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2011-12 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
November 25, 2011
Virginia 68, Green Bay 42

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On team’s offensive performance:

“We got some good looks. We got some second chance points. Guys found their rhythm and got to the paint and did a decent job in stretches.”

On team’s defensive performance:
“It was really good early, but then they got to the paint about three times in a row when they made that run to end the first half. We had a little trouble. They started to really attack the paint, but I challenged the guys at halftime to regain their defensive edge and their ability to keep the ball in the lane. I think they did a pretty good job. It hurt Green Bay that their big kid got in foul trouble because he’s pretty talented. Our guys responded, though, and everyone got some playing time, which was good.

On Sammy Zeglinski:
I don’t know the status of Sammy and that’s really discouraging. He was moving really well. That’s why I started him. He had started to move better, and then I think it was Akil (Mitchell) who landed on his ankle. I couldn’t really see it from my end, but my hope is that it’s very minor.

“Down in the Virgin Islands he played, but he was laboring. He was 75 percent maybe, but he struggled to move. For the first time yesterday in practice, I saw a little snap in his step. He was moving better, and I thought, ‘Okay, he’s getting close.’ And I thought he was moving pretty well tonight. I still don’t think he’s 100 percent though. Then the injury happened. Hopefully we’ll find out soon, but I know the x-rays were negative, so that’s good.”

On play of KT Harrell coming off the bench for the first time this season:
“He gave us a nice lift. We’ve got five guys – I hope we’ve got five guys – to play those three perimeter spots, and they’re all going to have their opportunities. Sometimes it’s going to be KT, sometimes it’s going to be someone else. It’s just the ability to play and be ready when you’re called upon, but there’s ample opportunities for all five of those guys. He did a good job coming off. A lot of our guys have been out of sync offensively the past few games. It’s nice to have a little bit of a scoring punch like KT coming off the bench. I’ll let them compete and put the right guys out there, but they’re all going to play.”

On emotion playing his former college team:
“When I was sitting out there before the game and the Green Bay players were warming up, I don’t know why but I kind of went back and kind of said, ‘I remember when I was out there warming up for that team. Look where I am now.’ I got a feeling of just being very grateful and thankful for the path that I’ve been on. I can remember when we played Clemson in 1990. We played against Dale Davis at Littlejohn Coliseum and I remember how big of a deal it was for us to go play an ACC team. I was just kind of overwhelmed and thankful for where I’m at now. It was too long ago since I was warming up out there.”

On playing Michigan Tuesday:
“They’re one of the best teams in the country it appears. They can hurt you in a lot of different ways. We have to be ready to play. I told our guys it’s about playing possession by possession. You have to be so good defensively. Certainly we need to be healthy and we’ll need to play at a high level, but our system is geared to play good teams and we’re going to give everything we’ve got. I know they’re very good. I haven’t watched them exclusively. I just saw a few deals at the Maui Invitational, but they’re playing at a high level right now.”

Green Bay Head Coach Brian Wardle
On Virginia:

“Our guys were really looking forward to it. To be honest I’m surprised at how we started the game. They were confident; we’ve played some good teams on the road already this year. They had a great practice last night and a good shoot-around today. We came out a little tentative and got nervous. Now, give Virginia a lot of credit, they really came after us, they’re a real physical team. The lesson to be learned as coaches and as players is that we need to learn from this – we have to come up more aggressive. We had spurts of aggressive play and good play, but after the first 10 minutes of play we were just battling uphill the whole time.”

On the defense:
“In the huddle we said, ‘this isn’t us, let’s do what we do, let’s attack and let’s be more aggressive, let’s get some post touches.’ (Virginia) does a good job, their bigs are long, they’re big, they’re strong guys and when you get in there they can touch shots without fouling you and that bothered us today. They do a good job always of getting to the foul line and not putting you to the foul line. Those are things we talked about playing disciplined defense, pressure without fouling and obviously we did not do that at all.”

On foul trouble:
“We had our whole starting front court on the bench for most of the first half with foul trouble. I had to just play in to try and get some rhythm out of them and get us back into the game at one point in which we did. We had the momentum coming into the half, we were down 10 and I thought we could start the second half positively and get right back in the game. Give Virginia credit; they jumped on us and they were aggressive again from the start. Then we had one bad shot and four turnovers. It was a hard uphill battle to win.”

Virginia Player Quotes
Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski

On injury during the game:

“I think when Akil (Mitchell) got the rebound, he came down and his foot landed on my foot. It kind of tweaked it a little bit, but it was nothing serious. They wanted to get an x-ray to be precautionary about it. “

On his play:
“I was trying to shake some rust off my shot, but other than that I thought I was moving pretty well. I was playing solid defense. I still need to work on my feet a little bit and get a little quicker. I thought it was okay.”

Sophomore forward Akil Mitchell
On Green Bay’s ball screens:

“I think we handled it pretty well. They slipped a lot of screens and they’re really slithery with their screens, so I think we handled it really well.”

On air time:
“I went up to go dunk both of them and the help came over, so I just hung in there and took the contact, and tried to finish it.”

On teammate Darion Atkins’ dunk:
“He was so excited. He came back in the locker room and he was the most excited I’ve ever seen him. That was crazy. I hope that’s on ESPN’s top 10 plays. That was great. He was up there for a while. It was a lot better than mine. “

On offense tonight:
“I felt like we had a lot better flow to our game tonight. I feel like we’re starting to get a hold of our offense. I think we can be one of the better teams in the country if we keep teams under 50 points.”

On Michigan:
“They’re a good team. I haven’t really seen them too much yet. Our football team has Virginia Tech tomorrow, and we’ve got Michigan next week. It’s a big week for Virginia athletics.”

Junior guard Jontel Evans
On experience:

“Experience plays a big part of what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to win games and we’re trying to have a good year. I feel like the freshmen from last year experienced a lot.”

On game play:
“I thought we played well. On defense, I’d give us an A-, because we had that lapse in the first half. We shouldn’t have had that. We should have ended well on both sides of the ball. We ran our offense patiently and got the shots we wanted.”

On Michigan:
“They’ve been one of the top 25 teams in the country. They’ve been playing some great ball. We watched them in Maui. We’re just looking forward to the challenge.”

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