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2011-12 Virginia Basketball Postgame Quotes
March 1, 2012
#22 Florida State 63, #24 Virginia 60

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On first half problems:
“In the first half, we weren’t attacking the game on either end. We were playing around Florida State offensively. We weren’t going at them. We weren’t solid with the ball. Even defensively I thought we were just lukewarm. In the second half, I said, ‘If you’re going to have a chance to win this game, you’re going to have to go get it-as far as you screen, as far as how you get to the lane.’ They needed more aggressiveness and more assertiveness-not taking more shots but just being assertive. They did that to a certain point.”

On the game’s turning point:
“Joe [Harris] got an offensive foul and then they hit the three. That was certainly costly. Then they hit another [three]. One was very uncontested. [Ian] Miller made a couple of tough shots with a hand in his face. But that offensive foul on Joe hurts. You need to not let the clock run down and then turn the ball over like that. For them to score that quick was obviously very costly.”

On strategy in final minute:
“We wanted to go through Mike [Scott] and get him an inside touch. I think we had an opportunity where he got the ball in the lane off the dribble. One time, Sammy [Zeglinski] or Joe [Harris] went backdoor and Mike had a shot. Then in the last possession, they were certainly fighting to keep it out of Mike’s hands. When it comes to that, they made the play and we didn’t. That’s the difference.”

On offensive foul called on Joe Harris:
“I heard the whistle. I thought they were trying to foul us or grab us. I couldn’t tell. I’ve got to watch the tape on that. Obviously they said Joe pushed off to get open, which I hope was a good call because it was certainly a pivotal play in the game. I don’t know if they were holding him first. Initially I thought, ‘Okay, they grabbed us.’ And then I saw them wave it away. That was big. We fought hard to get to that spot and then we gave it away. They made some plays, too.”

On reason behind recent late-game collapses:
“It’s not just one thing. It’s a turnover. It’s not getting a stop and suddenly they score quick. They got to a layup on a flat screen. We’ve had a couple defensive breakdowns. I don’t know if we’re hugging our guy, or if they’re so aggressive that they just make a play. Then the other team makes some big shots. I think a combination of those things happening. It would have been a great way for Mike [Scott] and Sammy [Zeglinski] to go out, but unfortunately it’s not. We’ll just have to be ready to battle on Sunday.”

On postgame message to team:
“We talked about what got us back in the game and the way they were assertive in the second half. That was important. But those things in the last few minutes-whether it was a poor defensive possession or two, a costly turnover-make the difference. I told the guys, ‘I know it stings. I wish I had words to make it better. It stings, but you’re going to be all right. We don’t have a ton of games left. You tapped into the assertiveness against a team like Florida State that you better have or else you won’t even be in the game.'”

On status of Malcolm Brogdon:
“Malcolm has a foot injury. At the right time, I’ll address the status of Malcolm and Assane [Sene].

Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton

Opening Statement:
“We knew coming into this game that Virginia would be energized, that they would be executing very well. They are one of the best ACC teams that we’ve faced all year. We got up in the first half; I thought they did a much better job executing in the second half than we did after we scored the first basket. Then I thought we had irrational turnovers, got behind and kind of sputtered there for quite a bit. They executed much better than we did in the second half, they shot 60 percent; I can’t remember the last time a team shot 60 percent in a half on us. We had to stay focused and we made the plays at the end. We got the stops at the end that gave us the opportunity to score, got some deflections. They missed a couple fouls and we had the opportunity to run the clock down and make a great shot there at the end. Virginia is a great basketball team, they’ve done a great job with this team. The ACC is such that every night you are going to have a competitive game and most of the games could go either way. In most cases in the last three or four minutes the games are in doubt. We were very fortunate to come up with the victory tonight and make that play at the end. The team that had the ball at the end was probably the team that was going to win the game.

On losing Bernard James:
“It energized [our team]. Verbally they were saying that we’ve got to pick it up, we’ve still got enough time to win. Any time you hear those types of things coming out of your kids’ mouths, their body language and communication changed totally realizing that we lost our big guy and so now everybody else had to step it up.”

On keeping the ball out of Mike Scott’s hands:
“It was very important. I mean Scott’s a handful. We held him to 28 points tonight; he was 9-15. He is just a great player, he’s poised, has great hands, he doesn’t have to make layups. He has a knack for being able to score from anywhere from 16 [feet] in. He has been probably the most difficult guy for us to defend in our league. We had to come up with all kinds of schemes and obviously it didn’t work too well tonight. He played a lot of minutes and worked so hard. They do a great job of moving him around. Tonight I thought they did a great job – the game plan was excellent. They flashed him, they cut him, and then they back screened for him. They kept him moving and that made it difficult for us to zero in on him. We trapped him a couple times there late, but then we gave up a three. We were very fortunate to come away with a victory.”

Virginia junior guard Jontel Evans

On losing the lead:
“Things unfolded. Those turnovers down the stretch at the end of the game hurt us. I don’t think we took our time on the offensive end and they hit some tough shots against us. I think those turnovers on the offensive end cost us… It wasn’t like our defense collapsed. They just made tough shot, after tough shot, after tough shot and I tip my hat to them.”

On how the team feels after a loss like this:
“It hurts. I don’t know why this one hurts so much. Maybe it is because of Sammy [Zeglinski] and Mike [Scott]. They have spent their whole career here and we just wanted them to end it on top.”

On the NCAA Tournament:
“The only thing we are thinking about right now is the Maryland Terrapins.”

Virginia senior guard Sammy Zeglinski

On the last shot:
“I thought we did a pretty good job containing him off of the ball screen, but he just made a really good shot.”

On guarding Michael Snaer:
“He is a pretty strong guard. He is 6’5″, so he got me in the post a couple of times and made some quick turnarounds, but he is pretty tough to guard.”

Virginia senior forward Mike Scott

On his feelings after a loss like this:
“We just gave that one away. That was our last chance to play one of the top teams in the ACC. That was our last chance to beat one of the best teams and we had it, but we gave it away.”

On what happened at halftime that changed Virginia’s demeanor:
“We just cranked up our defense. We were cold in the first half and our shots wouldn’t fall. It was definitely on the defensive end that we were lacking though.”

On making an ACC career-high 28 points:
“That’s good but it really doesn’t mean anything because we lost. I watched a lot of film on mid-posts and a lot of film of Carmelo Anthony, and I tried to play that mid-post the way that he did.”

On his adjustments throughout the game:
“I needed to get to the basket and get to the line. They’re long and athletic so they were trying to jump at everything. They were a lot bigger so being able to take them off the dribble was key to creating shots for me and for my teammates.”

Florida State senior guard Deividas Dulkys

Opening statement:
“This was a tough one. They played really well in the second half, I thought we had them in the first one, but they made some tough shots and played really well in the second half. When BJ [Bernard James] got kicked out that kind of motivated us a little bit. We got that fire back, we started going. We recovered and made some tough shots. It wasn’t an individual input, it was everybody doing their things, mostly doing what we’re capable of; we just had that fire going, knowing that we can do that.”

How did losing James affect the team:
“That’s the beauty of this team: we have a lot of players that can step up. BJ is one of the seniors, yes, but we still got five left. We did what we had to do and it turned out well.”

What were the defensive changes in the 2nd half?
“They made some adjustments, we didn’t adjust to those well, and they made some shots. We lost that focus we had in that first half and when they start making shots, they got the edge and got the crowd going. We kind of went back to the things we did; we still stopped them, they only scored 60 points. Our offense wasn’t moving the way it should in the second half, at least in the last few minutes.”

On winning so many close games at the end:
“We have a lot of fight in us. We fight, just little plays, little steals here and there. Of course we got some help from them missing free throws and they turned the ball over, but we try to force those plays. It’s us; it’s not one individual player. Ian hits his shot, Mike hits his shot, it’s just different guys doing different things. That’s what we’re known for.”

Thoughts on solidifying NCAA tournament bid
“It’s four years in a row. I can’t wait for selection Sunday to hear that. We still got to fight, we still got senior night coming, which will be a very emotional game; after that we have the ACC Tournament and we’ll try to win that. The NCAA Tournament is far away now. We have at least two games left, so hopefully we can win them all and put Florida State in an elite category.”

Florida State sophomore guard Ian Miller

On play in second half:
“We were stagnant offensively so I just wanted to get us going. I was feeling it, I was getting good spacing, I was feeling my shots. Just my coaches believing in me at the end to get the ball in my hands to make plays and create for myself and others. So that last shot was easy for me to take, it wasn’t really a lot of pressure, it was either do or die.”

On pressure of last shot:
“I think that because my coaches had so much confidence in me, I might have missed my last two shots, but they have enough confidence in me to put me in that position to win the game for them”

On Zeglinski’s defense at end
“As a matter of fact he [Zeglinski] smacked my left hand, but I was just locked in and by then it was too late. They played great defense, but it was just a good play and I made a good shot.”

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