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2010-11 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
January 4, 2011
Virginia 84, Howard 63

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the shooting performance of Mustapha Farrakhan:
“Well first, let’s give credit to a lefty when credit is due. He was really rolling and had rhythm. You know that feeling when the rim looks that big and it was nice to see. Everybody shot it so well, as did they, which was a concern early in the game. I thought with Akil [Mitchell] matching up on [Mike] Phillips, that helped us out defensively. That was an impressive shooting performance by Mustapha. I thought Jontel [Evans] didn’t take any shots but two at the end and was just serving and feeding. That was impressive to see.”

On shooting woes over the last few games:
“I think the way they zone you, the shots we got had a little more room and rhythm than in some of the other games, but as I watched our games over and over, we did get quality looks and that’s why you don’t live and die by it. You have to try to get different kinds of looks and take them when they’re there and take them with confidence.”

On the injury to Will Sherrill:
“He could have come back. He said he got kicked on the shin on or near the spot and it was probably like a jolt for him and it really bothered him. In warm ups he said it wasn’t feeling as good but said he would give it a go and hopefully that thing will start healing because he’s not moving so good. I think the three games in a condensed amount of time affected that. As we progress from now on, the play on the glass will be fierce: the size, the athleticism. Not that you can’t at times play with four guards, but we aren’t in a great way health-wise; that’s for sure.”

On the team coping with bouts of injury:
“I think there is a little more comfort. You are seeing that with Akil at times just knowing, ‘Okay, Mike [Scott]’s not in this time.’ Even Will [Sherrill] is sporadic and guys are developing a little more consistency, rhythm, and chemistry. Again, it was a game tonight where their zone – there were some openings in the middle – and turnovers: 10 turnovers. I thought they were nice looks and when you’re shooting that well against a zone, that’s hard on the zone. When they had to go man, that wasn’t what they were used to doing. I think they are getting a little more comfortable with each other but I know the competition steps up.”

On the performance of Joe Harris:
“Defensively, [Mike Phillips] got off to a good start so I kind of got onto Joe, but Joe had a nice rhythm on his shot. It would be kind of nice if when we’re really cold if one guy would be hot, but they all decided to come tonight, which is okay. They’re a group and they’re unified; when they’re cold, they’re cold and when they’re hot, they’re hot. Hopefully we can change that, but Joe certainly shot the ball well and again, I think it was a result of feet-set, rhythm shots. Joe has a quick release, so that helped and Sammy [Zeglinski] was moving a little better tonight; I liked what I saw defensively. That was a good performance by [Joe and Mustapha]. When you go 13-15 from three, that’s good shooting. We shot better from three than we did from the line. “

Howard Head Coach Kevin Nickelberry

On Mustapha Farrakhan’s performance:
“What was it – his birthday or something? I have played against Virginia many times as a head coach at Hampton for a number of years and as an assistant at Clemson – this is probably the best shooting display by a Cavalier in a long time. I knew he could shoot it – a couple of his looks were open, but a lot of the time we had a hand in his face and he was still making it. We changed up defenses four or five times and whatever defense we were in he found the gap and he made shots.”

On what was UVa’s difference maker in taking control of the game:
“As much as I think [Mustapha] Farrakhan was the difference, I was really impressed with the two freshmen – Joe Harris and KT Harrell. They are very impressive basketball players – Tony [Bennett] made a good adjustment early by going small when we were leading – he made us play unbalanced by spreading us out a bit. We prepared for the big guy, [Assane] Sene, in there so we could cheat a little bit – but Tony made the substitution and brought the freshmen in and created some problems for us and the rest is history.”

On confidence boost from good shooting performance after a slow start to the season:
“The biggest thing is we played eight or nine games in 15 days to start the season. This was two days after losing a few of our starters – so we really hadn’t had time to practice with our new rotation. Christmas break gave us a time to practice with those guys. Kyle Riley had never played point guard in his life and this gave him a chance to practice – this is his second game as our point guard. I think they are getting comfortable playing with each other.”

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