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Dec. 5, 2015

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett Quotes

On UVA’s success in scoring fast break points:

“That is important for us. Points off turnovers were, on the stat sheet, 20-2 in our favor. I thought that we capitalized on those and made some plays in transition. That is one of the things you guys asked me early in the year. What does Darius [Thompson] bring? I think he is good in the open court. He brings a different dimension that way, and he slashes, as you saw today. But those are valuable buckets off of a turnover or a couple easy ones if the defense isn’t back and set, as they did to us a couple of times.”

On the half court offense:

“We were sluggish. They are a very containment, pack line oriented. A couple times when we thought maybe they were in a zone, we were slow getting into stuff. You’re right about that Chris. It just seemed like, you know we wanted to go inside, we wanted to make a play. But we were out of sync with our timing. We always talk about pace and timing in the offense. I thought both were below average today. Some nice plays were made, but it was a so-so half court, man-to-man offensive effort. Even against the zone I thought we were just so-so, but that is why those open court buckets were good. And then I thought defensively, that is a team that will test you. You have to be disciplined in your stance and work. I thought we were ready defensively to guard all the Princeton action that they are really good at.”

On Virginia’s balance offensively:

“I think Anthony [Gill] got it going, Evan Nolte gave us a nice lift. I don’t know if they changed or not, but we needed that bounce and you know, without London [Perrantes], it is a little different. He accounts for some points, but also creates for some interior guys off quick plays. So perhaps that is why we were a little out of sync offensively. But balance is huge. Movement inside, outside, touching the paint, a couple big offensive rebounds, drawing fouls. When your offense is not clicking, you need to get in all those other areas that are important, and then your defense has to stay in there.

On defense compared to against Ohio State:

“Yeah, it was better. You have to be continuous against William & Mary because they are always back cutting, lifting up, and they are pretty much playing four perimeters. They are different than some teams. They didn’t shoot it particularly well from 3 [point range], but they are capable off the dribble. They try to get some buckets in transition and they really attack you off the dribble. Omar Prewitt early, he was hard for us to handle. You can see [Daniel] Dixon could get some shots, but he split some ball screens too. So they put pressure on you off the bounce, and then they are always moving it. So, you have to sustain your defensive stance and possession for most of the clock. You know they are trying to wear each other down.”

On London Perrantes’ status coming off his appendectomy:

“We will find out when we practice tomorrow. We will get a feel for it. He has not practiced yet. We are hopeful, and I don’t think there have been any setbacks.”

On the team’s progress as a whole at 7-1:

“We are just trying to take steps. Going on the road without London [Perrantes], playing a good team in William and Mary, those are two positive things with room for improvement. Now you head into a game against a very physical, pressure-oriented team that is playing good basketball in West Virginia. We have two days to prepare, so our depth has helped us. We are going to need that, and different guys have to step up at different times. I’m just interested in us becoming sounder defensively, and better in the half court offensively from this game, and we will find some more things to work on from the tape.”

Virginia Senior Guard Malcolm Brogdon Quotes

On scoring more in transition this season compared to last season:

“I think Coach Bennett has really pushed us to get out in transition and get easier buckets, and not to try to play as far into the shot clock to make it easier for ourselves on offense. But honestly, I think Darius [Thompson] has been a huge key. A lot of the time he leaks out when he’s not supposed to but it does contribute. AG [Anthony Gill] and these guys are rebounding really well for us this year and we get the ball out. Darius is pushing no matter what. Sometimes we get highlight plays but sometimes we just get the defense on their toes so we can get really into our offense.”

On not scoring for a long time after scoring ten points in the first six minutes:

“I missed maybe my next three or four shots and once I cooled off I figured I wouldn’t be as aggressive. I felt like AG and other guys were getting into their rhythm so I thought the ball needed to keep moving and I would take my opportunities when I could because we were in such a good flow and building a lead.”

On playing at Madison Square Garden:

“Being able to play in a gym that has so much history behind it, and against a team like West Virginia, gets your adrenaline pumping. It is going to be a great experience for us to play away against a very good team.”

Virginia Senior Forward Anthony Gill Quotes

On the change of who was scoring in the second half:

“I really think they started keying in on Malcolm [Brogdon] which made it a lot easier for everyone else. He’s such a great player and draws so much attention which makes it a lot easier for everyone else to get their shots and opportunities to score.”

On Darius Thompson’s highlight dunk today:

“It better be an ESPN Top 10 play, it better be number one. That’s the craziest dunk I’ve seen in person in a long time. He’s so athletic and has the capability to do that on every play so you have to look out for him and be careful.”

On tightening up defensively on the inside:

“It was a point of emphasis this week. William & Mary is a team that likes to get inside to the paint and kick out for wide-open threes. So myself, Isaiah [Wilkins], Mike Tobey, and Jack Salt knew we had to be in there to clog it up and make it easier for our guards out there on the wing.”

On playing at Madison Square Garden:

“With such a historical place like that its always special to go in there and play where the greats have played. People like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson have played there. It’s a part of history that we get to be a part of. We’ve played there before and haven’t gotten a win yet so going into this game we’re really hungry, not only to win at Madison Square Garden but also to keep winning and be the best UVA team we can be.”

On Evan Nolte’s contribution today:

“Evan is great. He always shows up to practice and never complains about minutes or anything like that. That showed today. Every year when we go into the tournament Evan is always contributing to the run we have. That speaks volumes to who he is. He’s never looking for the fame or anything like that. He’s just trying to help the team when he is called on and he did that tonight.”

On London Perrantes’s injury:

“He’s coming along well. I think you guys saw him today in warmups and he looked good. That injury is just dependent on the player. I think it’s just a coincidence that it’s happened two years in a row for us. Hopefully it doesn’t happen next year. London will be fine and back as soon as he’s ready.”

Virginia Senior Center Mike Tobey Quotes

On playing in Madison Square Garden next week:

“I used to love going there. It was always a lot of fun, and being from New York makes it a big deal. I remember one game where Stephon Marbury went off for 40 points. That’s old school. That’s probably my second best memory from there with the first being the Sweet 16 [in 2014].”

On the team’s performance thus far:

“I think we’re starting to play Virginia basketball again defensively. Personally, I’ve been off my rhythm sometimes, but I think it’s going to be there once we start ACC play.”

On the play of Darius Thompson:

“He does a great job defensively and gets a bunch of steals. Obviously, he’s got the athleticism. That dunk tonight was a lot of fun. He’s a great addition for us and does a really good job of picking our pace up a bit when he plays in transition.”

Virginia Senior Forward Evan Nolte Quotes

On being used in different ways this season: “I think I can play guard or play in the post. It depends on the team we’re playing and what they do best. I don’t mind it at all. Everyone has their strengths. I usually pop out [on the wing], but today I thought I’d take it to the basket. It’s a good feeling to contribute like that.”

On the importance of role players on the team:

“When guys like that get their opportunities, they can create things on the court that not a lot of people realize. If you have guys that are willing to do those things, that’s how a team takes the next step.”

William and Mary Head Coach Tony Shaver Quotes

Opening statement:

“There is one stat line that I know is going to be glaring and that was our turnovers. Turnovers were the difference in the ball game. I understand a team of that quality makes you do some things that aren’t characteristic, but our decision making as a ball club was very poor today. It was a tough loss, and they are a very talented basketball team. They can beat you a lot of ways, but I am disappointed that we didn’t play better. We can play better than we did.”

On UVA’s transition game:

“19 turnovers and 20 points off of turnovers can’t happen. Honestly, I thought our 5-on-5 defense was really good tonight, but you can’t give up 19 turnovers and what we call pick-sixes, almost every single one of those turnovers was a dunk on the other end. It takes our chance to win away. I’m not afraid to run with them. We like to run in the transition game, but we can’t turn it over that many times against a team this good and expect to be successful. I’ll give them credit for that, it’s not just us. We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”

On the technical foul:

“There was a lot of body contact through-out the night, I don’t know. I’m just a competitive old man that wants to be successful, and we weren’t today.”

On any surprises from UVA:

“I think I was surprised by their size at every position. We knew they would be bigger than we were, but their size and length and quickness of their hands did surprise me. We expected them to be disciplined and patient on both ends of the floor, which they are. I really admire how they play, and Tony Bennett is one of the best coaches I’ve ever seen. We weren’t surprised by their discipline but they are better athletes, which we shouldn’t have been surprised about since they have played and beat some pretty good teams over the past few years.”

On UVA playing without London Perrantes:

“That is a quality player that they didn’t play, but we didn’t really think we could exploit them at that position. I don’t think it changed how they played and I don’t think it changed how we approached the game. I admire their principles. Today was about us. We had to execute our stuff and we didn’t take care of ourselves. What I admire greatly about them is that their principles are so solid, their foundation is so strong, they just take care of themselves. I didn’t think with Perrantes out it would change it would change how they play at all. I think sometimes we are a tough team to prepare for, the way we play, but again I admire that it doesn’t impact them. We play NC State or some other people, and we are hard to play against. It reminds me of my time at UNC with Dean Smith. We spent very little time preparing for opponents, because he knew that if we did our job well, and took care of our principles well, that we could defend anything they threw at us. I really feel that’s how Virginia approaches things. Our offense might have worried them a little bit, but they just played their principles really well and knew our personal very well, too.”

On the team’s resilience:

“We cut it to six there twice with plenty of time left, and honestly had two of our better defensive possessions, but Anthony Gill made those two NBA style fade away jump shots that we would love to see him take on a consistent basis, those were really big shots. We had to do three things today to win this ball game, and one was to compete a really high level, and I think we competed. The second is that we had to be a resilient club and I think we were resilient. We took a good shot early and kept battling. Three we had to win the battle of taking care of the little things, the execution side and we certainly did not win that battle. They did a much better job in those areas than we did.”

On Oliver Tot:

“He did a really good job. He’s been out three or four weeks with a pretty serious ankle injury. Unfortunately, we played I think four games in eight days when he came back so he had very little practice time. I think this past four days is the first time he has really been healthy for us. It was good to see him out there and I think he did settle our club down a bit. We are not getting really great point guard play right now, so we need someone to step up there for us. It was really great to see him on the floor.”

On Daniel Dixon:

“Daniel was terrific in the second half. We need him to play like that for 40 minutes, but he was the one player for us in the second half who was a great decision maker. He drove it when he had the opportunity to and he took threes when he had the opportunity. He was terrific and I think this gave him a lot of confidence that he could do that against a quality club like this.”

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