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2010-11 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
December 7, 2010
Virginia 54, Radford 44

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the scoring drought:
We probably have to repaint the rims after that game. We had some good looks, and certainly we were very cold. We had some struggles, and I just said, ‘Hey. We’re going to have to win ugly in this game, so try to do it on your defensive end.’ I thought our poor shooting started affecting us at the end defensively. They struggled a little bit to score; hopefully defensively early we were sharp. It affected us with our sureness with the ball, and then defensively we just weren’t scrambling like we had been. But there’s not much you can do. You try to get it to the high post; you try to get the ball moving. If you get clean looks you have to take them, and when they’re not going in you still have to shoot them. Our limitations kept showing up, but I think we will try to address them. But it was a hard night offensively without a doubt.

On playing against the zone:
We’ve done well against zones up to this point, but seeing that I’m sure some of the teams are natural zone teams that we play and we’ll see that. We’ll have to find ways for them to get the ball into the paint and take rhythm shots and when you shoot that cold against a zone, there is not a whole lot that you can do.

On the team’s record so far:
Absolutely some of the wins that we’ve had and the lessons we’ve learned, I would take it [the record]. This was a game that I thought was a test, I told the guys, ‘You’re going to be vulnerable in this game.’ There is a fine line when we’re not locked in, shooting well and talking care of the ball and we become below average. When they’re playing well and they’re sharp, we’ve showed that we can play with some good teams. That’s where we are. I told them we’ll grow from it, we’ll learn. It gives you a little bad taste in your mouth when we look at how we finished this game, but we have some time and we’ll work on our efficiency. I thought there were some pretty good shots that we didn’t make, and when they pack it in that much we’ll knock down some of those outside shots. Thankfully for a stretch our defense held us in there.

On getting to the inside:
We got the ball into the high post, and a couple of times we got high-low feeds and had trouble finishing. We got to the high posts and had some open looks, but I think it was a combination of both. We need to make some adjustments but you have to knock down some shots when people pack it in that much and give you open looks. At least move the zone, get into some gaps, touch the paint and play out of it. But you just feel the rim shrinking and I didn’t want it to affect us on [the defenseive] end, which it did in the end.

On Radford:
Coach Greenberg does a great job. He said to me before the game, ‘You weren’t very nice to my brother.’ So I knew he was softening me up and setting us up. But he is a good coach and he saw we were having some trouble; he really keyed in and collapsed on Mike Scott. Mike played well these past couple games, and as far as handing the ball and doing some things. They did a good job and took advantage of us a little bit defensively, but we held in there for the most part. We look at our shooting percentage and obviously that was very poor, but they were struggling to shoot as well. You look at the second half, and there weren’t a lot of field goals being made by either team until they took a run late. I credit them; they did a good job of jamming us up offensively.

Radford Head Coach Brad Greenberg

Opening Statement:
That’s the best we’ve played from the standpoint of being disciplined on both ends of the floor. I’m pleased with the fact that we came closer tonight to playing to what I hope will be our basketball identity than we have at any other time this year. There were a lot of positives in my eyes even though we went what seemed like six months without a point. It was 16:56 without a field goal but only 14:45 without a point. That was a long time. We either played decent defense or they shot badly. We guarded well enough that they didn’t get a lot of easy shots in the second half.

On playing defense down low:
We didn’t dare them to give it to Assane Sene necessarily. We certainly weren’t going to guard him at the foul line area. I think our guys did a pretty good job with the zone. They got some corner jumpers early in the first half but we did a little better at guarding the short corner passes below the defense and still getting out to the corners in the second half.

On Radford’s defense:
The focus of our defense was ensuring that we didn’t give up open threes. We didn’t do a good job of that in the first half; Harris had two corner threes in the first few minutes. We also wanted to stop penetration. KT Harrell was able to penetrate some in the first half because he made some shots and was five-for-five. We just wanted to be better at those two things: communicating and contesting perimeter shots, but Scott still got to the glass. He didn’t score field goals but he still made an impact with free throws.

On cutting the lead to 10 with six minutes left in the game:
We had a timeout right around then and our guys had some spirit, which was good to see. They saw that what we were doing was keeping us in the game. Our thought was ‘let’s keep guarding and try not to give them a second shot’, but then Mustapha Farrakhan hit a three when Johnathan Edwards was out on him but not close enough. He was able to rise up even though Johnathan was in front of him. We just wanted to continue to guard, because we were guarding pretty well, and get a good shot on our end of the floor. There were some times when we had decent shots but just didn’t make them. We had a couple of post up plays, but we struggled to score. Luckily they had trouble scoring too so the game didn’t get out of hand. Like I said earlier, our guys came closer to playing with discipline on both ends of the floor. We want to be a team that when people see us play they comment ‘they play hard’ and I think we played harder tonight than we have in any other game. We played a pretty good zone but it’s a work in progress. I want us to be thought of as a team that has a little discipline on offense and that’s probably the most patient and purposeful we have been.

Virginia Senior Guard Mustapha Farrakhan

On Virginia Offense:
You want to make your shots and we were just a little stagnant on offense. That led to a couple breakdowns on defense. We were just piling up a little bit, but sometimes it happens like that. We’re going to learn from it and keep doing better.

On playing against Radford’s defense:
I feel like we were a little indecisive sometimes on the zone. Coaches kept telling us ‘be aggressive and attack the gaps.’ We did it a couple of times, but it just wasn’t on a consistent basis.

On Radford’s drought:
I felt like we picked up the defense towards the end of the first half. But, it was a little too stagnant on offense, and people were missing open shots. We’ll just get back to it in practice and keep working on a better, more efficient way to score against the zone.

On where the team is:
We’re a work in progress. I think we learned a lot from Maui and being there, but I know we can get better and do better, especially defensively. We’re okay right now, but I think we’re going to be much better after we get those 10 days of practice.

On freshman players:
They’ve been playing with a lot of confidence. KT stepped in, and he hit a lot of shots today for us. Joe’s been consistent for us hitting shots and getting rebounds and just playing aggressive. Everybody’s been doing their part when the opportunity comes. I think they’ve been doing great so far.

Virginia Freshman Guard KT Harrell

On game play:
The ultimate goal is to win, but we know we have to get better each game, and we felt as if we didn’t get better this game. But, like I said, the ultimate goal is to win, and we’re happy about winning.

On 6-3 heading into the break:
It’s a good feeling, but we know that there’s a lot more games to be played, so we have to get better each day and practice harder each practice. We’ve just got to get better.

On poor shooting:
It happens. You’re not going to shoot the basketball well every game. But you can’t let it affect you defensively, and I think that’s what happened to us. We let the poor shooting affect us defensively, and that’s why they were so close in the game.

On him shooting well, personally:
I took focused shots and my teammates happened to find me when I was open. I made sure I was staying aggressive and took energy from off the bench.

On not starting:
It really doesn’t matter to me if I start or come off the bench. I’m going to provide the energy that’s needed when I’m on the floor no matter if I’m starting or coming off the bench.

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