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Dec. 19, 2012

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On Virginia’s effort during the game:
“I thought it was poor. I thought we were undisciplined. I thought we weren’t sound. We didn’t respect the game in stretches. Guys did some good things, but the game is meant to be played a certain way for us.”

“[DeWayne] Jackson had a big game and made some plays, but a lot of baskets were at the rim in the second half.”

“I think our guys lost their way a little bit in that game, in my honest opinion.”

On what positives that can be taken in preparation for Old Dominion:
“We’ve got to do a lot better. We’ve got to be sounder. I thought in the first half; Taylor [Barnette] gave us some nice lifts. Some of the young guys, in stretches, gave us some good lifts.”

“I’ll watch the tape. I told our guys that I will let them know what I thought. I’ll be the first to apologize if the tape proves me wrong.”

“I think we have to sharpen up and be more disciplined, and understand what needs to be done.”

On playing against Morgan State’s size:
“They did have some size, and that probably kept us in it being active on the glass. There were some things that were done well, but there was certainly some sloppy play mixed in.”

On Paul Jesperson’s play:
“Joe [Harris] went off and we were struggling. I thought Paul did a nice job. I thought for a while that he was even okay guarding Jackson, but there was a lot of space and he started making plays against us. Paul was sharp. We leaned on him, and he got us out of that funk that we were in.”

Virginia Junior Forward Akil Mitchell

On tonight’s performance:
“We got an earful at halftime and an earful after the game. I kind of expected it. We didn’t play up to our potential defensively. I felt like we were a little rusty offensively and we let our defense slide as a result and that can’t happen.”

On coming off of a long break:
“I think it might have been [a contributing factor]. We’ve been practicing pretty hard, but there’s nothing like game situations. We were a little sped up, we couldn’t really buy a basket, and I feel like it got to us mentally.”

On Jesperson’s performance:
“Well, he stepped up big offensively and really contributed. That’s what Paul does. He’s looking for his shot and he’s got a beautiful jumper. When he can get a couple going it’s good for him.”

Virginia sophomore forward Darion Atkins

On his increasing confidence:
That’s basically what it is. When I get the ball in my hands, I’m patient with it and try to finish strong as best I can.”

On the long break before today’s game:
“We’ve got to finish stronger than that. We were pretty rusty. I’m going to say it – we were unfocused. We didn’t really take care of the ball and we really weren’t dialed in. I don’t know what it was – but I guess it was the break.”

Virginia forward Paul Jesperson:

On his shot selection:
“I tried to hunt shots a little more on the offensive end and tried to be more aggressive, and I think that it showed out there.”

On his mindset:
“I think my mindset switched coming from high school to college to not hunt shots as much and to not be as assertive. But, I’m slowly trying to get back to that mentality to help this team out and help us do better.”

Morgan State Head Coach Todd Bozeman

On the game:
“When you play a Tony Bennett team or a Dick Bennett team, you’re going to get the pack-line. I don’t think it affected us that much, I think we just had bad decisions and bad plays. They did a great job. Their defense is stingy and I thought their bigs did well.”

On the sloppy play during the game being contagious:
“We’re still growing as a team. That is a typical Dick or Tony Bennett team, no disrespect to Tony. His team plays smart basketball and they don’t force shots, and they usually don’t score that many points. They did a good job moving the ball around and getting good shots. We typically score almost 70 points, so they did a good job on us.”

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