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2010-11 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
January 2, 2011
Virginia 64, LSU 50

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On going into halftime with the lead:
“Coach [Ritchie] McKay gave us a stat that said that we have played from behind in something like 80 of 90 minutes so it has been tough. The guys today held their composure. Defensively, Jontel Evans was terrific guarding [Andre] Stringer and Akil Mitchell’s ball screen defense made a real difference. Jontel was the difference maker defensively and then offensively, he got to the lane.”

On Virginia’s improvement shooting wise:
“We made more shots, but we still missed a lot. I said ‘we’re struggling so let’s see if we can get any transition baskets, a few drives and some second chance points.’ We got to the lane a little more so that opened it up somewhat. We shot our free throws pretty well. Like I said, we have a ways to go, but it was a nice little performance; all of the guys chipped in. We have to attack the paint when opportunities present themselves. We kept our composure for the most part against the zone but Jontel made a difference and he finished as did some of the other guys by getting in there and drawing fouls.”

On hitting early shots:
“When you’re in a shooting slump, it certainly feels good to see some of those early shots go in. I just keep telling the guys to take the right shots and have a short memory. I want them to keep taking quality shots. There is no question that when you make a shot it gets the momentum going. I think that Mustapha Farrakhan and all of the guys chipped in. Sammy Zeglinski didn’t hit a shot but he did things defensively and hopefully his timing and rhythm will continue to improve. These are good opportunities for the young guys.”

On Will Sherrill’s late three pointers:
“Will Sherrill’s three pointers came off of guys attacking. They drew the defense and that resulted in a kick out. We need those. We need to penetrate because Will is a threat from the outside and that’s why it was challenging when we were without Will and Mike Scott.”

On Akil Mitchell’s play:
“I told Akil to start by being a great defender, running the floor, getting some rebounds but he knows to keep developing his outside shot. He can’t play handcuffed where he can’t ever look at the basket. He has to be a threat. He hit a couple of them that were more than midrange and I thought he was solid. Again, his ball screen defense was terrific.”

On Mike Scott’s injury:
“Mike had another MRI on his ankle and some more stuff was discovered. He may have to have a procedure; I’m not sure yet. We are still gathering information, taking a look at it and seeing how it feels but after he had the surgery, felt good and after he reinjured it a second time we got another look. I can’t tell you what that means because I don’t know. Back to where we started in essence. We’re talking about it and trying to find out the best way to proceed, but that was certainly discouraging.”

On the team’s psyche coming off this win:
“With a team that is inexperienced and has a lot of young guys, momentum and psyche are certainly important. I told our guys ‘you take it and scrap for it.’ I think it was important to show that we could still play good basketball even though Mike’s not with us and Sammy and Will aren’t at 100 percent. We actually caught a break with LSU because Storm Warren didn’t play. He is an active athletic rebounder so they weren’t at full strength but neither were we. I hope this win helps and we’ll just keep preparing. I always say ‘don’t get too high and don’t get too low.’ We have to keep plugging and getting ready for everyone we play.”

LSU Head Coach Trent Johnson

Opening Statement:
“We started the second half with good energy and good execution and they responded. We have to give them credit. They made the necessary plays throughout the second half after about the three- or four-minute mark. They made big shots, played with a lot of energy, and made crucial rebounds. That’s pretty much how we’ve been all year long; we have been very inconsistent in our ability to sustain anything, whether it’s been offensive execution or defensive execution. The good thing is we can keep that behind us. The thing is, regardless how bad or how good you win at this time of the year, it starts all over for us when we start league play.”

On playing without Storm Warren:
“We are out Storm and we are out Dennis [Harris], two kids who played a lot for us last year, but the two of them combined aren’t as good a player as Mike Scott.”

On Virginia shooters getting into a rhythm:
“For us, we’ve had a hard time. It had nothing to do with their shooting, as opposed to their guards ability to get in the lane off of man and zone. Our point of attack defense hasn’t been very good. We have two freshmen and a sophomore trying to guard but it had nothing to do with their shooting. It had to do with their ability to penetrate the point of attack and get us in a situation where we had to help. They swung it, rotated the ball, and the guys shooting shots were in a rhythm.”

On the Jontel Evans/Andre Stringer matchup:
“Everybody’s giving Andre a hard time. He’s doing the best he can right now, but he’s young, he’s learning.”

On two late three-point shots from Will Sherrill:
“Offensively they made big shots and big plays when they needed to. Defensively they got key stops when they needed to. Without looking at the tape I thought they did a really good job of stretching Andre and keeping him off rhythm. They always had a guy or a hand in and were physical with him. That’s all of Tony [Bennett]’s teams so I’ve been there before. I knew going into this game that unless we had a post presence and were able to go inside-out, our perimeter guys were going to struggle at times.”

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