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Postgame Quotes
Syracuse 70, Virginia 68

Head Coach Dave Leitao

Opening Statement:
“I’m obviously disappointed by the outcome of the game. I thought both teams played pretty hard, for the most part. They had a little lapse at the end of the first half, and we had a lapse for the majority of the second half, in both our game plan and in our aggression. You’re not going to do that against good teams and get away with it. We got away from our game plan, on both ends of the court, for enough stretches there where it cost us. They got deep into our defense for the majority of the second half. It led to offensive rebounds, short shots, kick-outs, and open threes. We hadn’t given that up for the majority of the game. We did it in the second half and obviously it cost us. Defensively, we softened up and offensively we abandoned our game plan.”

On Sean Singletary’s performance:
“He, from start to finish, didn’t really have any kind of game rhythm. It affected him in a lot of different ways. [When his team is down] he gets more inspired, and he tries to inspire the other guys, especially during timeouts. I would like to have gotten him in and out a little more, but the situation didn’t really present itself. He’s not balanced. Whether it was illness or fatigue, he didn’t have his rhythm all day today. But there’s nothing that he can do that can draw criticism from me. He’s done far more than anybody could ever imagine, and will do much more before his career is over. When he has a night that’s less than perfect, the last thing any of us need to do is throw criticism his way.”

On their zone defense:
“As good as a perimeter shooting team we are, against a team that plays 40 minutes of zone defense, we started settling for shots. There were a lot of possessions that we settled, especially early in the game, we just settled for a shot. Instead of being a 20, 22-footer, it ended up being a 25-footer, which is longer than we normally take.”

On Donte Greene:
“It was a very difficult match-up. He is long, with a touch. He can play inside or outside. It was a tough match-up for anybody. We were at a disadvantage size-wise, lengthwise. Usually with a smaller guy or a quicker guy, you can keep him from penetrating. But he uses his length to get to spots and shoot over you. He’s intelligent and he had good rhythm. Again, when we collapsed and were a little slow to our rotations, we were 4 or 5 feet late. It meant that he got an open shot.”

On Adrian Joseph:
“I put him in because, defensively, he was getting a lot of rebounds and I wanted to put him in a position to get more. I was keeping him in so that we could get him the ball on the offensive end.”

Senior Forward Adrian Joseph

On Syracuse’s 2-3 zone
“Yeah we made a lot of mistakes, and that hurt us on the offensive end, and we made defensive mistakes as well…Definitely, they converted those offensive plays; I mean, it cost us the game.”

On his match-up with Donte Greene
“Playing him outside was kind of an easy job for me because I am quicker than he is, but at the post, I mean he has me by almost five inches, so it was kind of tough to block his shot.”

On his personal rebounding:
“The whole off-season I was trying to work on those aspects of my game, I was trying to step up because J.R. Reynolds and Jason Cain left.”

Role of co-captain
“We just have to look forward to the next game and do our best in that next game.”

Sophomore Guard Calvin Baker

Did you have an aggressive game-plan?
“I thought I played a little bit too passive against their zone. I should have been more aggressive, then the shots would have started to fall a little bit more… It was the game plan to stay aggressive, but I think playing more tentatively we made more mistakes.”

When Sean Singletary is off his game:
“It’s hard because he is our leader, but it motivates us because we want to play hard for him. I feel like we kind of let him down; we should have stepped up a little bit more. We can’t have collapses like that.”

Did you guys settle for threes tonight against that zone?
“Yeah, a lot of teams do that when you see a zone you automatically start to think three-pointers. We did start to settle for that and shots were not falling.”

Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim

Opening comments on the game:
“This is the best we’ve been defensively all year. We’ve really struggled on the defensive end, whether we’re playing man-to-man or zone, all year long. I thought tonight we did the best job we’ve done all year in finding people and recognizing where Singletary was, where there shooters were and just keeping them on the perimeter with somebody challenging the shot. I think offensively we had some stretches where we played really smart and we had some stretches where we didn’t and that’s going to happen with a young team. We had the lead a couple of times and we came down and made a couple of really bad turnovers that we just can’t afford to make because they’re going to be able to convert them on the other end. Virginia has scored a lot of points this year and we have not been able to stop anybody. The difference is just that we played our zone more actively and I thought we did a good job on the defensive end. Jonny [Flynn] and Donte [Green] stepped up big. They’re freshmen, but they’re very good freshmen. I thought they were really solid tonight. We’ve struggled all year on the defensive end; this was a good win to get.”

On Syracuse’s inside press:
“For the most part, our big guys did a good job inside, kind of holding things down in there. When [Virginia] did get in there, they got tall and made them take tough shots, a couple of them they made. We just wanted Singletary not to get in a rhythm where he could get going, we wanted to keep somebody near him all the time, and I think that was a big key in the game. We just got to their shooters…. I just thought we did a good job of defending. Our defense wasn’t the problem; it was our offense. We just couldn’t do anything on the offensive end. We had some good looks and couldn’t make them…In the second half Donte [Green] got a couple good looks and made them and that was the difference.”

On keeping Sean Singletary 3-14 for field goals:
“We’ve played zone against a lot of very good shooting guards in our past history and we try to keep somebody near them there all the time. Where he [Sean Singletary] is we try and have somebody there. In man-to-man you can’t do that…. In a man-to-man, you can strain, you can get him off picks and rolls where he gets switched onto our five man and obviously then he’s going to have a field day. So that’s why we wanted to play the zone.”

On the win on the road:
“This a tough place to play. It’s a beautiful building. I don’t think they lose a lot of games here. This was a good win for us. That’s the bottom line.”

Junior Guard Eric Devendorf

On defense:
“We extended it out a little [in the second half]. In the first half they got seven threes I think, but every shot was contested and it’s tough to hit a lot of contested shots.”

On fouling Sean Singletary to foul out:
“I had to. I couldn’t let him get a clean shot. Sean Singletary has made that shot. I had to foul him and Arinze [Onuaku] did a great job grabbing the rebound to seal the game.”

On road game win:
“Virginia tied for the regular season (in the ACC). This is a great basketball school here. To come in here and get a win on the road in this type of environment – this is a great victory. Hopefully the NCAA committee is going to see that this year.”

Freshman Forward Donte Greene

On his play:
“I definitely tried to go more inside, show them I’m not really a jump shooter. Most of my offense has come from jump shooting because they’ve just given me that. Now that they’re coming out on me, I can pump fake, drive, or post up on them.”

Performance in second half:
“I wanted to try and get my teammates involved in the first half, try to get them going. I know I can get myself off any time. But it’s important to get your teammates involved, to get the team rolling, and get everyone hyped up so in the second half you can crush them and get them out of there.”

On the difference-maker between this game and their previous loss to UMass:
“Defense flat out. Shutting down one of the top point guards in the nation is tough. Allowing [Singletary] to come in and only give us 10 points, and not letting their role players hurt us too much is definitely a blessing.”

On the progress made on defense:
“You can’t ever be happy, can’t ever settle. We’re not going to settle until we win the national championship. I’m a little bit relieved that we came out with a win because our defense wasn’t where it can be, where I’ve seen it in practice before, so once we get it there, it’s going to be a lot.”

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