2010-11 Virginia Men’s Basketball Postgame Quotes
February 12, 2011
Florida State 63, Virginia 56
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
You started out pretty solid defensively and then ironically, when Singleton their best player goes out, is when things started going in the other direction. What did you see shift then?
“They knocked down some shots. I told our guys ‘You started the game so well defensively and there was a stretch where we strayed defensively from being really hard to score against and at least making them earn.’ Whether it was a breakdown in transition or just a subtle out of position play and that hurt us. I look up and they had 45 points or whatever it was (48-32 with 14:11 left in the game) and we were down 16. I said ‘This can’t be.’ I thought the guys rallied and showed some resiliency in getting tough defensively and they were hard to score against. Then we started making some baskets and making some plays. It’s that old deal where guys got cold, we started missing some shots, there were certainly a lot of threes taken and when we got it in the lane it usually came back out with a block. For a stretch I thought that affected our defensive alertness and intensity. I thought some guys rallied and got it back. They showed some resiliency to get back into it. Certainly with Chris (Singleton) out we caught a break.
“It’s hard, you look at them in the locker room and you say ‘you’re fighting, you’re getting close.’ That can sound old, but what’s the alternative? Just don’t go backwards. I want them to be the best they can be. I said ‘at some point we’re going to push through. I don’t know if it’s this year, don’t know if it’s next year, but don’t you dare go backwards.’ That’s what we’re fighting. That’s a good defensive team we played obviously.”
You guys orchestrated that comeback, offensively at least, by going with three-point shots. After a while did you just say keep looking for those or is it just a by-product?
“James (Florida State’s Bernard James) was playing paddle ball with our shots every time we got in the lane. I looked and I said ‘are we getting quality shots?’ We’ve got to try to touch the paint off the dribble. Then you’ve got to make a good decision behind it, whether it’s a pull up shot, which we tried a couple of times, or a kick out. There were probably a couple we shot a little quick, we got going a little quick, but for the most part the guys we call them two-eyed looks or room and rhythm shots, they were there. A lot of them weren’t going. I had to let those guys take them because those were the shots that were presenting themselves against their defense.”