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2011-12 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
November 13, 2011
Virginia 75, South Carolina State 38

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

Opening Statement:
“Right now the plan is to redshirt Paul Jesperson. He is coming along nicely in practice and I like his upside. Assuming there is not an injury anywhere or unless he just develops real quickly, I think the redshirt right now is a real good idea for him and he is in agreement with that. That is why Paul did not play. Unless something changes, that will be the status with Paul. Darion [Atkins] will not play in the first three games for violating team rules, and that is all I will say about that.”

On Virginia’s defense:
“We tried to challenge our team and make them earn everything. We didn’t know a lot about the opponent we were playing, but we knew we were going to guard them and play man-to-man. The battle cry for us is to just limit the shots and limit their offensive rebounds. Our guys worked hard and plugged the gaps. There was one part when they got a little lackadaisical, but they had the right kind of mindset and spirit of execution on the defensive end.”

On making shots in the second half:
“Joe obviously hit some three’s, which was good. We missed some bunnies in the first half and Joe hit a few. I think they came out in a diamond-and-one or a box-and-one, which allowed KT to run the floor. South Carolina State actually rebounded correctly and the majority of their players really attacked the glass. If you can keep them off the glass and get the rebound you’re going to have some of those opportunities to get some transition baskets where there are layups or spot up three’s. KT got loose a little bit and started making those three’s. I think they got worn down a little bit and that’s what I told our guys, which was to keep defending throughout the course of the game and hopefully it will take a toll on them. Offensively it’s nice to see that ball going in and it was good that KT picked up the slack on the three-point line and we got some easy ones as well.”

On Malcolm Brogdon:
“He did some good things. Our team at times was a little casual, but when you get a lead like that, it’s kind of hard to know what to do. I was pleased with some things he did. Defensively I think he has to get more active, but I certainly like his strength and his feel. There are some nice attributes that he possesses and that will hold up for a lot of people.”

On Jontel Evans developing in Sammy Zeglinski’s role:
“We only had four guards that were healthy in the rotation. I felt Jontel for the most part let the game come. He established our team defense by putting some pressure on their point guard. It was hard for them to get by Jontel. He ignites our defense and that’s such an important part of it. I thought he showed some more discipline, which is what we need. Offensively, he certainly made some good decisions, and he has worked hard at his game in the off-season.”

South Carolina State Head Coach Tim Carter

On moving forward:
“Any time you play people who are bigger and stronger than you are, you have to find a way to get better, and I saw a lot of things that we have to do to get better both offensively and defensively. These games prepare you for those types of people because Pitt and Baylor will be bigger than Virginia. We just have to do a better job of controlling the tempo as much as we can. I think that is the key. We’re a lot smaller and not as physical and I think you have to control the tempo a little bit more.”

On the difference between the first and second halves:
“Obviously they hit shots. In the first half, they were not getting as many clean looks. In the second half – for whatever reason – they were getting cleaner looks. We were trying to junk it up and change from zone to man, but they’re a very smart, very intelligent basketball team and you can’t leave certain guys open because they won’t beat themselves.”

On containing Mike Scott:
“We tried to front the post. We had a whole bunch of options. We played a lot of zone and a lot of times that helps you keep it out of the big guys’ hands.”

On Virginia’s shooting:
“They did a good job of hitting perimeter jump shots. The scouting report on them was that they were going to hit jump shots. They’re strength is hitting jump shots and they showed that tonight. They didn’t even have their best shooter out there. I thought they really played smart and they really crashed the glass. They played intelligently. It showed us that we have to do a better job of trying to control the tempo and slowing it down a bit.”

Virginia sophomore guard Joe Harris

General impressions of the first game of the season:
“It was good just to get back out there and we’re all excited to get going. I felt like it was a good first game and we executed well and it was just fun.”

On South Carolina State’s defense:
“In the second half when we came back out, they kind of did a little funky defense where one guy just followed me around, but obviously everyone else stepped up and hit open shots.”

On transition from practice court to the playing court:
“Our practices are intense and our coaches and everyone does a great job of helping us prepare for our matchups. I felt like this week, especially in practice, we call them the blue team they did a great job running South Carolina State’s sets and helping us prepare for this game today.”

Virginia freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon

On his first game:
“It was really exciting. I think I have a great team that’s letting me adjust to the program really well and Coach Bennett is one of the best coaches in the country and it’s easy playing for him.”

On being unselfish on the court:
“I try to give my teammates the ball, I really do, especially when I’m playing point guard. I try to look for my teammates first, if my shot is there I’ll take it, but when I get inside I’m trying to look for the big man who I can hand it off or dish it off to.”

If Coach has talked to him about his role on team:
“He thinks I’m going to be in the rotation but it depends on how I perform and how I progress. I think I will have the opportunity because that is just the kind of coach he is. He gives his players opportunity.”

Virginia senior forward Mike Scott

On the team’s performance:
“Pretty good. I think we started out great defensively. We held them to 10 points at one point. At the end of the first half we kind of let up on them and we got back on them in the second half. As an overall game we did pretty well.”

On team chemistry:
“It felt good. We had been working all summer and all preseason, scrimmages, beating each other up in practices and it finally feels good to go out and play someone else.”

SC State senior forward Omar Sanders

On tonight’s performance:
“As a team we probably had too many turnovers, and we didn’t get enough stops. All and all, I think we played pretty well. We have a young team, and this is a building game. As far as my play, I played all right. I have to get my wind up; I was getting a little tired out there.”

On the defensive play:
“We gave up too many wide-open threes, and we weren’t boxing out, which was giving them too many offensive boards. But we are going to learn from it.”

On the rest of the season:
“I am very confident about our season. We play Baylor and Pittsburgh later in the season, and they will all be building games. Once we get back into conference play, it’s going to make things a little bit easier for us. But I think we’re going to be good for the season. Our key to success is going to be sticking together and playing defense.”

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