Virginia Tech 72, Virginia 65 (OT)
Virginia Head Coach Dave Leitao
On if Sean Singletary playing hurt has anything to do with the team’s performance:
“It has nothing to do with Sean. Let’s not talk about it. I’ve been saying he’s not feeling well. He has a hip pointer.”
On Singletary’s effort:
“He’s a warrior. I said this the other night. I don’t know on God’s green Earth that I’ve ever met a warrior like him. Most people wouldn’t be out there.”
On what UVa was doing to grab the lead in the first half:
“It’s more what we started not doing. We were up 23-11. We missed a three and Calvin (Baker) traveled on two makeable plays that would have put us up 28-11 and then from that point, we must have turned it over a gazillion times. Our half court defense, especially with a 2-3 zone, I thought was effective enough. They were scoring on us because they were fastbreaking because we were turning it over.”
More on Singletary:
“In a team game, a guy with that kind of spirit, should be able to get that from everybody else. We’re just not getting enough of it to make enough plays to help us win games.”
On if UVa lost both OT games due to the same reasons or different reasons:
“Different reasons. (The reason for today) They were more aggressive.”
On how to improve the rebounding game:
“Make up for rebounding is only internal. It’s not external. The best rebounders in the history of the game weren’t seven feet and 260.”
Virginia Tech Head Coach Seth Greenberg
“Wow, I come in here after games, and I look at the stat sheet and I see 39 (FG%) and 21 (3FG%) and 65 (FT%) and I ask, How’d we win?’ I think it’s one factor in our ability to win some games. These kids play so hard. They play so hard. They might throw it in the ocean. They might kick it out of bounds. They might trip over their own feet. They might take a bad shot, but they play so hard. I told them before the game, I didn’t care made shot, missed shot, turnover, defensive mistake I wanted their best effort. It’s kind of a page out of Pat Riley career best effort. That’s all I can ask for. I need your best effort. If you play hard, you’re going to find a way to get something going. We had that one stretch in the first half where we were god awful. They went zone, and we did not do a very good job of attacking it. But because we played hard after that, we overcome our deficiencies.
“If I had to give a game ball, without a doubt, Lewis Witcher. He was terrific, and I’ve said all along. The last week or so, he’s been practicing really well. He’s been quick. He’s got his bounce back. He’s reacting rather than thinking. He came up with a huge offensive rebound. He made his free throws. He was active defensively. I thought he was terrific.
“I wish Malcolm (Delaney) was a little bit more aggressive against the zone, stepping in. It’s kind of tough when you’re telling a guy to shoot more and he still won’t shoot it, but he made some big plays. Deron (Washington), the guy is just a freak. He just makes plays that you can’t coach.
“It’s a great win. Basically all it means is that we’re 5-3 (ACC). Doesn’t have anything to do with, like I said at the beginning of the year, it’s not going to evaluate our team now. I’m going to evaluate our team at the end of the season and see what we need to do to get better, but it’s a great team win.”
On if the team’s confidence has been growing lately:
“I think they’re confident. I think they like each other. When J.T. (Thompson) missed that thing at the end, they were coming to me. Usually, I kind of give them a little joke or something going into overtime, getting them to lighten up. I think Hank (Thorns) was the one, he goes, I love overtime’ or We’re good at overtime,’ whatever he said. I just turned to him and said, I’m not disagreeing with you there. I’m all for that.’ You could see it in their eyes. They weren’t afraid. They were excited about playing the extra five minutes. They’re not afraid to make plays, good or bad. They know I’m going to have some out-of-body experiences on the sideline, but they just kind of take that and roll with it. We kind of empower them. I’m telling them to shoot the ball, and I’m telling them to attack. I’m telling them to be aggressive. We coach them hard. If you love your players, you can coach them hard. The one thing we do is we give them a lot of confidence. We tell them to be aggressive, and we taught them to be aggressive.”
On if the first possession of overtime (where Tech missed a couple of shots but still grabbed the rebounds and eventually made the shot) is representative of Tech’s play this year:
“I think that’s who we are. Let’s face it. We’re not aesthetically attractive here. We’re like the ugly Betty’ in a lot of ways probably, but we kind of find a way to get it done. That’s who we are. We are just a grind it out, fight, scratch, claw, kick it out of bounds a couple of times’ team.”
Quotes courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics Communications