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Jan. 7, 2015

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On Virginia’s three-point shots:
“I don’t mind when they [N.C. State] post trap and we kick it across when our guys are set, but if you look at the amount of threes we took, and the time on the shot clock, sometimes the ball rotates and touches the paint. I complement our guys, because I thought our defense took a step in the right direction tonight. We bothered and contested shots, but offensively, we didn’t exploit some of the mismatches we had. We lacked the ability to rotate the ball and wear them down. We were a little trigger happy tonight and we need to understand we have to play both ends.”

On Justin Anderson’s pass to Mike Tobey:
“If we scored it’s the right play, if we didn’t it’s not. It didn’t look like it was going to unfold the way that it did. It was a clean pass, and that was an important basket. You saw how quickly they could score, so if he had turned it over it wouldn’t have been the right play, but we made it and it put us up 10 points.”

On the match-ups:
“We told Justin Anderson to just be a road block; spread out and keep him in front as best as you can, because Cat Barber is really quick. We thought that was a good matchup. London Perrantes is really good at eluding screens and, at first, we thought Malcolm Brogdon would be good on Trevor Lacey. Malcolm is good against a guy who makes tough shots. A couple of Ralston Turner’s three’s no one was going to stop, and a couple were contested. I have no problem with shots that are made if we are bothering them and up near it. I do think the length of Malcolm Brogdon was good, London Perrantes did a good job on Lacey, and Justin Anderson, too. Mariel Shayok gave us a nice lift offensively, as well.”

On the defense:
“I don’t think we are where we need to be defensively, I think we have limitations. I told the team it is about percentages, and if you can bother and contend and win the majority of the percentages. I do not think they will be perfect, but can you win the majority and outlast them as the game goes on? We have to have that mentality. We aren’t going to dominate and we need to win the majority.”

On going against shooting teams:
“Against Davidson and Miami, and looking at the three perimeter players tonight against NC State, we are going against teams that have scorers in most positions. That is the challenge, to be able to bother the majority of their shots. We did a good job, and we did well on the glass. Both teams were fatigued, and that is where being at home helped. They had a couple tough shots, and we picked up a couple of charges. We felt a little uneasy, but our guys battling through gave us the edge.”

On starting Darion Atkins:
“Before Darion got hurt he was starting, and now he is fully healthy. I said if BeeJay Anya was going to start I was going to start Mike Tobey and Darion Atkins, and if they started Abu, I was going to start Anthony Gill. I think Darion gives us the ability to blow up ball screens. He is active and quick, and I wanted to have a little bit of a defensive approach to start the game.”

NC State Head Coach Mark Gottfried

Opening statement:
“I thought my team competed really hard and played extremely hard. I think with about eight minutes to go we took the lead and then we had a drought there, so I’ve got to give Virginia credit for that. We had some breakdowns that just really hurt us. We had some offensive fouls called, we had a couple where we didn’t block out. They had two putbacks–two or three in a row. We didn’t finish the game. A lot of good things that we did, we just didn’t finish the game.”

On the game:
“It’s always both teams. It’s never one team. They are certainly really good defensively. I thought we were our own worst enemy, too. It was kind of half and half there. We had some empty offensive treasures, missing foul shots, we had some offensive fouls called on us, we had a turnover. Starting the second half, we missed four foul shots. We didn’t score very much, but neither did they. I thought we were playing terrific defense ourselves, and neither team had really gotten going until they hit that 10-0 run. We did a lot of good things. We defended them really well. We just had that stretch were we had too many breakdowns.”

On NC State’s defense:
“Our defense is getting better. Obviously, that 10-0 run hurt us, but other than that, we did a lot of good things, defensively. We took a number of good charges, we moved our feet really well, and we made it hard for them to score. For our group coming on the road playing the third-ranked team in the country, there was a lot of positive things. It is frustrating for us that we had to find a way, with eight minutes to go, to be better than we were.”

On Kyle Washington:
“He was really looking to score. I like his aggressiveness. I don’t know if there was anything natural about it, but he did a nice job. He made a couple jumpers early, he missed a couple foul shots here and there, but he did really well.”

On what to look forward to:
“We came on the road against the third-ranked team in the country, and with eight minutes to go we had a one-point lead. It’s just at that point forward, how do we get better? How do we correct what happened? That’s what we have to look at and address. Whether it’s offensive execution, whether it’s defensive blockouts, whether it’s turnovers, we had too many of those during that stretch. I think there’s a lot of positive things to build on. Obviously, we know we’ve got a tough one coming up soon, and we’ve got to get ready for the next one real fast.”

Virginia Junior Guard Justin Anderson

On Virginia’s defense:
“We changed in practice. We knew that two games in a row we didn’t execute defensively to our standard, and coach wanted to ramp it up this week. He got after us leading up to this game. I think we came out start to finish on edge and we did a good job.”

On Virginia holding NC State in second half:
“It felt like we were holding them, but then something magical would happen with them. Whether it was [Trevor] Lacey getting the ball, fading away then coming down and pulling up or [Kyle] Washington hitting shots. It felt like we were playing good defense and sometimes something would spring up, but hats off to them because they’re a great team.”

On Trevor Lacey’s Shot Clock Buzzer Beater:
“Yeah, well he can fill it up. He has a flame-thrower. He and [Ralston] Turner can shoot the lights out of the ball. But, we were at a pretty comfortable stage. I think we got a couple good offensive possessions. We knew that we couldn’t let them come down and get another one like that so we adjusted quickly, and did a good job of bouncing back.”

Virginia Senior Forward Darion Atkins

On Virginia feeling tired after hard game against Miami:
“Miami was a hard game that took a lot out of us, but we rose to the occasion tonight and can adjust to anything.”

On Virginia holding NC State in second half:
“I was really happy with our performance at the end of the second half because we laid it down defensively.”

On Mike Tobey:
“I talk to him and push him around in practice, and he is getting better. He is always going to rise to the occasion.”

On his defense:
“Coach Bennett prides me on my defense and thinks I am a defensive anchor in the post. I tried my best in this game and I think the Miami game showed it really well.”

Virginia Junior Guard Malcolm Brogdon

On guarding Ralston Turner in the second half:
“I just tried to contest his shots. He’s one of the best shooters in college basketball, and I think just having your hands there and active in front of him can make all of the difference.”

On his consistent role of guarding the opposing team’s best shooters:
“I enjoy guarding the player who is playing the best on the other team. That is part of my identity and part of my role on the team to lockdown that player. I ask the coaches for it.”

On guarding both Ralston Turner and Trevor Lacey:
“I thought they had a lot of threats on the offensive end. I think they switched me onto [Ralston] Turner after he got going a bit and I tried to slow him down as much as I could.”

On pulling away at the end of the game:
“I thought it was a struggle at the begging of the second half, but I think we started to get the ball inside more and were more patient, and that was the key for us.”

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