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Nov. 13, 2015

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett Quotes

On getting easier baskets after a slow start on offense:

“I thought we got some decent shots in the first half. I think some guys were a little anxious. We didn’t finish the way we should have. I saw we had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half. Our shots weren’t going down. They were decent looks, but some were a little forced. Getting on the glass and getting out in transition were the two things that opened it up for us. We had a nice flurry at the end of the first half. Darius [Thompson] and Devon [Hall] gave us nice lifts. I thought that helped extend our lead. We continued on in the second half inside and were much more inside-oriented against their size.”

On how Virginia handled the new 30-second shot clock:

“I don’t think it was relevant this game. I think there will be some games where we’ll have to get the ball up the floor quicker. When teams are set and hard to score against, we’ll have to rotate the ball more so that’ll come into play. Hopefully, when we’re locked in defensively, it’ll be hard for teams. We forced a few shot clock violations tonight, but time will tell on that one.

On the play of Darius Thompson:

“He’s long and he gets his hands on balls in the passing lane on defense. He’s good in the open court. He gives us a dimension that we haven’t had. Devon, Marial [Shayok], Evan [Nolte], and Darius were all guys I considered starting. I think Darius gives us another ball-handler out there since he played some point guard at Tennessee. I like the notion of having three ball-handling guards out there, and I like Devon and Marial’s scoring lifts off the bench. Tonight, I went with Evan as more of a forward sub.”

On the play of Mike Tobey:

“He looks a little stronger and a little more explosive. He made some nice up-and-unders. He showed goods hands on the catch, so that was good to see. He and Anthony [Gill] had nine offensive rebounds between them in the limited time they were out there.”

On mixing Jack Salt and Jarred Reuter into the rotation:

“I thought Jarred Reuter did a good job and you saw Jack Salt’s physicality. You saw our depth tonight. I believe it will be a game-to-game kind of rotation depending on what kind of teams we play. I’ll study George Washington, but I know how they challenged us last time and how physical they are. There are going to be times where you need physicality. That’s where guys like Jack or Jarred have a chance to get in there. You can’t always play 10 or 11 guys like this, so that’s where it gets tricky. Those guys could certainly be a part of the equation.”

On the ovation Jack Salt received when he entered the game:

“He’s one of the more likable guys you’ll ever be around. He’s a good guy, but I didn’t realize [the ovation]. Maybe they’re all rugby fans in the crowd.”

Virginia Redshirt Senior Forward Anthony Gill

On the way Virginia was able to control the glass and score in the paint:

“I think at the beginning of the game we had a little bit of the jitters. We didn’t come out as strong as we should. We weren’t finishing as strong as we should have. Me personally, I wasn’t going in and was finishing soft. I made the [change in] mindset to go out there and finish everything to the best of my ability. We did have a size advantage, so we wanted to key in on that and offensive rebound as best as we could.”

On Darius Thompson’s performance tonight:

“I think we got a glimpse of what he was capable of. We saw what a couple other guys on the team were capable of, too. Devon Hall had a really strong game for us. Jared Reuter got into the game at the end and played really strong. I think he had a lot of rebounds. Jack Salt, too. These guys are really talented guys. We’re so deep that you might not be able to see them as much as they normally would like to play. But, we do have a deep team and that’s a positive of what Coach Bennett has done here. We have guys that are ready to step up at any time and we don’t miss a beat.”

On Devon Hall’s growth as a player:

“I think he’s really matured as a person. Last year he played with a pressure that he put on himself. He always thought Coach Bennett was going to get mad at him or something like that. But this year he really decided that he was going to go out there and just play for the team. That’s what he’s doing. A lot of times guys get caught up in what the coaches think of them. You want to please the coaches as much as you can, but you also want to get the job done. He understands that completely.”

On what the team is expecting from George Washington:

“They are a really strong team. We’re going to go into a crazy environment. They have everyone back from last year, so we just have to be ready for their best punch. We have to be ready for that kind of environment, too. They have a small gym with the fans right on top of you.”

On the 1-13 start shooting to the game:

“I don’t really remember all of the misses, but I do remember the makes. We just kept fighting until we could put the ball in the bucket. Guys like Darius [Thompson] and London [Perrantes]. He was really aggressive for us today. Maybe the box score won’t show that, but London was really aggressive and started out the aggression we needed for the rest of the game.”

Virginia Redshirt Sophomore Darius Thompson

On his alley-oop play toward the end of the first half:

“At the end of the possession they were coming down trying to [run an] isolation and get a last second shot, and London [Perrantes] happened to make a big block and Marial [Shayok] kicked it out to him. He happened to kick it out to Devon [Hall] so it was a 2-on-1 situation. Devon [Hall] decided to throw it up to me, so I just had to go get it.”

On playing his first game at Virginia:

“I wouldn’t say I was nervous. It was just a weird feeling being out there again. It has basically been a year and a half since I’ve been out there. It was fun going out there, and I’m looking forward to competing the rest of the season with my team.”

On starting the game:

“I knew coming into the game [that I would start] because after warming up, we went into the locker room and on the board it had my name on there. It wasn’t a big surprise because we have been working on a first string group in practice, and it is not much of a big deal. Whoever comes into the game has to do the best they can. We are a really deep team, so anybody can start at any time.”

On takeaways from tonight’s game:

“I feel like coming in, it’s the first game so everybody’s shots weren’t falling like they do in practice. But that’s just what comes along with it being the first game, getting shots up, and getting used to playing in front of people. I feel like as the season goes on we will get better at making shots and just playing how we play.”

Virginia Redshirt Sophomore Devon Hall

On the first game of the season:

“I just tried to tell myself to get back to having fun with basketball. I told myself to stop thinking so much and go out and have fun. I tried to make plays where I could and be aggressive.”

On Darius Thompson and what he can bring to the team:

“He is extremely athletic. He runs the wing, he’s aggressive, he makes plays, he’s unselfish. I love playing with him, he makes everybody better and I’ve got a lot of respect for his game. He brings a lot to the table for us.”

On game vs. George Washington next week:

“I know they are really talented and it’s going to be a huge test to play in a hostile environment. With their size and their athleticism, they obviously have great talent so it’s going to be a good test for us.”

Virginia Junior London Perrantes

On the depth of the team:

“We have a bunch of players that can score the ball as you can see. We are pushing the ball a lot more. Just going out and playing against someone else’s team definitely showed how much we have.”

On shooting in the first half:

“It was just getting used to it. Games and practices are a whole different story. When you go out and play a game against somebody else you have jitters, and the crowd pumping you up, things like that.”

On being more aggressive with his shooting:

“There was a time where Coach Bennett brought me in front of the team and said, ‘You need to shoot the ball more.’ So from then on I’ve just been shooting the ball more and we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the season.”

Virginia Senior Mike Tobey

On being back on the court:

“Just being out there and being in JPJ hearing the band, and all the stuff, the smoke, all that stuff just reminds you of the season and so many great memories and this being my last year. For me personally, it feels great but I know everyone on the team is just so excited to play after practicing for so long.”

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