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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On the significance of Mike Scott to the offensive game
“Anytime we can get a paint touch whether its passing inside or off the dribble it makes our offense much more effective and Mike showed some pretty good poise tonight because when we would throw it in, they would really choke or raid down and double him on the passer and Mike had enough presence of mind to kick it back. I think Jeff [Jones] got us off early by hitting a three. Good things happen when the ball touches hands. That was important. Mike is our best scorer inside, so when he is not on the floor it puts a little more pressure on us but I think Jerome [Meyinsse] did a heck of a job defensively tonight on the interior. The reason I went with two bigs is I thought we were 17 of 52 against South Florida and I thought if we’re not going to make a lot of shots, there is a chance to maybe get some offensive rebounds and maybe get some points that way. I think they got us some extra baskets. Good things happen when the ball usually touches the paint.”

On the difference between the second halves against Longwood and against Rider
“I just kind of said, ‘Hey, you have to sustain. Talk is cheap,’ and I said, ‘It’s time to go out there and sustain and not let it slide defensively and try to work for good shots.’ The shots were coming pretty easy tonight and I said, ‘Just be patient and sound and when its there, take it.’ But they didn’t let down, so I thought that was good. I don’t know if it was as much Rider being cold from the three or us bothering them for the most part. They have been shooting the ball extremely well from three. They did miss some open ones, but we didn’t have major breakdowns.”

On taking Rider seriously after topping Mississippi State
“We have to respect everybody we play. This program will hopefully always do that, but it is not in a spot to take anybody lightly. We have to be ready to go and be rock solid. We always say we play against the game. Certainly we see what happens when we get sloppy with the ball or teams get hot on us and we break down, so I wouldn’t expect us to look by anybody. I certainly hope our players wouldn’t do that.”

On Sammy Zeglinski’s game management
“He is important for us in that regard. I got on him because I thought he tried to gamble a little bit defensively a couple times and it cost us, but for the most part he can move without the ball. When he gets his feet set and gets a good look I am very confident with him shooting it. He is important to get us at a tempo or a pace that gets us going. Sometimes when we get sped up, we get in trouble. I like it when we are aggressive, especially when our guards can push it and go. We had one stretch where we had four turnovers in a row in the first half and then I think we calmed down after that. I thought he was solid and steadied us for the most part. “

On first impressions of Will Sherrill
“He can shoot the ball and he is really a very good role player. He will give of himself, screen to get people open, play off the screens. He seems to be a pretty heady player and he did what was asked of him tonight,. He worked on getting people open. I told him to get to the glass and be rock solid defensively. I thought he gave us a real nice lift. We got in foul trouble, Jerome had two, and he played some valuable minutes for us. In practice he really puts some pressure on you, the way he gets the screen to separate and stretch the defense, although you didn’t see that as much tonight. You need guys who are like that. They are kind of the worker bees as we say. They just kind of keep things going and want to give of themselves. He was grateful to be out there and I think he gave us a good lift.”

On succeeding despite Sylven Landesburg’s limited floor time
“I think we certainly have to get the ball moving. I think Rider probably had a little bit of an off night defensively. Some things were easy to get, but whenever you can have three or four guys in double figures or you can share the ball and get the extra pass, we get bodies moving and the ball moving we are much more effective offensively. Then you need those times when your key player has to just make a play, especially when the defense gets cranked up. It was nice to see some other guys get some opportunities and cash in on them.”

On having Jeff Jones off the bench
“I like having a guy that can come off in that capacity and be a threat and score. I wanted to go with a more traditional lineup tonight and have two bigs for some play on the glass and just some ruggedness. I thought Mike, if he stayed out of foul trouble, his foot is getting stronger where he can handle more minutes. Getting Assane [Sene] back soon, I think you are going to have to compete somewhat down there. As I mentioned, when you’re not scoring, maybe you can get some second chance points. The fact to bring Jeff off the bench – of the four perimeters that we have been starting, I thought Jeff would be a good one to be a spark. I don’t know if I would call him Vinny Johnson, the Microwave yet, but he’s a guy that can come off and stretch the defense and get a feel for what’s going on and watch it. I thought he did a nice job.”

On defensive progress
” I thought we played a good first half against South Florida. The wheels didn’t come off in the second half defensively, but it wasn’t as good and I think the scoring droughts put too much pressure on us. I think tonight, still some breakdowns, but it was more solid. I have to watch the tape and see if it was them missing or us getting a hand in their face. I think a lot of times we were there and we plugged up the gaps and they couldn’t quite get the looks, but there were a number of breakdowns and we need to continue to improve on those areas when we lose vision.”

Sophomore Sylven Landesberg
On 2-1 record
“2-1 is not a bad start. That one game at South Florida was tough. I feel like there were some little things that we should have done.”

On missing Assane Sene
“Having Assane back is definitely going to be a big help. He just brings so much attention to him when we give him the ball. On defense, it’s so hard to drive into the lane with him there, his long arms. It’s going to be a lot tougher to score. He’s definitely more of a defensive player. He loves it; he works so hard, the energy he brings. Every shot that goes up, he tries to get a hand on.”

Sophomore Sammy Zeglinski
On playing defense
“We knew we were capable of playing great team defense; it was just a matter of sustaining it over a period of forty minutes. Tonight, I thought that continuously, we were able to lock in and focus, and there weren’t as many break downs as before. We were able to find shooters. They [Rider] had four people shooting over sixty percent from three, so we were conscious of that. Just a continuous effort and focus on the defense is what changed the game.”

On taking the game away from Rider
“We made them work for the shots. I think it made them a little tired on defense, and we were able to take advantage of them. They weren’t offering very much resistance on their defense, so we were able to get to the rim and make shots as well.

Junior Mike Scott
On assist from Zeglinski
“I didn’t think he was going to pass it. Sammy and I had that connection ever since South Florida. Sammy tapped the ball up, and I just went up and got it. I had to enjoy it.”

On scolding from Bennett after celebration
“He [Bennett] said: “don’t stare too long at the camera.” He said ‘you can celebrate in a little bit, but make sure you get back in transition.'”

On preparation for Oral Roberts
“We’ve got to play defense like we did tonight.”

Rider Head Coach Tommy Dempsey
Opening statement
“I would say first of all that Virginia played a great basketball game, combined with the fact that we played lousy. The results speak for themselves. I thought we got a real A-effort from them, so hats off to them, and we did not give them much of a fight, which was disappointing.”

On what Virginia did well tonight to win
“They had it clicking tonight. They got in a good rhythm and I thought they shot the ball well. They went inside to [Mike] Scott early, which was a good attack. When we tried to double him a little bit they spaced the floor and kicked out to the shooters who made threes, so they put us in a bind. They had a nice inside-out rhythm going. I came down here expecting them to be a much more perimeter-oriented group. The fact that they established their post game tonight helped them get off to a good start.”

On Dempsey’s earlier comment about taking what the defense gives you
“We were chasing them all night. Even in the first half, we never got into a good flow. We missed a lot of shots that we have been making, quite honestly. We got down early, right from the start. It is not an excuse, we got drilled, but right from the get-go our starting guards were on the bench. We got behind, we were chasing them, and I think when you get behind you have a tendency to play too fast at times, and we took too many gambles on defense because we were down big. We started getting out on the ball too much and they were driving by us. Chasing them from behind is hard to do on the road. The result was a blowout.”

On Gadson’s big numbers going into the game versus his slow night
“They did a good job of keeping us out of the lane. We like to drive the ball and attack the paint, and they did a good job of staying in front of us. They switched a lot of screens, which I thought disrupted us a little bit. He just did not have a good game, too. You always look for a reason why but there are just some nights when your kids or your team does not play well. This was one of those nights. I think we played a little tight, to be honest. After beating Mississippi State and having a good win at home on Monday, we knew this was a chance if we could win again tonight to really burst onto the national scene a little bit with the Kentucky game on Saturday. I think we came down here expecting to win. I think that is a good thing, but I also feel like we felt pressured to win the game as well.”

On being able to get back into the “loose” mindset on Saturday
“This will bring us back to earth, and will get us a little bit more focused on what we have to do to win our league. It will take away some of the national attention. We had started to create a snowball a little bit, even though it was early in the year. Needless to say, that bubble is burst.”

On Landesberg’s low profile tonight
“I am a big fan of his, I think he is a really good player, but they did not need him to be great tonight because so many guys had a good rhythm going. Tony went to the bench and his guys played well. It is one of those nights as a coach that is fun because your kids are playing well, they are clicking offensively, the other team is struggling, and it looks like you can do no wrong. Even the walk-ons were taking us on the dribble and making shots. We just got our butts kicked.”

Senior Ryan Thompson
On going to Kentucky expecting to win
“We’ve got to turn this around. We had a bad game. Every team is going to have their ups and downs. We’ve just got to go in there with the same mentality we had before, and just not worry about this game.”

On improving in Kentucky
“When our offense is clicking, we can probably beat any team. Tonight was a night that shows what we have to do when our offense is not clicking; we have to play defense better. Now, when we see that our offense is better, we have to start breaking down our defense.”

Junior Mike Ringgold
On what went wrong
“We just missed shots.”

On feeling confident against Kentucky
“We have to [feel confident]. If not, the same thing will happen that happened tonight. I think every game we go in thinking we’re going to win.”

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