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Nov. 25, 2015

Recap | Final Stats | Notes | USATSI Photo Gallery media_icon_photogallery.gif | Photo Gallery media_icon_photogallery.gif

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the production of the bench, and whether there is a drop-off from the starters to the bench:
“The depth was good. The bench gave us a great lift, and we are getting those contributions. Mike (Tobey) was good, Darius (Thompson) was good, and I thought they brought life, Isaiah (Wilkins), all of them, and I go down the list. We were a little shot and three-point happy early, and I think we didn’t move the ball side to side, and look inside to at least try and touch the paint. Malcolm (Brogdon) had a nice pace about himself. You could see that he just was in a rhythm offensively. But I thought our bench gave us life. We got some stops and that’s the nice thing, it’s interchangeable. We can play a lot of different guys and I think that showed. Once we got into their bench, that’s where I thought they were down a little bit. They were tough to guard. They run good stuff. I think their five are fairly talented how they can score, and I know they’re picked to win their league, and I believe they’ll get going, but they just didn’t have the depth, and you saw the difference there.”

On the early problems of the game and the tight score going into the second half:
“As I said, I think they are of course better than their record and I think they’re stuff is harder to guard. Maybe a little impatient with the three ball early offensively, a few breakdowns defensively, but we’re not a knockout punch team, our way has to be just continuing to have possessions and it accumulates, and hopefully we can wear them down. We weren’t wearing them down too much offensively, so I think that let them in. It’s just kind of a battle and eventually we’re going to hopefully wear them down, and I thought that happened, but it doesn’t happen right away. We’re a possession team more than most, and I talked about how this is a game of cementing some habits. They’ve got to work to get shots, and we were a little behind playing catch up guarding their stuff because they had us moving and turning, and then once we locked in it was good. But that’s college basketball, you’re just going to fight and you’re going to be in games. I think we were fortunate to be up seven, but I thought there was a point where the tide turned, and then I thought we established what we needed to. If our guys get into that notion, `we’ve got to do it right away. Boy, I wish we were up at the media timeout. This team hasn’t won a game, we should be up by ten by now,’ that’s really wrong thinking that I think will put yourself in a hole. It’s on us doing what we have to do well over time.”

On whether Malcolm Brogdon has a sense to takeover a game when it is close like he displayed tonight:
“I think so, and Malcolm, he’s an aggressive player, I mean he looks to score. Again, he was in such nice rhythm with his shot. He got us off to a good start offensively because we were having a hard time stopping them. They hit some tough shots. That happened against George Mason, they hit some tough shots in the first half. That was a tight game, so there are capable scorers out there. The game has changed. Offensives are better now. It’s harder to be good defensively because there’s more multiple position players. I think offensive schemes are better and it challenges you. Again, we’re a defensive-first team, so we fight to do that, so you just have to keep grinding away, and eventually hopefully it will stick.”

Lehigh Head Coach Brett Reed

On what happened in the second half after a competitive first half:
“I was really pleased with our effort and our energy. We fired at the glass; our guys were playing with a great deal of passion. I liked the fact that we were even guarding and engaged with the basketball, playing defensive as best we could, sharing it and doing the best job that we could moving it around against an excellent defensive team in the first half. Unfortunately, what ended up happening during that second half stretch were some miscues, some errors, and some turnovers.”

On Virginia’s defense:
“Credit Virginia’s defense, their pressure, their length, and their size. I would say from the offensive standpoint, those turnovers we had during that stretch, we forced one shot during that stretch, and the messaging that I had for my team was when you play against great teams when you make mistakes, they capitalize.”

On Malcolm Brogdon’s offensive performance:
“It’s kind of like pick your poison because they had so many different options and so many different opportunities. I know one thing about Virginia — they love to get into the paint so they constantly probe and work in the middle. When they do that, their flare screens open up for perimeter shots, their drop down passes open up for finishes for someone who is a great player like [Anthony] Gill. [Malcolm] Brogdon was a neutralizer for what we were trying to do to take away some of that middle. He’s really a pretty special player because he made the game look so easy. He took what the defense gave him.”

Virginia Guard Marial Shayok
On his injured wrist:
“It’s sprained, but I am able to play through it so I’ll be fine. I just tried to get warm and not think about it.”

On recovering after a tough stretch of four games in six days:
“We are just going to get back to practicing and practicing hard and just trying to make sure that everything we got is going well, defensively or offensively, just work on the craft.”

On developing good habits in Charleston:
“We just tried to get our identity back. We let one slip at George Washington. We didn’t play our best, especially defensively. We just tried to get playing back to who we are and that started with our defense.”

Virginia Guard Malcolm Brogdon
On his efforts in the first half:
“I just tried to come out and be aggressive. I’m one of the better scorers on the team and if I’m not aggressive I feel like I’m doing the team a disservice. So, whether that is scoring or whether that is making aggressive plays to get people open, it’s my duty to be aggressive at the very start of the game.”

On the bench’s production:
“I think our biggest strength this season besides our defense is our depth. I think that we have multiple guards that can step in and play as well as starters and I think that we have bigs in rotation that can really play and really contribute as well.”

On the new rules:
“I think that it benefits both teams. I think that it benefits other teams against us. We play an aggressive, physical pack line defense so we have to adjust to the rules, but I think other team’s have to adjust to the rules because especially for me, I drive the ball a lot and I don’t think guys can hand-check or hip-check as much when I put the ball on the ground.”

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