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2011-12 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
January 31, 2012
#16/18 Virginia 65, Clemson 61

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On Mike Scott and Joe Harris:
“I thought Joe and Mike were terrific tonight. We needed it. We were better offensively in the second half and not so great in the first half, but some of the plays that Joe and Mike made were timely. And with Akil hitting those big free throws, it was significant for us. I really liked their activity and how they hunted down the shots offensively. It was nice to see them getting some rhythm and going to work.”

On rebounding:
“We were better. Early on we had a couple loose ones that we didn’t get, but our guys rebounded hard and we came up with some big defensive rebounds late in the game when we needed them. And the numbers obviously look a lot better than they did last game.”

On Akil Mitchell:
“Akil did a nice job. You can look at his seven rebounds, his play and his activity, and he got better in the second half too. This is invaluable experience for him in his career. We don’t have a choice with him, he has to be ready. We rode Akil hard and we rode Mike hard. I know it’s physically and mentally draining to play that hard for that long, but that’s what’s required. We don’t have any other options.”

On Mike Scott:
“He had a better second half. Mike did well with the double team and he shot it really well. We got him some good looks, and again we like him to post up and score but his versatility is what makes him so effective. Not only with his perimeter shot, but his ability when they come at him to find people and make some passes. We just have to do a good job of stretching the defense.”

On Mike going 4-4 from the line in the final 17 seconds:
“That made a difference. That was significant. Probably the greatest joy as a coach is to see a player mature on the floor, which he has, but what I see from him off the court is in terms of leadership and the way he’s reached out and to care for his teammates. It’s really become a priority for him. Even when we’ve had a few bumps in the road, he’s been there.”

On turnovers:
“It was a little uncharacteristic for Jontel to have five turnovers, with three of those being charges. He wasn’t the best with some of his decision-making. But that’s hard as an offensive player. He did a good job to start the second half and came up and really challenged the other team. He was physical and I believe he will get better.”

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

On Virginia getting production from other players besides Mike Scott:
“I think they have three guys, Zeglinski, Harris, and Scott, that when those guys are making shots or taking shots you don’t feel good about it on your end. Those are three guys who are all good players, can make shots, and get hot. I know Sammy’s been a little up and down at points, but you don’t feel good on the other bench when he’s shooting a three. Joe Harris is a really good player. I really like the way he plays. I love his game. I’ve said coming into this game that Mike Scott is one of the two or three best players in this league. What he’s doing is tremendous. He gives them a guy to go to late in the clock when you really need a basket. He made his free throws down the stretch, made some 17-foot jump shots, but you’re guarding so many things there are some things you got to give him. Then he makes more pro-moves that are off the lane and harder to guard. Your trap almost can’t get there sometimes and even when they go, he still makes tough shots. You know this is a very good team because they have some guys that can score. The way they play their points are never going to be high, but if you look at their field goal percentage, they shot a tremendous field goal percentage. I thought we played well, we had three or four bad shots we took in the second half and I think the other part of the story is that we drove the paint several times in the second half. You know we didn’t get calls; we didn’t make baskets we needed and a lot of times we’d miss and our guy would go flying and we’d have another guy trying to get the rebound and all of sudden they’re on a four on three and Joe Harris making a three at the other end. So its no points for us, three for them and you can’t go back and get your defense set. So that is a problem for us. We’re not a great team that finishes at the rim, we’re not a great driving team so you run good offense and get to the paint and don’t score, and you give up a basket in six seconds, it’s back-breaking tough.”

On getting back into the game after Virginia’s run:
“Yeah we held in there. Our guys have been gritty all year so there were probably three times they could have just knocked us out completely. We used some timeouts to try to get settled and to our guys credit, we’d make a basket. We might get a stop and we’d cut it to eight, cut it to six, they’d score again, send it back to ten. We’d bring it back to six, they’d go back to 10 and then the crazy thing is I got my best player shooting an open three with 16 seconds to go and if he makes it we’re tied and now who knows what happens. And it kind of has been the story of our season. We’ve had that shot in about three games this year and haven’t made it and they’ve been open shots.”

On rebounding:
“Well the rebounding is a little misleading only from the standpoint of they didn’t miss very many shots so we didn’t have many chances to get defensive rebounds. They only got seven offensive rebounds. We got thirteen defensive. That’s not a great percentage. If it’s 14-6, that’s 70% rebounding and that’s pretty good. Most coaches live with something like that: 70-75%. You know we ended up with 65% or something along those lines so the rebounding looks a little skewed because they didn’t miss very many shots. There weren’t very many chances for us to get rebounds. We missed very many shots for them to have a lot of defensive rebounds. They do a good job with defensive rebounding. That’s where us being a little smaller doesn’t help us.”

On Mike Scott:
“He is just a tremendous player. You do the best you can. The problem is he catches it in areas that are hard because they are pro-lane areas. He’s off the lane enough that it’s hard to trap him because he’s so far off the lane, he’s catching it and looking to see if you’re coming. If you’re coming he’s going to pass it and if you don’t come now that’s one on one with him and he’s good enough to make some of those shots. He made some perimeter shots that obviously hurt us and 7-8 free throws. You can live with some of his baskets, but he played too well tonight and those 23 points were too much.”

Virginia junior guard Jontel Evans

On Coach Bennett at halftime:
“He got on us a little bit. He told us that we weren’t playing hard defense. That’s our bread and butter. He just wanted us to pick it up in the second half, and that’s what we did.”

On Clemson’s performance:
“Now that we’re having success, I feel like we’re going to get the best out of every team. We should expect to have a game like that every time we step on the court.”

On Andre Young:
“He’s a great player, strong, physical, and can really shoot the lights out. So I just wanted to try to pressure him and get him out of his comfort zone. I felt like I did a pretty good job on him. He didn’t hit his average.”

On Mike Scott:
“The way he approaches these games, he’s so focused mentally. Nobody can knock him off his game. He comes in well-prepared, getting shots up during the week. His focus is unbelievable.”

Virginia senior guard Sammy Zeglinski

On team play:
“Joe played great. His shots were looking really nice. Mike obviously had a strong game again. We found a way to get it done. Clemson is a pretty solid team, so it was a good win for us. “

On winning record:
“It’s just finding a way to get it done. When people have off nights, other guys step up, and that’s the way it’s been all year. I think going forward, we’re just going to take it one game at a time. We’re excited about our season so far, and we’re excited about the future.”

On focus:
“Everybody is going to be ready to play this late in the season. Every game is so important. Everybody’s really playing for post-season play and ACC tournament play. Going forward, we’re going to have to be ready to play every game.”

Virginia senior forward Mike Scott

On team play:
“They threw the ball to me so much, that they forgot about Joe. Joe got some good shots, some easy shots, so that’s good for everyone.”

On inside-outside game:
“It was definitely important because they were double downing me and I had to make a pass. I found my teammates when the other team started double teaming me. When they’re not, then I’m just playing my game.”

On Florida State:
“They’re athletic. They’re long. They’ve got some good shooters and they’re very good defensively. It’s definitely going to be a battle. We’re two defensive teams, so that’s what it’s going to come down to, who’s going to outlast the other.”

On leadership:
“Since Assane has been out, I’ve been trying to be that leader, stepping up even more, especially defensively. I’m trying to carry my teammates.”

Clemson Senior Guard Tanner Smith

On overall performance:
“It was a grinder, guys just made shots tonight and that was just kind of the story of the game. The second half they came out and made some shots we didn’t. We had some good looks. We didn’t really turn the ball over. I think we had some really good effort tonight, but again its one of those one or two possession games that we are on the losing end of. This is a tough place to come to on the road and win so I’m encouraged with our performance, but we got to get these one or two possession wins.”

On how to avoid runs like 17-3, similar to the one against Miami:
“It’s tough. Like I said, they made some shots and the bad part about that run was that it was really quick. It was over a very short period of time, we are up 4 or 5 at halftime and all of a sudden we look up and we are down 8 and we have only played two minutes of the second half so we need to cut those runs out and we need to play better defensively.”

On Mike Scott:
“As you saw tonight, the only thing he can’t do is consistently make a half court shot, and I think that’s about it. He’s a great player, very active, unselfish, but demands the ball at big times and he did that tonight. I thought we did kind of what we wanted to do. He made some shots and sometimes you just got to live with that with a good player.”

On forcing Mike Scott out:
“He made some at the beginning and continued to make some. We had guys close out, but with him its pick your poison and we figured the farther he is away, the less the percentages are. But like I said, he made some good shots tonight.”

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