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Longwood Coach Mike Gillian
Opening Statement:
“Let me start by saying that at Longwood we have done so much for the big picture in such a short period of time that the opportunity to play at this level is extremely important to us. The opportunity to play at places like Virginia and Virginia Tech and the other state institutions is extremely important to us. We hope to one day have this game being played at Longwood. There are parts of our masterplan to build a smaller version of what you have here and we would love to have that opportunity in the future. In getting ready for tonight, we have a veteran team so we have high expectations for this season. I think there were glimpses of that during the course of the game tonight in the effort these guys have put into being here. So on one side, we were certainly prepared to talk about something that has not been done before, but on the other side we can talk about what an honor it is to play the game and do something that will hopefully prepare us for the rest of the season.”

On the differences in the second half:
“There are certain things we need to do to be successful, we need to defend the perimeter very well and we have to defend the three-point line well. We were top-50 in the country last season in three-point field goal percentage defense and you wouldn’t know that in looking at the first half. That run in the first half that made it 24-18 to the halftime score included wide open three-point shots and if we give those up we are simply not going to be successful. Also, we need to force some mistakes when we’re playing pressure defense. It is what we built our philosophy on and we ended forcing 16 turnovers, but only five in the first half. We were in the top five in the country in turnover margin last year in a conventional way – not by playing half court defense and doing some trapping. We need to do that to be successful and I think we did that a little more in the second half. Honestly, we have three guys here right now – Dana Smith, Kevin Swecker and a new guy, Aaron Mitchell – and we need those guys to be good. In the first half they had zeros across the board. We have nice complements to them as everybody saw. I think that will lead to us having a wonderful year, but in this environment we really need all those guys working at the same time. The second half was a little more indicative of how we play and what we need to do to be successful.”

On Carter and Robinson:
“Those two guys last year playing that position combined for close to 25 points and 14 rebounds a game. If that was one player, that one player would be starting on an ACC team. Those guys are good players, high character kids, work hard, push each other in practice. I challenge them to be good. They know what they’re doing and they’re capable of doing it. We’re going to have to play them together some during the course of the year, but what you saw tonight is what they’re capable of doing and they need to be capable of doing that in order for us to win games. You match their stats up against the other guys, I think that’s pretty favorable night in and night out.”

Guard Billy Robinson Jr.
On getting the first game out of the way
“It feels good to get the first game out of the way. It’s good to see what we’re doing offensively and defensively.”

On preparing for the first game:
“We just do two things, try to play hard and have fun.”

On the various Virginia runs:
“We were just leaving some people open. We have to do a much better job on the transition game. That’s what went wrong tonight.”

On being one of the youngest teams in Division I:
“It’s tough. We’ve got kids that still have stuff to learn. But, we’ve got a good amount of seniors, too.”

On progressing through the season:
“Hopefully, learn from this experience and keep building on each game.”

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