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Feb. 4, 2016

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Virginia Game Quotes
No. 9 Virginia 61, Boston College 47
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On the team’s performance following the win over Louisville:
“I think our first-half defense was solid. We did a good job of limiting Eli Carter because he can really get going. We missed a lot of shots in the first half even though we got some good looks. Malcolm [Brogdon] really carried us offensively. He had a real fine game. Boston College, although they’re short-handed, they run their offense with great pace. I’ll be curious to see on film if we were bothering enough shots and jamming the lane or if they were just missing their shots. That remains to be seen. We missed some bunnies and had some opportunities in transition that didn’t go our way. We’ll have to be ready to play a team that’s playing at a high level right now [at Pittsburgh].”

On Virginia’s balance on offense:
“We got some good looks for our guys. We didn’t have a great shooting percentage from some of our perimeter guys. I think the balance will be important if we want to play our best basketball. Hopefully it’ll be there. It was nice to see Evan [Nolte] hit a three and for Marial [Shayok] to hit one, as well. But Malcolm was in rhythm with his shots, getting to the free throw line and getting down the lane. There’s nothing wrong with that when it’s working. When the defenses in certain settings are really keying in on him, I think we’ll need that balance.”

On the performance of Malcolm Brogdon
“He’s playing real good basketball, very efficient. He’s being assertive, but also letting the game come to him. He did a good job of guarding Carter. He’s really showing his completeness on both ends of the floor and leading well. He had good looks all night and didn’t force. I thought he was sharp.”

On the team’s expectations going forward:
“These guys want to win desperately. I understand that. I told them before the game that our staff is going to do everything we can to keep you on the path that you’re on. We’ve struggled. We’ve stumbled. We’ve worked hard. But in this last week, we’ve gotten to the point we need to be at. And it’s your job as players to stay on this path. So when you say that and challenge a group, I think a leader or an experienced player like Malcolm or Anthony [Gill] or London [Perrantes] understand that. They understand the message and that they need to be the voice when the coach isn’t there. We’ve got a tremendous and challenging opportunity ahead of us at Pittsburgh. We know when we’re not right we can fall flat. We’ve been better defensively in the last few games, taken good shots, had a level of patience and rebounded better. That’s the path we need to be on. It’s been hard to get here, trust me. Hopefully, we can stay here. That’s the challenge and that’s what the players need to bring to it.

Virginia Senior Forward Evan Nolte
On the season:
“Yeah, I think that it has been different than the past three that I have been a part of, but every team has to go through whatever form of adversity during that season. I think we have stumbled a little bit, but the Louisville game I think we played a complete game. I do think that that was a turnaround moment and that we really locked in to that game and we wanted to keep it going. It was just adversity. Every year in the past you have to forget about and you take it one game at a time, so it is not, `Oh man, we lost these games. What does this mean?’ You have to work on what you can get better at and go from there.”

On what is most impressive about Malcolm Brogdon’s play:
“I would say it is his poise. You never see him get rattled out there or rushed. He definitely adds a layer of maturity and just poise and being relaxed out there whenever a team is trying to speed us up. He really helps us out, and today he had a tremendous game.”

On how good his second half three point shot felt and breaking out of a slump:
“It felt great. It felt really good to be reminded of making a three-pointer in a game. It is frustrating and you try not to think about it and you can tell people you are not thinking about it. You try to take the next shot and forget about the last one. You always hear about the concept of short memory in sports. It felt really good and I am going to keep shooting with confidence in practice and hoping it carries over, especially going into Saturday.”

Virginia Sophomore Guard Devon Hall
On whether there is a concerted effort for guards to rebound:
“Yeah, Coach always preaches to the guards to be able to come back and rebound. I just try to be able to hit my guy and make sure he does not get the rebound, and take advantage of boards when I can. Malcolm [Brogdon] is a great offensive rebounder and a defensive rebounder, so I just try model after that and hit and then grab rebounds.”

On if it feels as though the team turned the corner against Louisville:
“I think it is just a matter of us getting back to what we were doing. We hit maybe a little bit of a wall, and we were not playing the way were capable of playing, being able to get stops and run the offense with urgency. I think Louisville we put together a complete game, and we are just trying to keep continuing to put on those complete games each and every night.”

Virginia Senior Guard Malcolm Brogdon
On Virginia’s last game against Louisville:
“I think we did turn a corner. But, I think it’s important for us to keep our foot on the gas and keep pushing forward.”

On his performance:
“I just took my open shots. I tried not to force. I tried to play within the offense, but I took my open shots and took advantage of opportunities.” On his performance in his last four games: “I think I’ve been efficient in the last four games, but that’s not really my focus. I’m trying to win games. I’m trying to make sure we establish our identity now, so we can make a run in March.”

On Virginia hitting its stride as a team:
“I think so. I can’t say that for sure because it’s only been two games where we’ve really played almost up to our potential. But I think we’re learning. We’re tasting what it’s like to be a defensive-minded team.”

On almost achieving his career high for points in a single game:
“London [Perrantes] told me. London was actually trying to get me 30 points. But, it’s all good.”
On surpassing 1,500 career points: “That’s a huge accomplishment.”

On playing an opponent like Boston College:
“It wasn’t hard to get up for this at all. Boston College is a capable team just like any other ACC team. We wanted to come out and establish ourselves. We’re at home and we’ve got the crowd on our side. We wanted to come out and play with some passion.”

Boston College Head Coach Jim Christian
On the game as a whole:
“I was very happy for our guys. I thought we competed for 40 minutes. We just were really cold. We couldn’t make shots. We executed what we wanted to execute. I thought Eli Carter did a really good job tonight. When you play [Virginia] they are so ball conscious that you have to throw the ball back, and we did. We just couldn’t make a shot out of that. Credit to them, they are obviously an excellent defensive team, but those are shots that we are going to have to hit.”

On defense against Eli Carter:
“We are a heavy ball screen team, so they weren’t really one-on-one situations. I thought Eli [Carter] actually made the right reads, and [Malcolm Brogdon] is a really good defender. We were throwing balls back and guys had plays. Malcolm is just a really smart basketball player. He doesn’t get beat, he doesn’t give up any angles, he is physically strong, and they are so good schematically, so it is hard. We needed other guys to make plays so that would open things up for Eli, and we didn’t do that. We didn’t have it tonight.”

On his team’s defensive strategy:
“We wanted to double [Anthony Gill]. He is a hard matchup for us, and we have limited post players, so I think he is a guy that could get our frontcourt in foul trouble because he is so mobile. He goes to the basket so strong. So, we had to double him as much as we could. We did a decent job scrambling out of that in the beginning of the game, not giving up wide-open shots. We did a really good job of keeping him off the boards. I think they had one offensive rebound at halftime. So those parts of our game plan I thought were pretty effective.”

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