2010-11 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
February 5, 2011
Miami 70, Virginia 68 (OT)
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
How disheartening to lose a game on two contested threes – two fouls – obviously you don’t want to foul in that situation and to do it twice?
“And we were 9 of 22 from the free throw line. We played well enough certainly to win that game. We defended well, worked the clock, got shots at the end of the clock, scored, didn’t turn it over, handled the press and could have iced it at the line. To foul the three-point shooters, I need to look at the tape. I really do. In the time out we said ‘look we’re up three, let’s guard the three-point line, don’t foul’ – all the things you talk about. So that hurts and they made a couple bombs that we were there. There might have been a defensive break down here or there, but for the most part it was fouling the three-point shooters and 9 of 22 from the line. That’s tough, that’s tough but we move on.”
Obviously you don’t want to be super reactionary to one performance like that, but what do you tell the team after a bad free throw outing?
“Well that’s not one, we were 6 of 13 three games ago and 7 of 14 (two games ago) and then 9 of 22. I think we shot more free throws in the last few days – competition, fun games, streak games, swish games and we always do that. You just try to get in that spot again and then have success. We’ve been in games where we’ve won it because of our free throw shooting, but the last few have cost us. There’s a couple – I think of Wake Forest and this one, I don’t know what we were from the line against Clemson, but in those losses, certainly Maryland wasn’t a tight game, that hurt us. Again there was some good defense played, good offense, good action going, good looks, but you’ve got to come through at the end. That’s what this game is about.”
Given the attention you’ve paid to it (free throw shooting) in practice do you just kind of throw your hands up as a coaching staff or do you attribute it to anything?
“You can’t simulate that kind of feeling when you step to the line. We started out early missing them and it seemed like there was a little pressure. You just have to make them. You’ve got to make them to get over that. You play little games that put pressure on them. No you don’t throw your hands in the air and say ‘forget it.’ You keep shooting your free throws, you keep trying to be creative, finding ways, keep encouraging them. Find the things you did well and build on it. There are a lot of games left. We’re trying to be about quality. I thought our quality was better down the stretch in terms of the main things we’ve had some trouble with whether it’s silly turnovers or breakdowns. It was more just a couple of specific things that really cost us.”