game:
“I do not think that it really hurt us. We put a lot of our preparation the past few weeks into [George] Mason and really did not think about Virginia until Friday night. The only effect it really had is that Tim McCrory hurt his foot again two minutes in against Mason, so he was not able to play today, but I do not think it hurt us playing Friday and Sunday.”

On whether the game against George Mason helped to “get the jitters out”:
“I thought it would, but it did not seem to. I thought since Virginia had only played one exhibition and no real games, and we had played two exhibitions and a real game that [Virginia] might not shoot the ball real well and be sloppy. We shot the ball very, very poorly Friday night, especially Mike Trimboli. This is a great gym, great arena, great shooting gym, so I thought that we would shoot better. Even in the second half, we got much better looks, and we just did not shoot the ball well all weekend.”

On whether he expected Adrian Joseph to hit shots like he did…
“I know Adrian [Joseph] pretty well. I told our guys Mamadi Diane and Adrian Joseph are shot-fake, one-dribble guys and three-point shooters. We just did a poor job guarding the three-point line, especially in the first half. That is why they got off to such a great start.”

On whether he thought Mike Trimboli was off today…
He [Mike Trimboli] struggled. He really struggled against Mason shooting the ball and sometimes he tries to do a little too much. In a game like this against such a talented team, we need him to be a pass first point guard. I thought he did a good job early in the game, and then we stopped going to him. I really thought that we should have gone to him and [Marqus] Blakely a little more. We are really struggling inside with our post game, and Marqus is really a very undersized four-man. That is really not Virginia’s strength but I thought their guys, their big guys, did a good job against us today. We got killed on the backboards.”

On the decision to play both George Mason and Virginia early on in the season…
“A little bit of the decision is budget constraints we have. But really I believe, and maybe I am crazy, but I believe in playing a tough schedule early on. I did not realize that eight of our first nine games are on the road, so that was probably not very smart. Maybe I overscheduled, but I still think in the long run that it will pay off. We still have Florida and other good teams. I wanted to survive this weekend with no injuries, and that did not happen. My guys competed, and I am proud of them. Virginia was very confident, and they were shooting lights out. We just could not make the run. I think nine points were the most we got it down to in the second half. If Mike [Trimboli] was on his game a little more, maybe we would have gotten lucky and gotten it down to five and then anything could have happened, but we were just unable to make that run.”

On whether playing against tough teams help the Vermont team and players…
“Yes, I think it helps us a lot. Last year we beat Boston College, and for recruiting and different things these games really help you. I think its good for Mike Trimboli to see what a pro is. I think Mike is a great college player; I think Singletary is a pro. As a player, these are the games you will remember, and to have a chance to ever win these games, you have to play them. We do not want to play too many of them, but I think it is a great experience. When I worked in the Comcast Center, I thought that was awesome, but this place is very nice. I think it is good for our guys to see how the other half lives here.”


Sophomore Forward Marqus Blakely

On his standout individual performance (24 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals):
We all knew this was going to be an energizing game. We came out with that kind of energy from the very beginning. I told everyone that it’s a big game, if we win this, it’s going to put us on the map. Personally, I did all right. We didn’t come out with the win, and that’s the most important thing. When you do all that and then don’t come out with the win, it really doesn’t feel like you’ve done that much.

On Mike Trimboli, Kyle Cieplicki, and him scoring 53 of 72 points:
Yes, it’s a big load. We just need more of a post presence, to give us at least 10 points a game. We didn’t get off to a good start down there.

On playing next seven of eight on the road, and getting ready for that:
Last year we were the best road team in the country, so it’s no different than last year. We have a few more freshmen so we’re going to have to transition them into having more playing time. Hopefully we’ll be able to come out with a couple wins.

Junior Guard Mike Trimboli

On how he felt on the court after coming from a loss at George Mason:
It felt good. I think we were a little tired from last game, but everyone’s energy level was up. I thought that we came out a little slow right from the get go. I think Virginia had the crowd on their side, and that clearly was a factor right away. We went down 7-0 in the very beginning of the game. We played very hard as a team though; we fought back a little bit, and at one point cut it to six in the first half and nine in the second. Every time we were down we fought back.

On Marqus Blakely’s performance:
He had a great game. He’s our go-to guy inside right now. He just has to keep going hard. He plays right to the basket, and he’s starting to make his free throws, which is really nice. I think we were 14-17 from the line tonight, and he was mostly involved in that. We just need to keep going inside to him.

On guarding Sean Singletary:
He’s really quick and he knows how to play the game really well. He just controlled the game really well tonight. Our main goal was to just try and contain him, because you can’t really stop him. He’s going to drive, he’s going to free everyone up. So you need to stay in front and not help him.

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