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2010-11 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
December 17, 2010
Virginia 63, Oregon 48

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On KT Harrell’s improvement:
“He is just getting better. He has certainly gotten more playing time, but he has a mean mid-range game. He did a heck of a job taking the ball to a spot and elevating to put it in. He has very good touch and you saw that on display. I’m very proud of the guys for battling and improving as the game went on.”

On the impact of Mike Scott’s injury:
“With foul trouble, Mike Scott being out and the occasional lineup made up of four freshmen and a sophomore, I thought ‘what is going to happen here?’ Fortunately, we could match up with them size wise even with four guards. We didn’t have much of a chance to prepare after Mike hurt himself. Apparently he had a piece of cartilage that needed to be flushed out so he underwent the scope yesterday. I think it was a very prudent and wise decision because otherwise it would have been a recurring injury. His return will be determined by how quickly the swelling goes down.”

On Mustapha Farrakhan:
“I thought that a key point in the game was when Mustapha made that block and ran down court to make a three. That was significant and ignited our offense. I told the guys yesterday that it was going to be hard. We are going to go through some rough patches without Mike Scott and without Will Sherrill, but I told them to embrace the situation. Mustapha did a good job of coming in when we seemed anxious and telling everyone it was going to be okay. I saw some good leadership moments tonight.”

On Akil Mitchell’s increased minutes:
“I challenged Akil to use his athleticism to defend and rebound and he stepped up, which was encouraging. He responded with 26 minutes, seven rebounds and a heck of a tip dunk. Just from an athletic standpoint with Mike being out, I was concerned with how we were going to compete on the glass but he gave us a lift. Joe Harris was also good as far as rebounding. Akil showed up with some alertness and awareness that helped us keep the ball alive. Those were probably the three things that we needed most to be successful in this game.”

On Virginia’s intensity:
“I tried to be real fiery throughout the whole game because like I said ‘we’re all going to embrace this challenge’ and I wanted them to feel the crowd. They battled. We’re not perfect by any means. We don’t look the best but we were scrappy and did things that win or lose, show quality and show heart. I was pleased with the hustle and the soundness, especially after getting a little rattled at the start. That fired me up and I wanted them to feel that. Akil being able to step up, seeing KT do that and having Sammy back was encouraging.”

Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman

On the team:
“We really couldn’t maintain it. We did have some opportunities. We have got to hit some shots. We had some open threes and just didn’t shoot the ball well. Second half we never got into rhythm. We had guys trying to make plays on their own and didn’t make plays for each other. I think we had five assists in the first half. We didn’t make any plays and we had a lot of bad turnovers.”

On defense:
“We didn’t fight through dribble penetration. We let them get into rhythm and we didn’t get any steals and that really created some problems.”

On being hesitant to take shots:
“A lot of them just weren’t ready to shoot. We took some bad threes in the first half. Our footwork and our fundamentals were just bad. They were open but we weren’t ready to shoot them. You do get a little hesitant if you’re shooting and the ball is not going in. You go 1-for-12 in the first half. It’s kind of hard not to be hesitant.”

On moving forward:
“Well that’s what we talked about. We’re disappointed. Our guys were ready to play. We prepared well and we came out and really played well the first 10 minutes. After that it wasn’t good. We couldn’t hit shots. Our energy went down and we didn’t play well the second half. We’re going to have to hit shots.”

Virginia Freshman Forward Akil Mitchell

On the challenge of stepping up due to injuries:
“I like the challenge, I’ve always embraced it. It’s easier said than done, but once you do it, it feels great.”

On his rebounding tonight:
“I made sure I attacked the glass tonight, I knew that’s what we needed.”

On his comfort level:
“I’m getting more and more comfortable. It will take some time to get used to it on offense, but defensively, I’m as comfortable as anybody.”

Virginia Freshman Guard KT Harrell

On his confidence:
“In the beginning I was a little timid, but now I’m relaxed and playing my game, trying to be aggressive offensively.”

On the crowd chanting his name at the end of the game:
“It was a good experience, I was trying to hold in my smile.”

Virginia Senior Guard Mustapha Farrakhan

On the win:
“Coach told us to stay in the moment and be thankful for the opportunity to play. We rallied behind each other and played together. We just have to be tough and grind out games.”

On being able to grind out games:
“We have to get back, set our defense, and make it tough for teams to score against us. We play against teams who are good in the half-court, so we have to be able to keep the ball in front of us.

Virginia Junior Guard Sammy Zeglinski

On not having Mike Scott:
“It’s tougher because he attracts so much attention. People on the other team get caught looking at him and we are able get shots off of him. Without him in the lineup, it’s obviously tougher because of the open shots he creates.”

On the win tonight:
“It was a great team effort all around and I think we all played with a lot of energy. We were a little shaken in the beginning with the early turnovers, but I felt we stayed the course and played pretty good defense throughout the game.”

Oregon Senior Forward Joevan Catron

On Mike Scott’s injury:
“I didn’t know that he had surgery. We probably did get a little happy, but we couldn’t focus on that.”

On Virginia’s freshman majority:
“It’s shocking right there. I did not know that most of their team was freshmen, but they handled themselves pretty well.”

On KT Harrell being a freshman:
“That hurts me right now. He handled himself pretty well.”

On Virginia’s high shot percentage:
“I think our defense definitely has to get better. If they can shoot over 60% in the second half at home, it’s going to be tough to beat them.”

On Virginia’s defense:
“It wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen, it’s just we had to make more adjustments during the game.”

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