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Nov. 20, 2016

Recap | Box Score | Notes

Virginia vs. Yale
Post-game Quotes

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On Mamadi Diakite and Kyle Guy giving the team a lift after a slow start:

“I thought our impatience offensively affected us because Yale is a good offensive team. They scored 98 against Washington and then 89 against Lehigh. Our offense was a little quick. Some of those were good shots early, but we weren’t willing to break them down and get the good looks, which I thought kind of bled into it. When we settled down offensively, defensively Mamadi made some high-level plays, especially with rim protection. He made a couple of blocks off the floor; he had two in a row obviously, which brought the crowd to its feet and energized us. He covered a couple of breakdowns we had defensively and then all of a sudden he bothered the ball or he shut a couple of people down with his ball screen defense, which was important for us. Then Kyle was coming off some screens and hitting some shots. This is a team that knows it is going to have to be different guys, different times, in the balance. So, they both gave us a really nice lift and I think our intensity picked up defensively. For the most part, we were solid defensively and then our offense wore them down a little bit.”

On Marial Shayok’s role off the bench:

“We were talking about how Mamadi and Kyle brought life off the bench, and I think Marial obviously brings a scoring punch. He’s a hard-playing defender and offensively, he’s aggressive. I like that. You could easily start a number of guys with this group, but Marial has really done a good job and brought some life when we needed it. I think he got some stuff going for us. The minutes were pretty evenly distributed, but right now I think that role is good and he’s playing at the right times.”

On Diakite’s role after the dismissal of Austin Nichols:

“We’ll see about the redshirt with Jay Huff and all of those things coming to play, but we have four quality guys that play that forward spot. Jarred [Reuter], Jack [Salt], Isaiah [Wilkins] and Mamadi, they’re all going to have to be more ready and have more opportunities to play. I think Isaiah is pretty established, but those other three guys will find themselves with more chances. Mamadi may be the most because he’s young but you see his upside, and I thought he gave us that spark that was obvious. You just don’t find quick jumpers, guys like Darion Atkins and Mamadi, and that’s huge because defensively, you cannot be in perfect position every time and if you have a guy behind that can block some shots and clean up some things then that’s good. I think that his development, his maturity and all those things through the course of the year will be good for us and will help him a lot in light of having one less player, and with not having Austin in the interior mix.”

On adjusting offensively without Nichols as a go-to guy to dunk:

“I think that’s a work in progress too. You have to run your offense well, you have to take shots when they’re there, you still have to throw it inside and hopefully guys will improve. That’s something we thought we had and now we don’t, so we adjust and see. I thought Jack gave us a good lift and did some good things. We will see all different kinds of teams and we will just have to be ready for it, and will probably at times have to look at playing four guards. That presents some challenges for sure, but we’ll just keep adjusting.”

Virginia Guard Marial Shayok

On the advantages of being the sixth man:

“Prior to going in you get to see the field, and then you play as hard as you can and try as hard as you can to see and contribute and just fit in with the guys already playing.”

On the challenges going into Yale:

“They run their offense hard. But, we believe in our defense and we work on that all year-round. So, we just planned to come out and do what we do, and show that today. It was good.”

Virginia Guard London Perrantes

On leading the team as a senior at the start of the season:

“I don’t have to do much talking in front of these guys. I just try to lead by example, coming out here every day and just going hard. We knew we had a tough test today against Yale. They had two big wins before this game, so we just wanted to go out and play hard and to the best of our ability. I feel like we did. Everyone came out and played well and contributed today.”

On having spark off the bench:

“We have a lot of people able to start on our team, but having that coming off the bench is huge. Having Marial [Shayok] and Kyle [Guy] come off the bench, and then Mamadi [Diakite], we knew that we could show. [In practice] we do so much learning how to read defenses and coming off of screens and things like that. [Kyle] is one of the better guards on our team to be able to do that.”

Virginia Guard Kyle Guy

On the energy of the crowd:

“It was surreal when the crowd erupted after we hit a shot or got a stop. That is my favorite part, when the shot clock is going down on defense and you can feel the energy from all of the fans. I have definitely noticed that and it was amazing to be a part of it.”

On his ability to shoot off-balance shots:

“I think in practice when I come off of screens Coach Bennett will be like, ‘Make sure you get your foot around, and I am like, ‘Okay,’ and then sometimes I miss and then sometimes I don’t. I worked really hard this off-season, sort of like the way [former NBA player] Kobe [Bryant] does, he catches it and he can shoot when his feet are crossed or just normally set, so I worked really hard to be able to do that.”

On making his first 3-point field goal at home:

“I honestly did not even know what to do after I hit it. Marial [Shayok] made a great pass and I hit it and I ran back on defense. A good pass by Marial [Shayok], and it was awesome to hear the crowd erupt.”

Virginia Forward Mamadi Diakite

On the excitement of a block compared to the excitement of scoring:

“I think the team needed me to step up and block more shots. That is what I did. It is more exciting to me to block people, better than scoring. Scoring, that comes along with time, so I am not really worrying about whether I have five, two, one point, or zero points in a game. It is okay as long as I play defense and I can contribute for the team to win, that would be of great satisfaction to me.”

On holding Yale under 40 points:

“I did not really watch their games. We just came out to play defense. That is who we are really. We play defense and we try to wear the other team down and make sure to win the game.”

Yale Head Coach James Jones

On finishing with 38 points after averaging 94 coming into the game:

“That’s not who we are. We’re not going to average 94 points per game. That’s not what I was thinking about coming in. I know that Virginia is a really good defensive team, and they did a great job at limiting opportunities for us tonight.”

On what changed after leading in the first half:

“You get worn down a little bit. We have some guys that are out, so now we have some guys that are playing major minutes. If you look at the stat line, they had one guy play 30 minutes and we had two or three guys play in the mid-30’s. That makes a difference. The way they run their offense and the way they move the ball, they wear you down. You’re going to play your defense for 30 seconds at a time. We got really beat up on the glass. That’s not who we are. What they did to us is normally our recipe for success. They had 16 offensive rebounds on 36 misses, so that’s a huge difference in the game. That’s something that they capitalized on in the second half.”

On Virginia’s performance off the bench:

“Both kids off the bench were tremendous for [Virginia] tonight. [Kyle] Guy and Marial [Shayok] both were really good. They scored 27 points between the two of them, and Guy hit some big shots. We tried to use zone [defense] because we couldn’t stop him in the half court using man-to-man. Both teams got off to a great start to start the second half, and when we switched to a zone, he came out and made some big shots. It makes a big difference. He was a nice punch for them off the bench.”

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