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2010-11 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes

January 15, 2011

Duke 76, Virginia 60

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett

Opening statement:

“I told our guys in the locker room after the game, again 28, 30 minutes, they played so hard and they executed and they did good things, things to build on in a tough setting against a heckuva team. Then the last 10 minutes, I thought we fractured defensively. We really made Duke earn, most of the game up until that point, with our defense. We were in position [and] we fought. We told them it was going to be a battle for your composure and your toughness and when that went away, that’s when Duke separated quickly. Certainly we had some trouble scoring and when we got down we probably panicked a little bit with turnovers, but [it was] a learning experience. It was just frustrating to see the game separate like that with whatever was left. [Duke] struggled for a while, but they can get it going quickly and we didn’t have a lot of answers and we missed some easy looks we should’ve had and there it was. It got away quick.”

On team’s rebounding:

“It was a hard one because when they put Kyle [Singler] at the four, we were going to play Will [Sherrill]. Then I made a quick substitution, a quick change at the start of the second half, [thinking] let’s match up as long as we have Assane [Sene], he did a great job in the first half despite the fouls, we can maybe block some shots at the rim [and] get some defensive rebounds. When Assane picked up his fourth foul, we still went with whether it was Joe [Harris] or Akil [Mitchell] or someone, we couldn’t … I think that hurt us, those offensive rebounds and certainly being out of position, then some of the turnovers. But we weren’t a very good defensive rebounding team. They had 14 offensive rebounds, I don’t know how, but they were the big ones. We’re pretty thin on the front line and with that, it’s not that we’re not terrific defensive rebounders, it’s just we’re just trying to scrap and tell our guards to come back and there were some breakdowns too from that.”

On Duke’s defensive adjustment on Mustapha Farrakhan in the second half:

“[Duke] upped their pressure a little bit. They really got into him. I think he wore down a little bit. I think they did a good job; there was some fatigue. That’s just what they do to you. We got a little rattled when it kind of got ratcheted up. We’ll learn from this. Some of our young guys did some good things, but that was a new experience for them. And trying to get guys looks, we tried to open the lane, get there. We don’t have a lot of options to throw it inside or score in a variety of ways, so the best bet was trying to attack off the dribble.”

On the change of pace in the second half:

“I think we started breaking down quicker defensively and that killed us. And a couple turnovers, we got rattled and then that turned into fast break buckets for them and the crowd got into it. It’s always a balance, we want our guys to be aggressive, but have a level of patience. Sometimes there were a couple wide open shots that presented themselves that were quick, and we made some in the first half, but then we missed some and, boom, they were going. It’s a tight, fine line that we walk with that. I thought a lot of things contribute to that, but they started going and we couldn’t match them.”

On Andre Dawkins’ impact:

“Those threes he hit, those were the dagger, those two. I think they were back-to-back. He did a good job. [He has] a beautiful stroke. He gets his feet set and again they were 5-of-20, so it wasn’t like they were going, but he was the one guy. They space you so well and if they get a little crease on you and you got to help, they kick it out and it’s a challenge because their spacing is excellent, especially with Kyle [Singler] as the four. That’s a hard match-up.”

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski

Opening statement:

“It’s a big win for us. They’re very well coached, he [Tony Bennett] is an outstanding coach. Their team is a different type of team because they spread you, they can really shoot, they play outstanding defense that doesn’t force turnovers but it doesn’t give you much room to operate. I thought we had good looks in the first half and we had some good looks right under the bucket and it was one of the those games. I don’t think we were playing that badly. We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket. Certainly a good portion of that was their defense because they forced you to take those shots but those are shots that I believe our guys can hit with more regularity than they did today but what happened was that it affected our defense for a little bit. It certainly affected them in that they get very confident, not that they weren’t confidant but you get more confident when someone isn’t scoring against you. Then when we went down by nine in the second half our defense just picked up. We scored a little bit off of our defense. I thought Andre [Dawkins] played the best defense of his career in the second half and hit big buckets but I think he hit the buckets he was playing outstanding defense. Mason [Plumlee], I know he missed shots inside but he had 16 rebounds and in the last 10 minutes he orchestrated our defense to where we could stick to three-point shooters and kind of zone up off their big, preventing penetration to the basket, forcing a two-point shot under a little bit of pressure and I think it kind of took them out of their rhythm and he guarded [Assane] Sene well. Mason had a heck of a game. If he hits those shots you know we are like whoa, it’s whoa even if he didn’t hit the shots. I thought Seth [Curry], he had six rebounds, he guarded the ball, he came up with loose balls and we did dirty work and then he and Tyler [Thornton] brought the ball up so we could position Nolan [Smith] in different spots, which is what we did in the first eight games of the year and we haven’t been able to do that as much. Once Nolan got position in different places, Nolan had a great game. He was put in a couple of different positions than the one just on top. I am proud of our team, they didn’t score very much the last 10 minutes and a lot of game pressure on them. We got a lot of young guys with those two veterans who need to get this ACC experience and just keep growing as a basketball team.”

On playing small in the second half:

“They started [Joe] Harris at the four and when [Will] Sherrill’s at the four he can shoot. They just had us spread out. It was more of what they were doing because Ryan was playing well and did play well, just thank goodness we could adjust to that. I’m not certain every team could adjust to that against Virginia and when they’re shooting the ball they’re certainly a capable team.”

On the importance of Andre and Seth being able to score inside:

“It’s very important, Seth too, as they get accustomed to the intensity, the physicality of the league. You don’t get that, even though we’ve played some really good non-conference opponents, we played four of them when we had the other team and now you get into the league and they’ve got to learn it. Andre can do it, he is a young kid, Seth is adjusting. We just need to keep trying to get better. I know you get sick of me saying that and you hearing it but we have to play for each game and see where this all leads, that’s where I’m at with our group.”

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