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2011-12 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
December 3, 2011
Virginia 86, Longwood 53

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On expectations for today’s game:
“We talked about how good teams don’t let down. Longwood certainly isn’t a team that’s ranked, but it was going to be a good test for us to see if we would still have the alertness and the sharpness that was needed. Longwood has some veterans. Number 4, Carter, had 20 or 18 against us the first time we played them. We knew he’d present some problems. Number 1 [Jeremiah Bowman] was very strong. We felt like we had to be sharp against them on our defensive end. I thought, for the most part, the guys did a good job. It’s the first time someone’s come after Mike and trapped him like that. It’s almost like we call it ‘fool’s gold.’ You could get a wide open look from three right away, and I thought we were a little uncertain. Should we shoot it? Should we wait on it? I thought as the game wore on offensively, we caught our stride. Defensively, there were some holes, but the guys played pretty hard for the most part.”

On offensive stride:
“I think we played through Mike, and we got it inside. Those guys finished pretty easy. It seemed like Longwood got fatigued as the game wore on, so it presented opportunities, whether it was inside-out play, or just some easy baskets in transition. That’s what helps you a lot if your defense can get a nice stop or grab a long rebound and get out and go. I thought some of those things gave us the spark for the end of the second half. We talked about that. We said ‘you’re going to have opportunities to get some transition baskets, so take advantage of those and make a good decision on the end of it.'”

On Mike’s and Sammy’s playing times:
“It’s more about how many games we’re playing in the short amount of time. We’ve played quite a few games in a congested period, so knowing that we play Tuesday, if there are opportunities for the guys that are playing larger minutes to come off the court, and the game looks like it’s in a solid spot, and we can get experience for the other guys, then I certainly look at that as an opportunity. With Mike, I definitely look for opportunities to rest him more. I think all of our guys play better when they’re fresh. I keep that more in mind with Mike and Sammy, but sometimes the game just doesn’t afford that, and in those games, you play it to the hilt. If there are opportunities, we’ll always be mindful of that.”

On play off the bench:
“The guys got valuable minutes. I really challenged them. There’s a point where the scoreboard probably isn’t as important; it’s the quality on the floor and how they’re going to approach it and play. You always want to get them more, but there were some opportunities for those guys. That’s important for them. I told them I watch every practice tape. I watch every possession. I’m judging, I’m evaluating, and I’m looking for ways to help them improve. I tell them that; ‘it’s your decision when you’re out there to do with it what you want, and if I see you out there acting like it doesn’t matter, that doesn’t bode well for you and for our development as a team.'”

Longwood Head Coach Mike Gillian

On how Virginia was able to pull away midway through the first half:
“I think the difference was that they did what they do. They have now more pieces that fit the puzzle that they want to have. They have the types of players for their style of play and are really good. The main part in that, I think, can be attributed to them and not to anything we did. I think we did a good job of coming back to 20-17. We had the ball, but from that point, gave up a few uncontested layups and our energy level was down a little bit and next thing you know, there’s a run that exists.
You always want to be the team that goes on that run rather than have it flipped around the other way, but a big part of that, again, was what they did and not what we did.”

On Longwood’s defensive strategy against Mike Scott:
“The plan was to double-team him. He’s very talented and tough for us to defend one-on-one so we double-teamed him and he was really good at waiting, being patient and letting the game come to him. He threw it out to the open guys and as a result those guys threw it back to him too. I’m sure that is something that he’ll see from time to time throughout the course of the year and for us, that is something that we will do all the time – double-team the post. He’s a good player so we wanted to do that against him, but we do that all the time.”

On playing two games in two days:
“Energy whether physical, mental or emotional, is always important but to look back and say that this is a reason, that we played last night, is just an excuse. What I like to talk to the guys about is how excuses are only obstacles on that journey to success. Had we played well and kept it closer for longer, we could have easily said that the reason why [we did that] was that we were coming off a high energy win last night so really, it wasn’t a factor.”

On Virginia:
“Like I said, I think it’s much improved. They have a lot of the pieces that fit now to the style that he wants to coach – that takes a little time. They are very confident. When you have the right pieces and you believe in what you’re doing, you’re going to have a certain level of confidence and having Mike Scott at 100 percent certainly helps.”

On what Longwood can take away from this game:
“We have to go take some rest. We have final exams this week. We played a bunch and now we just have to get out of the gym for a couple days and get ready for the rest of the season.”

Virginia Sophomore Forward Akil Mitchell

On the win:
“Like Coach Bennett said, you have to take every possession. It’s something that we do. It’s not so much about the other team. We are just trying to make ourselves better.”

On the upcoming game against George Mason:
“I think they are 6-2 or something like that. We really haven’t scouted them yet, but I hear they are a pretty good team. I am looking forward to getting a good test on Tuesday.”

On guarding Antwan Carter:
“He’s a real crafty lefty. He was hitting fall away jumpers. He is a really good player. He’s a solid guy to try to defend. He gets into your body and it’s always tough playing a guy like that.”

Virginia Senior Forward Mike Scott

On coming out of the game so early in the second half:
“Yes I knew that was coming. We have a game coming up on Tuesday. I need to definitely save my legs and play it smart.”

On almost being 100% at the free throw line:
“I’m down from last year. Last year I was shooting close to 90 percent.”

On his three-point shot:
“I work on that every day at practice. It’s just rhythm. I have been working on my outside shot the whole summer.”

Virginia Sophomore Guard Joe Harris

On scoring during the first half:
“We were getting those open shots. We were getting those wide open three’s and started firing a little bit. During one of the media timeouts, Coach Bennett was talking about not settling. The three’s are going to be there. Work around a little bit. Work your offense and it will just come.”

On three-point shots:
“It was tough to pass them up because we were getting wide open looks. Coach Bennett tells us when we get a wide open look, take it. We hit a few, but there were a couple of them where we were shooting them real quick instead of working offense.”

Longwood senior center Antwan Carter

On evaluation of team’s overall performance:
“Overall I feel like we could have played better. We came out ready to play, but we didn’t keep up the intensity for the entire game, so that’s where we fell off and it gave them a boost.”

On evaluation of his individual performance:
“Well I’m not making any excuses. I wasn’t 100 percent today so I didn’t come to play the right way.”

On difficulty of playing at home last night and traveling to UVa today:
“Its more mental than anything. We are all Division I athletes. We are in shape so we should be ready for this. Playing last night had nothing to do with it, but our confidence was up because we had a win last night. That’s the only difference I see.”

On how performance today will help with future games:
“I guess it will just let us know we need to play a full 40 minute game and not 10 minutes or 20 minutes. You just have to play that whole entire game to be successful.”

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