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Dec. 6, 2016

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Virginia Post-game Quotes

No. 14 Virginia 76, East Carolina 53

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2016

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On UVA’s play tonight:

I really challenged the guys to play hard and have a great hunger about them. I said, `We are a blue-collar program and if we are, it will show up in our effort on the defensive end and offensively,’ and I thought the guys responded. East Carolina played a lot of zone early and we shot them out of it. I thought we made them earn most of their shots. Even though they hit some threes early, they were pretty tough and contested threes, so I was pleased with the effort and responding from a game that was very physical against West Virginia, where we did not play our best at times. Every game is so important for us to take steps in the right direction.”

On the play of Freshman Guard Kyle Guy and whether he deserved more minutes:

“They played a lot of zone and [Kyle Guy] can stretch it and he made some good plays. I always look and I say `Could I have played guys more or less?’ In the West Virginia Game, it’s not just about scoring, it’s about so many other things in games like that, taking care of the ball, defending, and those were the things that I looked at from the West Virginia game. In this game, [Kyle Guy] got it going early. Rebounding was a little bit of an issue, but I liked at times having Darius [Thompson], Kyle [Guy], and London [Perrantes] out on the floor, especially against the zone. I think [Guy] deserved more minutes and he got them.”

On emphasizing getting the ball into the paint:

“Each game presents different matchups, but we tried to be a little more intentional getting to the paint off the dribble, dropping passes, throwing it inside. West Virginia is so disruptive; they take you out of your game plan. You have to make different kinds of plays, but there were some opportunities. I think even if you are not a great scoring team inside, you still have to touch the paint, throw it inside and play inside-out at times, so we will keep working on that. I thought we got a great lift from all of the forwards or `bigs.’ Jack [Salt] and Isaiah [Wilkins] were right early and aggressive against that zone, and Jared [Reuter] came in and did a nice job scoring. Mamadi [Diakite] was active. I think that is how it is going to be this year, by committee.”

On how to improve over break:

“I think we just have to keep improving in all areas. We have to be as good on the glass as we can, keep working against different kinds of action. We are going to see so many ball screens. Keep trying to fine tune our offense, keep looking at ways people are playing it and having counters to it, and just getting better. If we ever lose our hunger, we will be in trouble, so we just have to be real hungry to improve in this time, and then every game we play we will have to fight and scrap. If we do not, then we will see what the result will be. I think you will know.”

East Carolina Head Coach Jeff Lebo

On Virginia’s shooting tonight:

“I thought Virginia played awfully well. They shot it outstandingly. One of the better shooting nights that I think they’ve had. I knew that we would get a spirited group after a loss at home. They don’t lose too often at home. We were okay until that 10-minute point [in the first half]. I think they started out about 1-for-11 from three and then made six in a row. That was really the difference in the game right there.”

On East Carolina’s offensive game plan:

“We knew we weren’t going to get it inside. When we did, they were going to double team us. We tried early to see how the guys would respond. When we got it in there, nothing positive came out of it, so we really had to rely on perimeter shooting. I thought (Jeremy) Sheppard came in and gave us a big lift there from an offensive standpoint, shooting the basketball, giving us an offensive threat out there. Caleb [White] started out well, but didn’t finish making some shots for us. [Virginia] is so solid defensively. Everything is difficult. That’s why they’ve been one of the top defensive teams in the country for five years.”

On Virginia’s ability to get to the paint:

“They drove it there. We were showing on some down screens and they threw it down below. They drove it there a little bit off of some curl action. They did a good job offensively getting it there and also finishing. (Jarred) Reuter makes a couple of shots in there that we weren’t expecting. He was 5-for-5. He played well. Give him credit.”

On Kyle Guy:

“I love Guy. He knows how to play. He’s a little better athlete than you think. In person, I was impressed with his ability to move. He’s smart. Every open shot you think is going down when he gets it, whether he makes it or not. As he gets stronger and as he learns, he’s going to be a terrific player here for Tony [Bennett] for a long, long time. To me, he’s got a chance to be the next really good one here for Virginia.”

Virginia Freshman Guard Kyle Guy

On increased minutes:

“I talked to Coach [Ron] Sanchez and Coach [Jason] Williford to the side and just asked, “What can I do?” I really think I can help this team. I’m not complaining about my minutes. I’m fine with not playing at all. I just want my team to win. I know my minutes are going to fluctuate throughout the year. Some games I’ll be able to put up numbers and help this team, and other games I can help this team by cheering.”

On whether he will play less in more physical games:

“Physically, I know there’s a little bit of a gap that Coach [Mike] Curtis and I have been trying to bridge. But I’m not one to back down from anybody, so it doesn’t matter who we’re playing. If coach thinks I am capable of playing in that game, then I’m sure he’ll play me.”

On shot made from the bench before the game:

“Me, Devon [Hall], and London [Perrantes] shoot that shot during early shoot-around every single game day. That’s just a tradition we do to make sure we’ll know we can hit every shot.”

On what he has learned in first month of the season:

“There are no nights off, that’s for sure. Coach preaches quality basketball every single day, especially the past month or so. So I have just been trying to take care of the ball, know my role, and just do whatever I can to help the team.”

Virginia Junior Guard Marial Shayok

On what he was thinking about after his three consecutive missed shot possession:

“You just have to keep shooting and stay confident. We had a good shooting game today. We were sort of in a shooting slump the last few games, so everyone put in work these last few practices and showed up today.”

On his increased willingness to take shots:

“I put in the work all summer. When the opportunity comes, I just have to stay confident and take those shots.”

On the importance of bouncing back from the West Virginia loss:

“We definitely wanted to come out strong for the full 40 minutes. For West Virginia, we had a good, solid first half, but we didn’t play particularly well in the second half. We wanted to play the full 40 minutes today.”

On what he will work on over the exam break:

“Getting back to the basics, and doing whatever we can to help our team defensively, first and foremost, because we’re definitely a defensive team. Also, seeing (the other’s team’s) rhythm and practicing good shots.”

Virginia Redshirt Sophomore Center Jack Salt

On Kyle Guy:

“It’s tough going from high school to college, just getting in the weight room and getting your weight up, but he definitely has a few huge parts of his game that have helped him thus far.”

On recovering from last week’s loss:

“We had to bounce back from that. We focused the last two days on coming out to defend the home court because we don’t like to lose on the home court. It was good to get this win. We need to play with more intensity and focus. We are tightening up certain areas offensively and defensively.”

On his performance in the early season:

“Over the summer we work hard and Coach Bennett has done a good job of telling me what I need to do. I just try to do that every night.”

On going into finals:

“They’re pretty hard exams. It’s nice to get a couple of days to just rest and prepare.”

On Marial Shayok:

“He works out so much. He’s always in the gym during the summer and all season. He’s always working on his game and working hard. He has a lot more confidence [this season], and he should because he put the work in.”

On a rule change allowing vertical jumping:

“I like it because I can just jump straight up and it’s not a foul. So I definitely like that rule.”

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