Story Links

2011-12 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
December 27, 2011
#23/24 Virginia 69, Maryland-Eastern Shore 42

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On having 33 points off the bench:
“I thought we got a nice lift from our bench. We got our young guys a lot of minutes. When we can sit some of our older guys that’s good, especially with three games in a short amount of time. It was nice to see some activity and some liveliness on the glass. Akil and Darion did a nice job rebounding.”

On the defense:
“That was the key for us to open up the game in the second half when we started getting some stops that turned into transition baskets. Our defense turned it over and it was pretty solid. First half it was good that we didn’t get stretched, but they got some long offensive rebounds and made some tough shots; it was better in the second half and that was lacking in our last game, but the guys tightened it up. I thought we struggled shooting the ball from three, but that defensively it was sound. I challenged those younger guys when they were in there to really play good defense and to limit them to one shot. There were very few second chance points in the second half so that was a highlight.”

On Akil Mitchell:
“I think he played some more minutes and there were some bigger gaps when they were playing the zone, but he was active and it was good to see. You know we’re continuing to work with Akil; he’s not bad when he can turn and face you, he’s quick off the dribble and can do some things. I like activity wise he and Darion are both quick and lively and defensively they can be good. If they can find ways offensively to get more comfortable I think that will be really good for our future.”

On having a smaller rotation:
“I think with our rotation we’re playing eight guys. KT wasn’t playing a ton of minutes. Our rotation is kind of the same and tonight Paul got those minutes. The key is can we stay healthy? With the guys that are playing that has not changed our team at all. Once we get into it, can we stay healthy, can we stay out of foul trouble, all those kinds of things. I do believe you can play seven or eight guys if they’re tough, if they’re sound. A lot of teams have been successful with that and I’m comfortable with an eight-man rotation. If you have nine that’s great but eight is fine, and seven is alright too at times, its just about who can do the job.”

On Paul Jesperson:
“The thing I like about Paul is that he has good feel. He really does and I heard the crowd a couple times, they wanted him to shoot but he passed them up, he didn’t need to shoot then. He is very comfortable and he has great vision. He was okay defensively, he missed some outside shots like everybody else, but I like his feel and his ability to play with the guys on the floor. I think that will be important if he gets in there at certain times, when it’s not going to be that clear for him to go one-on-one, but the question is can you facilitate, can you move the ball, can you get open and take shots with confidence when it’s there, feed the post, use your size to play position defense, grab some rebounds. Those will be the things that will be required of him and I think anybody who has some smarts and feel can usually figure out a way to help. That’s my hope for him. It was for the future, but the future is now and I’m glad he got 15 minutes tonight.”

Maryland-Eastern Shore Head Coach Frankie Allen

On message to team during first timeout:
“We came out a little bit in awe. They’re No. 23. When you play teams like UVa, you’re stepping it up a level. I think our guys were a little bit shell-shocked. We took that early timeout because they had to address things. There’s got to be a competitive spirit about you. We went out and started executing-playing a little bit better-and for the next 17 minutes, it was basically a tie game. I just told them they had to pick it up a little bit and they did a pretty good job. We competed from then until the end of the first half.”

On Maryland-Eastern Shore’s execution in first half:
“We weren’t as sharp offensively as I would have liked, but I have to give Virginia credit. They’re one of the tougher defensive teams we’ll see all year in terms of how they play their half-court and man-to-man defense. They’re well-drilled and well-schooled and their players really do a good job. I thought we did a good job though defensively with our match-up zone and some of our coverages. We confused them a little bit. Giving up 30 points to Virginia in the first half is not bad, but they only gave up 20. They’re a very solid defensive team. That’s what they’re known for.”

On Virginia’s play in second half:
“They turned it up a notch. Teams like the University of Virginia and these major schools have a second gear, possibly a third gear, and we haven’t really reached that. They wore us down, they played a lot of people, they did a good job. Again, they beat us with their transition game-we didn’t get back on defense. As the game wore on, they just physically wore us down. They’re a lot bigger and a lot stronger and a lot more physical. I think their physicality kind of took us out of the game.”

On Mike Scott:
“He’s a first team All-ACC player-maybe a mention for All-American. He got it going. That’s what outstanding players do. One time I took a timeout because my defender just stopped guarding him. I give him credit-he’s an outstanding talent. Teams like UVa have a kind of go-to guy. When things aren’t going well, Mike Scott just takes over. He got them through the rough spots they had, and once they got into the flow of things, we fell further and further behind.”

On what team can take away from game:
“You can take away the fact that, for 17 minutes, we competed with the 23rd ranked team in the country. We just don’t have the strength and the physicality and the depth that they have. You take away the fact that we won’t play anyone as talented and as good as UVa for the rest of our schedule. Even though the final score is lopsided, there were periods where I felt like we did some good things out there too.”

Print Friendly Version