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2010-11 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
November 23, 2010
EA SPORTS Maui Invitational
Virginia 74, Oklahoma 56

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

Opening statement after the victory over Oklahoma.

“I didn’t know how we would respond after getting handled last night and with a quick turnaround. I just challenged the guys. I said I know there’s character on this team. Forget about winning or losing, let’s try to get back to what we do.

“We certainly got sped up against Washington. We were very impatient offensively and we shot quickly, didn’t get back, and didn’t make them work. We tried to establish that. A different opponent, I understand that, but I was proud of the way the guys responded today, especially Mike. I thought there was a level of composure when they made a run in the game and cut it to eight in the second half. We responded and I like that the guys showed heart. We made it harder for them to score and Mike was certainly a mismatch inside. He did a great job passing out of the post when they collapsed on him.

“Jontel Evans really set our defense and he got after the ball.”

You mentioned the point when they cut it to eight and you called time out at that point. What was your message to the team and what adjustments did you make?

“Mike actually said in the huddle let’s get our lead back, let’s not let it slide and I think I heard Will Sherrill talking too. I can’t remember if we called a set or what we did, but I thought we came up with a couple of real big defensive possessions after that. We bend, but we don’t break. That’s kind of the idea of our defense. I thought we were harder to score against and made some plays down the stretch. I can’t remember if there was a specific adjustment, but it was let’s gather ourselves and let’s make them earn, because we’d had a couple of missed assignments in transition and things like that. I was pleased with that response from the guys.”

I don’t know how much time you’ve had to think about Wichita State, but I thought I’d ask if you had any impressions?

“I know they’re a veteran team, they’re big, they shoot it well and they’re complete. They’ll be a great challenge. I think with an experienced team like that, similar to Washington in completeness, it’ll be another test for us not to get sped up. I thought we showed patience today that helped us get more touches to Mike inside. I saw how physical they were so it will be a great experience for our young guys and for Mike. We’ll have to be ready. I feel like we’ve got a long time to prepare now that we have 24 hours as opposed to 12. Hopefully that will help us.”

Oklahoma only had two guys in the scoring column until about two minutes left in the first half. I think it was Davis and Fitzgerald. Were you consciously trying to stop the other guys for that long? That was pretty remarkable.

“We were just trying to be real aggressive, play our system and not have the breakdowns. We trapped Fitzgerald in the post and he got in foul trouble. We knew Davis would run hard off screens, but just challenged our guys to be more unified than we were last night. We were really fractured last night. I thought we were a little more active and again, Jontel Evans set our defense, especially in the second half when he was getting after the ball. That makes a huge difference for any defensive team, the point of attack.”

Virginia senior forward Mike Scott (career-high 27 points and 15 rebounds)

Tell me after last night’s game, what was the team mentality today? What were you talking about before this game?

“We just talked about especially our defensive breakdowns, our transition really killed us. It killed us in basically all parts of the game. As a captain I needed to step up, other players needed to step up and we just had to have a short memory. We came out the first five minutes of the first half with guns blazing on offense and defense.”

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