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Nov. 25, 2014

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the disparity:
“I was really glad that our green machine group, like Maleek Frazier, Caid Kirven, Rob Vozenilek and Jeff Jones, got five quality minutes where they played hard. That meant the world to me because they sacrifice so much and help to make us better. We told them not to play against the score, try to execute, and do the things we want to do. The challenge was to come out the right way. Against George Washington we had trouble in the start, and I thought tonight we had a better mindset. The size differential showed with the offensive rebounds.”

On Justin Anderson and Mike Tobey:
“Justin had his feet set and good rhythm shots. That was Mike’s first double-double. For those guys to be able to step up, knock down shots, and grab the rebounds when they are there is important. I am happy for those guys and they did a great job tonight.”

On New York and LaSalle
“They are certainly a team that is talented. A lot of times they will play four guards. They have quickness, a good coach, and a good program. I have never been in the Barclay’s Center, but I hear it is a beautiful facility. It is always exciting in these tournaments to play in nice venues, go against some quality competition, and keep getting better.”

On Mike Tobey:
“I did not know this was his first double-double. I think Akil [Mitchell] stole all of those last year. An important area for us is defensive rebounding, and judging from the first few games I think Mike has improved. He is going after the ball and is stronger, and we will need that with the size we are going against throughout the year. I like that part of his game and I think it is an improved area.”

On B.J. Stith:
“Right now, we look at our rotation and we have some depth. That can fluctuate. In practice I tell him to be aggressive and explore his game a little bit. Don’t worry about missing shots or turnovers. Sometimes, young guys who are not getting many minutes play so cautiously and conservatively in practice. I want him to be aggressive in practice, same with Isaiah [Wilkins] and Marial [Shayok].

Virginia Freshman Guard B.J. Stith

On his first UVA basket:
“It was great for a split second, then I realized I had to get back to the pack line.”

On the crowd response to his name and legacy:

“It is most definitely cool. I love it. That’s why I came here. I love the atmosphere, I love the fans, and I love the people. I try not to let that get to my head too much. I try to stay grounded and stay focused on the task at hand.”

Virginia Sophomore Forward Jeff Jones

On his UVA legacy:
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, ‘You look like your dad’ when asked for a signature. I always give them a hard time, but it is cool.”

Virginia Junior Guard Justin Anderson

On the challenges of playing against a smaller program:
“We did take care of business off the jump ball. I think we came out really strong. I think Tennessee State gave us a different challenge than we have seen all year as far as their athleticism, as far as their ability to catch and shoot really fast, which made us be more disciplined in terms of getting to shooters, closing out higher, and being smarter with our ball movement and extra passes. So, they challenged us to do something different.”

Virginia Junior Forward Mike Tobey

On his first double-double:
“I was just excited to get my first double double. I was more excited that we executed well though.”

On rebounding:
“In the offseason, I really wanted to focus on rebounding. Before this game, I had been doing better than I had the past two years but I still wanted to improve more because I feel like it is important for my team. I think just being stronger has made me better.”

Virginia Junior Forward Anthony Gill

On their teamwork:
“We played together as team. We started off well and played well tonight. A lot of guys came off the bench and helped us out. Mike Tobey had his first double-double tonight and that just speaks volumes to the depth we have on our bench. We are excited to head to New York and it is going to be a lot of fun.”

On New York:
“We are looking forward to just being in a new environment. We have played a lot of games at home and just going on the road to a neutral setting and bringing our own energy will be interesting.”

Tennessee State Head Coach Dana Ford

On playing Virginia:
“They are extremely good. They’re ranked I want to say eighth in the country right now. I was an assistant coach at Wichita State for a couple years, the year before we went to the Final Four, and I see a lot of similarities because of the size around the rim. You only get one shot at it. Unbelievably disciplined, unbelievably tough, and they don’t beat themselves. I’m not going to say they’re going to go to the Final Four because it’s really hard to do, but that is definitely the best team we will play this year, and probably in the next four or five years.”

On slim chances of winning against Virginia:
“Being the coach at Tennessee State, we just got here. A lot of our guys are brand new to Division 1. We signed every single player on the roster except one after April 21st, so I think I had an idea an idea of what was going to happen here. I just didn’t know what the final score was going to be. When you’ve got guys that are shooting from everywhere, don’t turn the ball over and are sticking our smaller guys in the basket you just don’t have an answer for that. They’re a very impressive group and we were just outmanned.”

On adjustments Tennessee State made because of foul trouble:
“Foul trouble has been a problem every game, hopefully we can get Christian back soon from his wounded knee, but today our starting five who is smaller than they’re starting two, picked up two fouls in the first minute of the game which depletes your roster from the start of the game. I thought our guys fought hard, obviously this was a huge challenge, but I thought we fought until the end. We made some adjustments in the second half to get more things going to the basket because we couldn’t make a shot, but it’s very hard when you’re down a man.”

On freshman Rodney Simeon:
“I think he’s been practicing a lot better. He’s grown over the last 10 days. A lot of our guys have grown over the last 10 days because we just so happen to be playing the toughest part of our schedule right now at Vanderbilt and at Virginia, but Rodney is practicing well. I wasn’t surprised that he played a lot tonight. He had a really good pop to him and he’s only going to get better because he’s a freshman. This is his first road game because he didn’t play against Vanderbilt, so I’m encouraged by his effort tonight. And just like I tell all of the other guys to play as a hard as you can, as confident as you can, and try to do it together.”

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