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Feb. 9, 2016

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Virginia Game Quotes No. 7 Virginia 67, Virginia Tech 49 Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the play of Isaiah Wilkins on offense: “He was real good on the offensive glass which I thought was extremely important. He had the three offensive rebounds. He also got to the free throw line. But that little 17-foot shot when they sagged off of him was significant. He’s made some of those shots before. That’s so important when we can get that sort of contribution. As I mentioned, Malcolm has been scoring so well, and Anthony and London, too. When another guy gives us that output offensively, it really balances our team and makes us more potent on offense as well as harder to guard.”

On controlling the tempo: “That’s how we play. We try to move the ball side to side and get good shots. If there’s a good one early, we’ll take it. Virginia Tech did a good job pressuring us and bogging us down a little bit. At times, we couldn’t quite run our offense that well. But when we got the ball reversed and ran our stuff hard, we got some good action. Isaiah hit some shots, we got some offensive rebounds and we got some points in the paint. Sometimes against good defenses that are set, it takes a little longer. Virginia Tech really jams the lane. They flood it, pack it and pick up a bunch of charges. You’ve got to make the extra pass and they really forced us to do that early.”

On Virginia’s defensive effort: “They missed some bunnies. We definitely caught some breaks. They had some point-blank layups they missed. We weren’t great defensively, but we were better. I thought we didn’t get split as much on the ball screens and we slid a little better. As I mentioned, I think we’re playing better collectively on defense. Our defense is such a team defensive system. You need some good individual slides on the ball and close-outs, but it really relies on all the guys being in the right position and making it hard. We were tied a little tighter together and I think we’re in sync a little more than we were when we played them last time. They got some transition buckets on us and had their way against us. We were better.”

On Anthony Gill’s performance: “He was discouraged [after the game against Pittsburgh], but he still did some good things. I sat him down and talked to him. I said, `Be encouraged because we played pretty well without you having a big offensive game. You did some good things defensively. You’re just going to have some of those games when you’re keyed on like that.’ He did a nice job tonight. He was efficient and let it come to him. When [Zach] LeDay got in foul trouble, he did a nice job attacking that. Anthony is such an important part for us. I liked his mindset and his aggressiveness but he played within himself. I want him to be aggressive but he still let it come to him. I think that’s a sign of maturity.”

Virginia Sophomore Forward Isaiah Wilkins

On his evolution as a player: “I feel like my role is still to bring energy. I have to produce in different areas now. Last year, it was to come in and be a spark plug. This year I have to be better on defense and things like that.”

On his offensive progression: “Everyone has been preaching to me to be aggressive because it can’t just be AG [Anthony Gill], London [Perrantes], and Malcolm [Brogdon]. I just try to come in and take open shots.”

On this game against Virginia Tech compared to earlier in the season: “We’re playing a lot better defense now. Last time, they touched our paint a lot and broke the packline. This time we were playing strong defense and got back on transition. It was good to see us progress a little bit.”

Virginia Sophomore Guard Devon Hall

On Virginia’s performance: “I think we’re just finding a rhythm and sticking to it especially with our pace. To be able to get stops, to snuff teams. I think we’re doing a better job.”

On the first half of the game: “We were trying to impact. They did really well in Blacksburg on their ball screens, so we were just trying to make sure to impact that. We worked on that a lot in practice and I think it helped snuff them out a little bit.”

On Virginia’s unselfishness: “Coach preaches the extra pass so when we can, we always make the extra pass because we trust everybody on the court. I think we’re just in a rhythm of being able to be unselfish. We’re always being available to be the next guy or the next pass.”

On Chris Clarke: “He’s super athletic, man. He’s a talent. He actually told me he didn’t know if he was going to play or not because of his foot. But, yeah. Super athletic. That guy can really make plays and he really helps them out a lot.”

On Virginia’s offensive rhythm: “We were just getting stops on the other end. We’re able to get stops on the other end and wear teams down and take them all the way to the shot clock. They were getting tired, but they have to guard us too. We have to run our offense with pace, and once we do that, teams get tired and make mistakes.”

Virginia Senior Forward Anthony Gill

On a tight pack line defense:

“It’s something we really focus on in practice and then when we get in the games we try to execute it the best way we can. We know that here at UVA we are going to win games by our defense. We understand that as a team and we try to be the best defensive team we can be. We go out there every night and try to prove it.”

On Tech’s vulnerability in the paint:

“We went into the game knowing that there would be opportunities for us because we know that they play with four guards and a really small line up. It was up to us to capitalize on the opportunities. Both Isaiah and Mike did a great job of giving us the opportunity when we needed it. Isaiah did a great job rebounding offensively and that gave us a lot of the second chance points. This helped me a lot because I knew I could count on Isaiah and Mike.”

On playing Duke in Cameron Indoor:

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s a place that I haven’t won at. I’ve won at every other arena in the ACC besides Cameron Indoor. We’re looking forward to a good game. It’s going to be a packed environment, and it’s going to be fun.”

Virginia Senior Center Mike Tobey

On a tight pack line defense:

“I think we did a really good job in practice of trying to get back to the way that we used to play defense. We really emphasized our defense in the past and that is what made us successful. We were trying to get back to that.”

On the dunk assisted by Darius Thompson:

“I was running with Darius on the fast break. He’s always either looking to get the dunk himself or pass it off to somebody. I was trying to run as fast as I could so I probably looked funny, but I just tried to run the floor hard.”

On playing with Isaiah defensively:

“I think he fits extremely well into the system. He is one of the most selfless basketball players I’ve ever played with on offense and defense. He sometimes over helps on defense, which is something that coaches will get frustrated with. He is always so active, and the energy he brings defensively is something that really fits into the system well.”

Virginia Tech Head Coach Buzz Williams

On the game as a whole: “I think if you get beat the way we did from start to finish, I think you should always credit [Virginia]. I would say some of them were even uncharacteristic for us. Thirty-five percent of the time in the first half we turned the ball over. We were a little better in the second half, but that was not a good start at all.”

On Virginia Tech’s offense: “We did miss some layups that I think you have to make in a major game, but I think their defense is outstanding, and the numbers bear that out. Like I said, I always want to give credit to the opponent when we get beat the way we did.”

On the speed of play: “It is just a low possession game. That is how they want to play. In a low possession game the value of a possession is increased, because there are not going to be as many of them. We played 61, they played 64, and so it was the same pace as when we played at [Cassell Coliseum].”

On the impact of Chris Clarke: “I just think it is incredibly hard to sit out eight weeks as a freshman, and then get after it. He has missed so much, but I thought he gave us some life. We probably needed him more with the foul issues than I would have anticipated. He is a good player, and we could have used him all along.”

On Isaiah Wilkins’ performance: “I think he has been playing well. I’m not coaching their team, but I think there is more productivity from top to bottom than when we played them last month. They changed the starting lineup, and so the minutes have varied a little bit since the last time. I would say that a portion of that is why they have been playing at such a higher clip.”

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