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Nov. 19, 2017

Recap | Box Score | Notes

Virginia vs. Monmouth
November 19, 2017

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the stage at VCU being a bit too big for DeAndre Hunter:
“I really didn’t talk to him afterward. It just wasn’t quite right. I told you guys from the get go, you are going to see flashes from Deandre and Jay [Huff], they are going to show you their upside and exciting things. There is going to be times where there will be some ups and downs but you certainly saw a nice flash. It is about how can we be consistent and keep up the pace of the game. We needed that. Monmouth, they make you work. They guarded and they made us fight for stuff early, and I thought we were pretty good defensively. Then our offense started clicking. We didn’t shoot it particularly well from the three like we did against VCU, but we got some plays in the lane. I was very happy for DeAndre and again you just have to keep coming and take this as a good experience and grow.”

On the team looking flat in the first eight minutes:
“You aren’t going to a win a game or lose a game in the first five minutes. You need to play against Monmouth, the way they defend they kind of run a pack-oriented defense. There is going to have to be a level of patience. I thought we had a couple really good possessions defensively and a loose ball then they threw one in. They are not a bad team. I don’t think there was a lack of energy. Maybe offensively we weren’t cutting as hard but to say for sure our guys were flat, it was a good win against VCU and every time we play it is about being ready. I will have to watch the tape, but if that is what you saw then perhaps that is the case.”

On keeping Mamadi Diakite out of foul trouble:
“With Jack [Salt] and Mamadi you just want them, and Ty [Jerome] too, to play smart. It is hard, there are some quick calls that happen that maybe officials don’t get it right or it is a close call. Maybe there are one or two of those but you can’t commit any of the unnecessary fouls. We call them dumb fouls or the ones that hurt us. We keep working on footwork positioning. He is active so you want those guys to be active on ball screens and to try to go up and block shots. Sometimes you go up and put yourself in harm’s way a little bit. But soundness, positioning, playing without your hands, that is a big thing for Mamadi. Sometimes he puts two on. But again, I thought Deandre and Mamadi showed you some good flashes today.”

Monmouth Head Coach King Rice

Opening Statement:
“First off, the NIT tournament, I want to thank them and thank Virginia for being able to come down here. Anytime we get a chance to play an ACC school, or one of those types of schools, it’s an honor for our school. Sometimes you’re playing these games and you have a chance, and sometimes you play these games and you see why [Tony Bennett] is one of the best coaches in the country. Today, I felt like we got shown all of our warts. And that’s what Virginia does to you. I’ve watched [Tony Bennett‘s] team, we play the defense that he plays, I’ve learned from him, I’ve brought in people that used to be on his staff at his direction, telling us how to do certain things. But, he’s such a discipline coach, and when you’re watching his team play, you see it, but you don’t really see it until you’re out there with your kids. And I watched all their games against North Carolina and they show their warts when they play them too. I’ve watched them make Duke show their warts. I was a little worried about that today because I got a good group of kids, we haven’t really been through a lot yet, and today I think we’ll take some major steps from this because our kids learned a lesson today, that disciplined basketball is the best way to play and when you do it with a group of guys that are so bought into the team. We know this feeling because we had it. We had it in the past three years. And right now, we’re searching for our identity and today Virginia’s guys showed us that we have a long way to go with our togetherness, with our sharing the ball, with our team first- mentality. Show when you take this chance to step up, this can happen to you. This felt way worse than Seton Hall, this made us feel like before we won any high major games. It points out I need to be a better coach, it points out my staff needs to do a better job, and it points out that we need to continue to work at building team chemistry.”

On the expectations for his players:
“I think when it boils down to it, at halftime we had 11 turnovers, they had 16 points, we were down 18, so our pack line did pretty fine against them. I watched [Kyle Guy] get 20 shots the other night, I didn’t even see what he took. He played 25 minutes so we did some really good things on some kids. Virginia is one of the better programs and they can get away from you, but when you give them 16 point off of 11 turnovers in the first half and they’re building, well now their kids are comfortable. Now their kids can play, they can relax. Those shots start going in. And I think that’s what happened today. Once they got ahead, their kids were comfortable. When we were up 15-10, they weren’t that comfortable. We’re going to learn from that, but more so on offense because our pack line because our pack line is a little different, I try to get out a little more. Offensively they’re not going to try something, they’re not going to break off a play, if you take a half a breath, you’re chasing [Kyle Guy], you go `it’s over,’ and then he comes off another one, and he’s going to make that. You try to explain to kids how disciplined they’re going to be, and then when you’re out in front of them you need that breath, you have to have that breath. That’s why I like how these kids play. And then they start the second half doing the same exact thing, and you take a breath and they get you again. So, I feel like [Tony Bennett] showed me some things as a coach that I have to get better at and I think our kids learned that if we’ll be discipline on offense, we’ll be able to score.”

Virginia Forward Mamadi Diakite

On rebounding today:
“That has always been the thing I’ve been good at, and I kept doing it as much as I could to bring something to the team.”

On playing aggressively and keeping out of foul trouble:
“I don’t know, I always get in foul trouble because I like helping. I mean it’s not a bad thing to me because if I stop fouling, I guess I’m not helping as much.”

On his backwards shot:
“It was just my instinct. I grabbed the rebound and found myself next to the basket, and two people were on me. I didn’t have time to turn around.”

Virginia Guard De’Andre Hunter

On what sparked the big game today:
“I would say it’s my confidence. The last few games I haven’t really been playing my game as well as I could. The coaches just told me to stay confident and stay ready, and that’s what I tried to do.”

On accelerating to the next level along with Jay Huff:
“The coaches tell me that all the time. They tell me I have talent, but I just need to stay as consistent as possible. I’ve been trying to stay true to my routine and confident in my game.”

On playing on the road at VCU:
“It was a lot different than being here. It was really loud in there. I’ve been in an environment like that, but overall it was fun. We got a great win on the road. It was a fun game. I wouldn’t say the atmosphere rattled me, it’s just a lot different than what I am used to.”

Virginia Guard Kyle Guy

On the quick turnaround from VCU:
“We prepared for it well yesterday. We had a very hard mental day, but light physically, so it was an easy turnaround. They are a well-coached team with mostly a pack defense. We just came out ready to play.”

On teams pressuring him more this year:
“I think there is more of a mark on my back this year, just being able to shoot and score a little bit last year. I think my pump-fake has helped in being able to put on the floor and get to the basket. I think that helps a lot.”

On playing in Brooklyn:
“It was fun playing at Barclays [Center] last year. Vanderbilt is a good team and win or lose whoever we play, Rhode Island or Seton Hall, they’re good too so it will be a very good test. We play Wisconsin next, good little three game stretch for us. It will ultimately help us in the long run.”

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