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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the turnaround from last season to the present:
“I think they are a year older and a little more mature, and they’re hungry with good character. They want to do well. Our first two games in the ACC, you go to that point and it could have gone either way. Momentum is a strong thing and I think they are riding it certainly, but I’d like to talk about that first half defensively. That is what I was waiting to see in the first half. I thought that offensively we weren’t great, but defensively it was one of our better performances in terms of how active we were stopping them in transition and making them work. That’s what I want to keep seeing.”

On the intensity of the team:
“We have to be ready. It was jumping in there tonight; that atmosphere was loud and that energizes you. Again, I thought we won the x-factor, the hustle factor that’s so important and it was nice to see that many orange shirts – it was a lot warmer in there; I know I was sweating. I think our kids felt that and that certainly helps. We play in 40 hours and I told them good win, good start, stay humble and lets just keep trying to get after it. Tomorrow we will take a look at what we need to do to get better.”

On the defensive performance:
“I just liked the first half. I thought we were active, I thought we were hard to score against. We rebounded well. When they made shots, it was some at the line in the first half and they had to earn everything they got and I thought it was solid. I think it was one of our better halves for sure. The second half wasn’t probably quite as solid; I thought we had some trouble on the ball screens. But they did a good job adjusting – it’s a talented team. I didn’t know how we would respond coming off that big win. I wasn’t sure because Miami came off a hard loss to Virginia Tech. I know they were hungry and Coach Haith does a good job with them –they have an inside-outside attack. I think our guys were ready, I think they could shoot. They knew they were good inside and they were active.”

On the decision to start Jontel Evans:
“He can really ignite our defense. When you have a point guard who can set your defense, bring that kind of energy, and make it hard on the ball handler – and he wasn’t even going down the floor like he usually does to pick up the ball– but he was meeting it. I told them before the game, ‘you have to make sure that guy knows it’s going to be a war against you.’ When your defense is set like that and they have to make their first entry pass a few feet further out, it just helps our defense and I felt like everyone was on the same page whether it was a post trap or rotations, they were scrambling but they were solid.”

On the consistency shown by Mustapha Farrakhan:
“He is really trying to play within himself. I think he hit a nice shot on the baseline. We got up 13 or 14 and I kept thinking, ‘if we can just get a stop and come down we really could stretch it.’ We actually had some breakdowns when it was a quick shot or a force or a miscommunication and defense and they would cut it to nine and they kept hanging around. That was probably the one part I was disappointed in. Regarding Mustapha, I think he has been playing more within himself. He is a pretty complete guy when he gets his outside shot going. He is quick off the dribble and he is looking to make the extra pass. I am really challenging him to use his quickness defensively to bother the ball and keep people in front. I think there is getting to be some pride in their defense. When they get beat, you see them looking at you saying, ‘that was my fault;’ not in a way like, ‘my bad,’ but ‘I knew I shouldn’t have let that happen. I’ll get it next time.’ I think he is embracing that.”

Miami Head Coach Frank Haith

On Virginia’s overall performance:
“Virginia played very well today. What I want to stress about this Virginia team is they have very good players and Sylven Landesberg is an outstanding player and I knew coming into this season that UVa would be good because they have the players. We missed some shots early in the game and we didn’t get our offense going. There were several times we cut it to a 10-point deficit and then when we had a chance to get under that we didn’t execute very well and then Virginia would hit a big shot on the other end. You have to give them credit for how well they played and how well they executed.”

On Virginia’s ACC start:
“Virginia was young last year and I felt they would be good this year. They have good personnel and they are playing very confidant as a team right now. They shoot the ball incredibly – coming off screens. Sammy Zeglinski is a good player, Jeff Jones is a good player, (Mustapha) Farrakhan is a good player – all those guys are players.”

On Miami’s slow start:
“When you have a young team and things don’t go well early and you have offensive lulls, you start to press – you start to take tougher shots and we don’t execute as well. That is where we need to get better. Particularly when you’re on the road and things are not going your way – we have not got to that point where we have learned to do that. Then Durand (Scott) got nicked up and I wasn’t going to play him anymore in the second half and he is a guy who is important for us in getting us going offensively.”

On Virginia’s defense:
I think UVa did a great job playing defense. Teams have done that to Dwayne (Collins) before in terms of doubling in the post and I thought he rushed some things – shots – turned the ball over. UVa did a nice job of creating that. But we missed a lot of open looks. We can shoot the ball, but we didn’t make a lot of shots tonight.”

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