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2011-12 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
February 25, 2012
#7 North Carolina 54, #25 Virginia 51

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On some calls that went against Virginia:
“I have to watch the tape. Right now it wouldn’t be wise of me to comment on the calls, but you know we had a chance. We had a chance. We took care of the ball better. We were better on the glass, but I thought a couple of our breakdowns late defensively cost us. A few ill-advised shots but we had a chance. The heart was there. We had to be a little unconventional at times, but I thought a lot of our young guys played their guts out, which I liked. And you got 6 of 23 in some of the looks we have from three. We have to be able to make a few more on that.”

On the young players stepping up:
“I thought they fought. I like to see how they guarded, rebounded, they stuck their nose in there, made some plays in traffic, which a game of this magnitude you’re going to have to, so it was nice to see. I think they all did some good things, a lot of improvement, a lot of room for improvement, but they gave us a good lift.”

On the offense with different players in the game:
“I thought we had a nice rhythm to start the second half. We were moving, trying to get Mike moving and getting some touches in better scoring areas. Then at times when he wasn’t in we tried to spread the floor a little more and attack off penetration and Jontel did a good job with that. But they are long and when you get into the lane, you think you have something and usually they alter the shot or bother it. We had a few right there, some layups, some wide open threes that could have been pivotal in that game. They made some tough plays and again you have to play 40 minutes to beat a team like that and we didn’t quite do that.”

On Mike Scott’s poor shooting:
“I think they did a good job on him defensively. He’s played so well and carried us. He was off and maybe was settling a little on the outside. I thought in the second half, when we started, he looked great because he got drives and he got going a little bit and was moving with more purpose. I thought he got going then he got his third foul and his forth foul pretty quick so it was a very interrupted game for him. I think the foul trouble affected us a little defensively down there. We needed to play with everything we have and fight for position. I thought at times we were a little tentative down low. We were a little afraid to come off and help. We didn’t have the right kind of anticipation defensively. They got a couple of dunks there at the rim at crucial times and a few key offensive rebounds. We got lifted on that last one. It was very untimely. “

On Carolina’s adjustments defensively in the second half to defend the 3-point line:
“I think we got some great looks. Paul got a great look. Joe got a great look. Sammy, Malcolm they were really in rhythm. The last shot Mike took, the three, that was wide open. That was fine. I think it was under a minute. That was ok. He’s been shooting those. I thought we got decent looks just for going through it. That’s a bit of a high number of attempts we took. We had a little trouble, well we got to the lane but scoring we didn’t get many post ups. They’re hard to score against and the quality of shots were good. Again I think we got decent looks and took care of the ball, so you have to stick those when you get them.”

On the last few possessions:
“I told them though we had some breakdowns, we had a chance to win it or push it into extra minutes in the last three possessions, so you have to obviously say you had your chance and we did. Mike’s was a great look in rhythm under a minute. Sammy’s was a good look. The last one was ok but there were certainly opportunities. “

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams

Opening Statement:
“That was an extremely competitive, yet somewhat ugly basketball game. You have to congratulate both teams’ defense, because I thought both teams played so hard. It was a struggle for us to find a play to run or to find a shot that we could make. There were a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers late, but [Tyler Zeller] made a big time play. We ran about three different set plays and we kept getting shots. We messed up on the defensive end late in the game and let Zeglinski get a wide-open shot to challenge. We were very lucky that it didn’t go in. That’s the bottom line. We did have all the fouls, so we wanted to try to use them and not give them too much time to run a play. Sometimes that worked and it helped us. At two or three seconds left, when Harrison [Barnes] was on the line, I thought that was it. But we gave them another chance, and we were very lucky. Harrison [Barnes]’s turnover, and Reggie [Bullock}’s turnover; you have to give Virginia credit because they came up with the turnovers. John [Henson]’s play inside when he got switched off with Jontel [Evans] and blocked the shot, that was big. I thought [Tyler Zeller] was huge for us today, we passed the ball to him and his play was big. If you go down the stat sheet line, he’s 7-11 and nobody else comes close: 4-10, 3-15, 0-6. He carried us a great deal of the time.”

On adjusting after the first half:
“The first half was full of bad shots. Harrison [Barnes] took some bad shots, when [Tyler Zeller] picked up the second foul inside the four-minute time out, we took him out. We weren’t getting very good position inside, but we wanted to go inside because we have a size advantage in there. They did a great job of forcing us off the blocks. They did a great job of swarming. John [Henson], for example, when he got in late in the first half he had a forfeit to the basket twice in a row. Their defense, they really swarm the basketball and I think that’s something we understand, but he still weren’t able to do much with it. We got better spacing at the end. We went to a different set, but that gives coaching too much credit. We started running 41, which is a different set we run. It got us a little bit better spacing. John [Henson] and [Tyler Zeller] really made some good passes to each other. [Tyler Zeller] missed a dead lay-up on one of those passes too. We missed some opportunities and so did they. It was a hard-fought game; it was a tough ass game.”

On Mike Scott’s play:
“We were lucky because he missed some shots he usually makes. But John [Henson] and [Tyler Zeller] really stayed on him most of the time. They have that size that can bother Mike Scott’s outside shot. But again, it was a problem for them when he got into foul trouble just like it was a problem for us. Mike Scott and Tyler Zeller were both sitting on the bench in the last four minutes of the half. I think he was 1-8 at half and 2-5 in the second, which is not typical of his numbers to say the least.”

On the foul against Mike Scott:
“[John Henson] whipped back because there was an elbow in his face. They went over and looked at it to see if it was something else, but it wasn’t. I don’t think that John [Henson] is that good of an actor and his face doesn’t run into too many elbows. I’m not saying that it was flagrant, but it was a foul. I don’t think that there was any reason to draw a foul there, and you certainly don’t want to draw it with your face on someone’s elbow. That’s not very pleasant.”

On the Carolina rebounds:
“It’s strange, because I would have thought [Virginia] had 25 offensive rebounds. One time Jontel [Evans] drove through and missed a lay-up, we didn’t box out and [Joe] Harris got the rebound to put it back in. I remember those kinds of plays. Defensively, we did pretty well. They’re hard to guard. Mike Scott is a really good player, [Sammy] Zeglinski can shoot, [Joe] Harris is getting a little more comfortable with that splint on his hand, and Jontel [Evans] can really drive to the basket. They’re hard to guard. But we were much better defensively on the backboards than we were offensively. It was the opposite of Wednesday night in Raleigh.”

Virginia senior guard Sammy Zeglinski

On his three-point attempt in the final minute:
“I got a good look. It just didn’t go down for me.”

On loss:
“It was tough. I thought we played hard, and we definitely had a chance to pull it out in the end. We just couldn’t knock down that shot to get us over the hump. I thought we played pretty well throughout the night. We played the game at our tempo. It was tough with the foul trouble. We battled, definitely.”

On changes compared to the first match-up with UNC:
“[We had] rebounds and made them work on the offensive end, made them take tough shots. I thought we did a good job of gang rebounding. They obviously got their offensive rebounds. They’re a great offensive rebounding team. I thought we battled for the most part.”

Virginia freshman forward Darion Atkins

On match-ups with tall teams:
“It was obviously tough. We just have to be ready for Florida State. Playing against these guys, boxing out was key, so we tried our best to do that.”

On freshmen:
“Having three freshmen in the game, we’re not as experienced as the other players. We tried to come out and play our game. Coach just old us to calm down, play smart, and try not to make as many mistakes as we did in games before. We’re just trying to come out and give our all, try to help the team in any way we can, so we get the W’s.”

On losing at home:
“It was our house. We wanted to defend it. It was obviously closer here. It was a better game here. Over there, they had the crowd and all the stuff like that. They had that on their side. Over here, we had that, and we needed to use that. We tried. This one stung more because it was a close game and we played harder. In the game over there, we sort of gave out in the second half. We gave them easy looks. We just kind of shut down defensively. Here, we stayed in. We fought. This one definitely stung a lot more.”

Virginia junior guard Jontel Evans:

On game:
“We fought so hard. It was a great atmosphere with our fans. There was a lot of energy. It just hurts to fall short.”

On loss:
“It is tough. There were a lot of plays we should have made, but we didn’t and that kind of hurt us. “

On preparation for the rest of the season:
“We just forget about it. We can’t do anything about it now. It’s over with. We’ve got to focus on Florida State on Thursday.”

North Carolina Senior Forward Tyler Zeller

On change in the second half:
“I think the biggest part was we just started moving quicker and better. We got a little stagnant at the beginning of the second half and our movement wasn’t great. I think our movement got better and we became tougher to guard.”

On closing seconds of the game:
“It’s tough because you don’t want to foul and give them three free throws. We were doing as much as we could, just trying to make it as difficult with as little time left as possible.”

On pulling off tough win at this point in the season:
“It helps a lot, especially with the tournament coming up. This is not really something you can simulate in practice. You have to be able to make plays, we can’t have Reggie slip up like he did and give them an open shot like that, but it’s something we can work on.”

On free throw shooting:
“John did a great job, 7-8 I think, it’s something we’ve struggled with at times, but we’re doing a great job of it right now.”

North Carolina Junior Forward John Henson

On tempo change in the second half:
“We picked it up a bit, we got more space and we got their big guys in foul trouble.

On guarding Mike Scott
“Guarding him, he’s going to hit his shots if you guard him, so the thing we had to do was get him into foul trouble. He can’t be effective when he’s not on the court. He’s probably one of the best offensive big men probably in the ACC and the country so getting him in foul trouble and off the court was a big thing for us.”

On slowing down Jontel Evans late in the game
“Well, when the clock goes under 10 we switch so it’s usually big on the guard. With my size, at the rim I think I can win that most of the time and fortunately I got a block.”

North Carolina Sophomore Guard Kendall Marshall

On effect this win has for rest of the season:
“It’s big, it’s big. First of all Virginia is a very, very good team. Even with the loss of their big man, Sene, they’re still able to come together and still play good basketball. They’re a very tough team so to be able to come in here, compete with them, and get a win on the road. I think we shot low 30 percent, that’s huge. You can look at all the negative things, but for us to still be able to win that game I think is the ultimate positive.”

On play from first to second half:
“I don’t know if there was much difference, they were both ugly. Like I said, Virginia’s defense is very physical, they’re very tough, and we didn’t do as good a job moving from the offensive end. We were very stagnant and didn’t get the shots that we wanted. I think it’s a lot harder to speed a team up than slow a team down. Their pace is a lot more methodical than ours, they’re still looking to shoot the ball but they don’t mind waiting to get the best possible shot to where we want to make it as many possessions as possible. So to be able to play a game like this, same thing as Wisconsin, it’s still a win and I think that’s big for our team.”

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