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2010-11 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
December 20, 2010
Virginia 50, Norfolk State 49

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

Thoughts as the final few minutes played out in the game:
“What was going through my mind from start to finish was that we were thoroughly out-played and Norfolk State played with heart and scrap. Coach Evans prepared their players, they did a real good job and we were thoroughly out-played. If there was a loose ball on the floor, an offensive rebound, we lost our way. It was hard, but you keep fighting.”

“I did not expect to win that game the way it was looking. It was very improbable the way we tipped one in and missed free throws. Certainly, I’m thankful for the win, but we didn’t deserve to get that win the way we played. Our limitations showed. Obviously, without Mike inside, there is not a lot of scoring inside and we have to rely on our guards. But I told our guys that I can live with a loss – a win or loss isn’t the big thing. When we’re short handed, the way we have to play and the things that have to be constant for us just unraveled before our very eyes and I thought we took a step back in that game. We’ll get to work tomorrow and try to improve.”

On the difference in being able to find success against Oregon, but not as much tonight against Norfolk State with the same lineup:
“We shot the ball better, certainly that helps. Guys got hot, we shot the ball, had much more fight and scrap [against Oregon], but we didn’t have that tonight. We were certainly out-toughed and they played harder. I think we weren’t sound. Some of the breakdowns defensively on the out-of-bounds plays, the turnovers late. I thought against Oregon, we started out shaky – very similar – and got stronger and more solid as the game went on. Here, we started out shaky and stayed shaky. Again, they made plays and out-hustled us, but we didn’t practice well the day before and it showed.”

Thoughts on having Assane Sene in the game at the end:
“We kept Assane in because when you look down, there aren’t a lot of options as far as our interior goes right now. With that, Regan made a nice move in there. Akil, offensively, was struggling a little bit. So, I thought when your offense is laboring and struggling, sometimes your best offense is an offensive rebound or a put back.”

“I think Assane did get an offensive rebound and got fouled, but I think missed the first end of a bonus. But you can’t play five guards, and even our guards weren’t playing particularly well. It was hard. We were trying to figure out if Assane could knock one away. We weren’t trying to throw him the ball, but just trying to keep it alive.”

On seeing signs at halftime that maybe the struggling was going to continue throughout the rest of the game:
“We struggled the whole game, we really did. I hope it’s one of those games where I look at the tape and I say, ‘I think I overreacted after the game and it wasn’t as bad on tape – the great equalizer.’ But I have a feeling I’m going to watch tape and be more frustrated. But we got some open looks and we missed some. I can live with that. I told our guys, it was really a gamble not blocking out and guarding out of bounds plays – those little areas. I understand how close we’re playing this thing, our margin of error.”

Norfolk State Head Coach Anthony Evans

Opening statement:
“It was a great basketball game and both teams played hard. It came down to a bounce of the basketball and (Assane) Sene tipped the ball in at the end of the game.”

On finishing games:
“We’ve got to make sure we complete games and do the little things. We fought all game long and now I hope we understand that we have to do the little things – boxing out, the extra effort on long rebounds – things like that so we can finish games.”

On the Sene tip:
“Fluke play, but we’ve got to secure the loose ones and do the little things.”

How much did Chris McEachin factor in to the fact that you seemed to step up tonight?:
“Coming in here we wanted to play with energy and try to get up tempo because we hadn’t been doing that early in the season. Chris gives us a different element and gives us an experienced wing who can score a little bit and who is long and plays good defense and he understands the rotations in our press. So having him in there definitely helped the guys tonight.”

On McEachin’s performance:
“He was excited to be on the floor finally, and I think he played well for his first game. I look forward to him playing better basketball in the games to come.”

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