Story Links

Nov. 18, 2014

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery media_icon_photogallery.gif | Photo Gallery (Matt Riley) media_icon_photogallery.gif

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the game:
“In the first half, I thought we were solid, especially defensively. We did a good job on the ball screen defense. South Carolina State kept battling and hit some tough threes that kept them in it. I think we showed some young mistakes, and even our experienced guys had some careless turnovers. I always tell our guys that those minutes are valuable when you’re in there. I wish we could have separated a little more in the second half, but we’ll learn from that.”

On defensive effort:
“We put them on the line a little too much, but I thought we did a good job guarding the ball screens. Darion [Atkins] and Anthony [Gill] were very active to start the game. They got us off to a good start. We did a good job sealing gaps on penetration and there was a lot of activity on defense, which got us going. We just need to keep being steady, make it hard for them to get the looks they want, and make our runs here and there. I think we did that. We need to limit the three-point field percentage and not allow them to get into rhythm.”

On Justin Anderson’s improved shooting:
“I think all of our guys have made subtle improvements. The offseason is all about physical improvement and skill development. Justin really tried to develop a consistent shot, and it certainly looks better. I want him impacting the game in a bunch of ways. That’s important for us. If he can continue to be consistent, it’ll stretch the floor out for us.”

On the upcoming game against George Washington:
“I know what’s coming on Friday in George Washington. They’re a tournament team and went up to Rutgers and beat them handily. They have legitimate size and are a good program and a well-coached team. We’ll have to be ready to play, and certainly we’re looking forward to it.”

Virginia Junior Forward Mike Tobey

On his performance:
“I still have a lot more to improve on. Throughout the course of the season, I need to continue to add stuff to my game.”

On his improvement since last year:
“I think that I have gotten a lot stronger which helps me with rebounding. I’m playing more aggressively. Overall, I feel like I’m a lot better now than I was starting last year. Defensively, I feel like I’m doing better things and once we start going against teams with actual size down low, I’ll be able to get more comfortable out there.”

On his match-ups:
“Playing against someone my own size will help me since I won’t be playing so much around the perimeter once ACC play starts.”

Virginia Junior Guard Justin Anderson

On the win:
“It was good to get some work in. It wasn’t just a vacation out there, so we are still working hard.”

On the team:
“We are not where we want to be yet. I say that with humility and also with thankfulness. I’m thankful that we are able to go 3-0 and for how we’ve been playing and the success that we’ve had, but we know that we have a hungry George Washington team who wants to come in here and beat us Friday. We have to remain humble, get back to the basics, and try to continue chipping away at getting to be the best that we can be.”

On the upcoming game:
“It’s a great opportunity. Whenever opportunity knocks you want to be ready to respond, and to open that door. I think that we are ready for this opportunity and George Washington is going to come in here and be fierce. Like Coach [Bennett] said before, they are a tournament team, and I actually have a high school teammate on their team so we have been talking about this game all off-season. They are a team full of great, hard-working guys, and it is going to be a duel.”

On handling the amount of games:
“We have handled it great. We are not worried about that. The moment we start worrying about everything outside of who we are playing and what we are doing as a team, I think that could be our downfall. We are ready to take on any challenges put in front of us and we’re just going to try and keep moving.”

Virginia Senior Forward Darion Atkins

On the impact of depth:
“We try to keep a great rotation of fresh guys coming in, and our freshmen are playing pretty experienced basketball. They are not making the mistakes we thought they would make. We are using our depth to our advantage, and everyone is playing well so far.”

On the upcoming George Washington game:
“Personally, I think it is a really big step up in competition. They made the tournament last year, they have a lot of experience, and they play physical basketball. It is going to be a great test on Friday.”

On the difference in starting the game tonight:
“It didn’t matter to me at all. Anthony Gill, Mike Tobey and I try not to get caught up in that. Coach Bennett stressed to us that we never know who is going to start. We just need to all come out and play our games and everything will take care of itself.”

On the opposing team’s hot shooting from 3-point range:
“I feel like those shots were pretty well contested. I think we are playing great defense trying to get stops. We are hedging out on ball screens and we are getting back to the shooters. They are just hitting tough shots.”

Virginia Junior Guard Malcolm Brogdon

On asserting himself this game versus the last two:
“I still want to get other people open, get other people involved, but I think I needed to be a little bit more aggressive in attacking the basket. I think things opened up for me in terms of getting right to the rim, but I wanted to make sure that I touched the lane, whether that was passing or shooting.”

On his baseline drives:
“I was trying to move a lot, we had our 3-game working really well, and our bigs Mike [Tobey], Darion [Atkins], and Anthony [Gill] were attracting a lot of attention at the high post area so I was just sliding to the corners trying to get the looks where I could.”

On his impression of the game:
“I thought we came out a little bit flat in terms of energy. I thought we could’ve come out more lively, and we got it going toward the middle of the game. Then we had a couple letdowns in the second half. I think we have to be more continuous on every possession. Overall, I thought we executed for the most part but I think there are some things on defense we can clean up.”

South Carolina State Head Coach Murray Garvin

On what he got out of the game:
“I get that our team improved from our first two games, and that we competed for 40 minutes with the number nine team in the country. I can coach that, and we can build off of that. We’re not into moral victories in our program, but the way our young men fought for 40 minutes, and they were locked in and concentrated, I have to commend their effort for that.”

On being pleased about finishing with only six turnovers after a rough start:
“I am. I asked them just to improve and value every possession. At the beginning, I think it was just the stage; I’m starting a freshman point guard and a sophomore wing. Karon Wright shot the heck out of the ball, but he’s a sophomore walk-on. So, I think he was a little bit jittery in the beginning. You walk out here and you’re playing the defending ACC champion, I’m sure their knees were wobbling a little bit, but they got over it.”

Defensive approach:
“We’re traditionally not a zone team, but we couldn’t match up with them individually. There’s too much talent on the floor, too big, too strong, too versatile. So, we thought zone would give us a chance, and again, we lost by 20 but I thought they had to work tonight. It wasn’t a walk in the park for them, so I can build off of this and move forward to the next game.”

Print Friendly Version