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Dec. 19, 2015

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett Quotes

On what made the Virginia offense effective today:

“We hit our shots. We shot the three-ball well and made our free throws. We broke their pressure a couple of times and got some easy baskets. Guys just played well offensively. They had us rattled. We had 12 turnovers, but I thought in the second half we got into the paint and made the extra pass. Those were all big shots. Eight of 12 from three is obviously significant.”

On Virginia’s patience on offense:

“We had to try and wear them down. It was hard to get the ball to shift against them because they’ll switch some of your screens and overplay. But you have to do that against a good defense and take advantage of some inside plays and on the glass. The more you can do that and string together a few more passes, it’ll wear them down. When they really turned up the pressure, we made some plays off the dribble. Malcolm was splitting the trap, London and Anthony were attacking, and plays were made.”

On the team’s energy level:

“Our guys understood that this is one of the better four-guard teams you’ll play against. When [Kris] Jenkins starts shooting the ball, it becomes an issue. All three or four of their perimeter guys can really attack. I’ll tell you a key. It’ll go unnoticed but not to me. When we put Mike Tobey in, I told him, ‘You’re a foul magnet. You’ve got to figure this out. You’re picking up these fouls so quick. We can’t keep you out there.’ But when he came in and guarded [Daniel] Ochefu one-on-one, we didn’t have to trap. I thought that was pivotal for us. He really did a good job for stretches on defense. I think that was a little thing that made a big difference. They made us pay a couple of times when we didn’t block out or we lost vision. They got some easy buckets. But our offense made up for that tonight.”

On Virginia’s defensive effort:

“I thought we had some great stretches of defense. We were swarming and in position. What hurt us was when we had breakdowns. Those things were costly. But we had some nice stretches. We have to keep coming and keep whittling away. I told them, ‘You’ll never play perfect defensively, but you’ve got to take away some of those bad habits.’ It was better in the second half. But you can never relax on Villanova and those perimeter guys with their attacking and their shot.”

On the performance of London Perrantes:

“London stepped up. Early, he was a little frustrated with some of his turnovers. I could see it in his eyes. But he knows when to step up and be assertive. He did it against West Virginia in the second half. He made some big plays getting to the paint and hitting his threes. We needed to answer Villanova. I wish we could have held them down more, but we needed all of our offense to beat them today.”

Virginia Sophomore Guard Darius Thompson Quotes

On former coach and current California coach Cuonzo Martin:

“I am very excited for it and I can’t wait to play him. I haven’t talked to him in a while so it’s going to be nice getting to see and talk to him before and after the game. But, it will be just another game going into it.”

More on Cuonzo Martin:

“We had a really good relationship. We have continued to talk after he left for Cal and we’ll talk once in a while to see how the other is doing. He’ll check up on me, but yeah we have a good relationship. If he had stayed I definitely would have stayed (at Tennessee). I didn’t think about going to Cal. He didn’t want to take players from Tennessee and take them to Cal because he didn’t feel like that was the right thing to do. That wasn’t a thought. I never brought it up.”

On foul trouble:

“It was tough, but I knew someone was going to come in and keep the game going. Devon [Hall] contributed well for us.”

On 3-pointers:

“We can shoot the ball really well, but they showed they are a really good 3-point shooting team. They got us in a lot of foul trouble as well because we were so eager to block shots on the threes, they would just pump fake and get us up and that’s how they got a lot of fouls called.”

On baseline dunks in first half:

“They just happen, but I knew when they were trapping that I was by myself on the baseline so if I got the ball I would go get a dunk.”

On stops:

“We really feed off of the crowd. The first half shot clock violation and the crowd went crazy. When they are getting pumped up we are getting pumped up as well.”

Virginia Senior Guard Malcolm Brogdon Quotes

On Anthony Gill’s production:

“I think he has stepped up, maybe three or four games ago I saw a complete difference. He is super aggressive offensively, and he is attacking the glass. He is really good on defense, and I think he is doing exactly what the team needs him to do. I think he has been phenomenal.”

On the impact of the defensive stops:

“They were huge. I think we played an excellent team, probably the best team we have played all season. I think they are really well coached and they have a lot of talent. They have really versatile guard, and they have four of them so, they play a four-guard lineup, and everybody can really shoot it and get to the hole.”

On whether the game felt like an NCAA Tournament game:

“For sure. I think when two very good teams come together and play, I think it does reflect an NCAA, maybe a Sweet Sixteen game.”

Virginia Senior Forward Anthony Gill Quotes

On this stretch of personally playing good games:

“My teammates are doing a good job of finding me. I had a few easy shots today because London [Perrantes] was penetrating and all I had to do was go up with it. When they make it that easy for me all I have to do is finish. Coach Bennett challenged me two weeks ago and I wanted to respond to that. I wanted to be the player he wanted me to be. He challenged me to offensive rebound better and respond better to what the coaches were saying to me. I was showing some bad emotions to some of the things they were saying so he challenged me to be better in that area. That’s what I wanted to do — just be quiet and play basketball.”

On his attitude towards rebounding:

“My whole goal is to help my team as much as possible. If that means going hard to get an offensive rebound, then that’s what I’m going to do. I go hard to the glass every time and even if I don’t get the ball I try to get my hand on it somehow to make it accessible to anyone else on my team. That’s what I can do throughout the whole game — just play defense and rebound as best as I can.”

On this current stretch of games:

“London pretty much said it. It’s an exciting stretch of games. Playing these good teams non-conference is really going to help us when we get into the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament.”

On the energy of today’s game:

“I think we knew that we needed to come out strong. Villanova is a good team and they came out strong hitting that three. We knew from the beginning that we had to do what we had to do. We couldn’t start games like we had in the past where teams would get up on us and we’d have to fight our way back. If we got down in this game the way we had in the past I don’t think we would’ve been able to get back because they are such a great three-point shooting team. We pretty much knew that in order for us to be successful in this game we had to come out strong.”

Virginia Junior Guard London Perrantes Quotes

On Villanova’s defense and the opportunity to make open 3-pointers:

“They played pretty hard defensively off the ball. They wanted to get in the passing lanes. I think we took care of the ball and got some good shots every time down. In the first half, we had some silly turnovers. But, I think we got what we wanted the whole game. That goes to us being patient and taking what they give us.”

On Villanova’s four guard attack and making a statement:

“We just wanted to win the game. We didn’t want to make a statement. They have a tremendous four guard attack, especially when they have a big four man that can shoot the ball as well as Kris Jenkins did. We have a bunch of guards, too. We didn’t want to make a statement. We just wanted to win and we came out on top.”

On Virginia’s 3 point shooting vs. Villanova’s:

“We don’t listen to any of that. We knew coming in that they shoot a bunch of 3 pointers but that’s our defense. We were going to give up some three’s but we just wanted to contest them. We could live with contested threes. We have guards that can shoot the ball as well as anyone in the country. We just want to go out there and prove ourselves, and I feel like we did that today.”

On this current stretch of games:

“Coach Bennett asked us before the season when he was making the schedule if we wanted to do this. We all just smiled and were happy that we had this opportunity to play some good teams early in the season. We knew it would help us down the road. Coach Bennett had faith in us and put us to the test. I feel like we’ve responded.”

Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright Quotes

On the game in general:

“We played a better team today. Their attention to detail and their execution is just on another level than ours right now. We have an inexperienced team, and we will get better. We really will. We will learn from this and we will get better. The way they play, I have such great respect for them and how they play. Any little mistake you make execution wise, offensively or defensively, they take advantage of it. They just wait for you to make a mistake, and we made a lot. That is why you play these games. We have two seniors who are really experienced and everyone else is learning how to play in these games. That was the difference today.”

On UVA’s three-point shooting in the second half:

“That came from us not being able to guard [Malcolm] Brogdon one-on-one and him just driving the ball. Early, we were trying to contain him so we could take away threes. We did a good job in the first half. And then they made an adjustment and had him just start driving the ball. We couldn’t contain him, so we started leaving shooters to help. And when we left shooters, there is a way you can leave shooters to help and still get back to the shooter. Every time we were over aggressive on leaving shooters, he found [London] Perrantes, and bang. When we got down and we double-teamed, they reversed the ball, and bang. That is what good teams do. It was choosing your poison there.”

On the ball pressure causing turnovers:

“I think they settled in. It was very similar to their game against West Virginia. Early, the pressure bothered them a bit. And then once they kind of got a feel for that tempo, they started spreading us out. We had to get out of it a bit. The first play of the second half we got a turnover, and then Brogdon stopped dribbling and started spreading us out and passing it. That is just what good teams do.”

On Virginia’s offense, despite defense getting all the attention:

“I really think they are [underrated offensively]. We knew they were a good offensive rebounding team, and we aren’t a great rebounding team, but I think they are an underrated offensive rebounding team. They did it to West Virginia also. That is part of offense obviously. But when you add [Darius] Thompson making shots like that, [Devon] Hall making threes, that is a dangerous team. [Anthony] Gill is just a beast. He is as efficient as anyone I’ve seen in a while in the post area.”

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