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Nov. 24, 2017

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NIT Season Tip-Off


Virginia 70 – Rhode Island 55

UVA Head Coach Tony Bennett

Isaiah Wilkins

On the matchup with Andre Berry:

“On the scouting report, I saw that he was a little bit smaller than I was and I just wanted to take full advantage of that. I think I got off to a good start yesterday and the guys did a really good job of finding me on the post, and I just tried to make my shots.”

Thoughts on playing with Devon Hall, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome:

“I think one of our strengths is in our balance. Devon played really well tonight. Nigel played well. Each game it feels like a different guy who’s able to get it going which is good for us.”

Thoughts on team leadership with absence of London Perrantes:

“Even though London’s not here, Devon did a really good job leading. Obviously London was the face of the team, but we just tried to pick each other up. We knew he wasn’t coming back; it wasn’t a surprise to us so we just tried to pick things up from there, and whoever has a high hand, try to play as a team.”

Head Coach Tony Bennett

Continued: Thoughts on team leadership with absence of London Perrantes:

“Leadership wise, Isaiah (Wilkins) and Devon (Hall) – and then I’ve named Jack (Salt) a captain – this is one of the best led teams with unbelievable players and very good teams, but there’s something special about the way Isaiah, from day one, and Devon. Their leadership and how they play, they play like leaders, they play unselfish and so hard, and that is contagious so I couldn’t be more happy for them and proud to have them as part of this team and leading us.”

On Kyle Guy:

“[Rhode Island] did a real good job guarding him. They’re quick. He got a couple looks but there wasn’t as much time perhaps as yesterday or some of the other games, and we knew that, and I think he had a couple – two or three travels – which are uncharacteristic; some unforced errors, turnovers wise, but like Isaiah (Wilkins) said, to see the balance of different guys stepping up, that’s important for us and that was definitely the way they guarded Kyle, and he wasn’t quite on the way he usually is, but that’s going to happen.”

Thoughts on Mamadi Diakite:

“I think Isaiah (Wilkins) answered it well. Mamadi is a second year for us – he redshirted one year – he’s new-ish to the game, but he’s quick, he’s lively, he has some touch and made a couple of good moves. I just think the more experience he gets, it’s so valuable for him and us and he can cover the rim. Yesterday, the few times we did break down, we had rim protection; now today we didn’t do a good job handling, they did a good job. Mamadi’s quickness and his ability to rim protect, and a couple times guarding the perimeter, was important.”

On UVA alumni Joe Harris and London Perrantes in the NBA:

Last two games, Joe Harris has been terrific – Justin Anderson, Mike Scott, those guys who have helped establish this program – they’re playing or getting opportunities. I’ve been so fortunate to have so many good players; I can go through them, and I don’t want to leave anybody out but I love it when I’m seeing the success they’re having. Great job for London getting suited up – who knows what’ll happen, he’s a really good player and we’ll miss him at times but we did have him for four years so that’s good.

NIT Season Tip-Off


Virginia 70, Rhode Island 55

Rhode Island Head Coach Dan Hurley

On tonight’s game: “Disappointed in the loss. It felt like second half there was a stretch, where it was a tied game or one-possession game and we seemed to miss a multitude of opportunities – layups, free-throws, which would have kept the game tight and given us a chance in the last 6-7 minutes. I think we got a little bit demoralized by those missed opportunities and gave in a little mentally and physically. After such a war last night. Huge credit to (University of) Virginia, a high level program with excellent players. It was a very difficult style of play to prepare for on a no-day turnaround. We came here to win the championship, in our minds we failed that way, but feel good about yesterday’s win and hopefully we will learn from tonight’s experience of playing against a high level team.”

More on tonight’s game: “We felt like if we kept (Kyle) Guy and (Ty) Jerome under 15 points combined, that we were going to win the game and I think we did that. We shot both guys down and kept both of them under 10. Where we came up short, we allowed the others like (Devon) Hall; we played him so soft defensively. Credit to him, he made some big time three’s and some great plays off the dribble. We knew they would go to (Isaiah) Wilkins in that matchup with our small ball lineup that we pretty much have to play exclusively till (Cyril) Langevine comes back. We felt like if we could take Guy and Ty out of it, we would have a great chance to win. That stretch in the second half we went 0-5 at the foul line, and missed layup after layup, was a little demoralizing.”

On playing without Cyril Langevine and E.C. Matthews: “They played a much different game then we played yesterday, we played ours much later. You can’t compare the intensity of two games. They showed a certain class level, when they had opportunities they cashed in. When we had them, we didn’t. If we made free throws and layups we would have had a chance to win the game. Those guys being out had anything to do with the outcome of the game, I just think we didn’t play well enough in the second half.”

On Cyril Langevine and E.C. Matthews’ return: “Coming to this level of competition and missing two key starters, a guy who is probably a co-player of the year in the conference and the guy who is our best front court player, it’s not an easy task to play this level of competition, Seton Hall and Virginia. When we get these guys back and play a team like Virginia, the game might be a little different.”

On Andre Berry: “When we get Cyril back, it’s potential we will get a lot stronger there. Andre is a pretty good offensive player and we’re returning a guy who makes a big defensive impact and rebounding impact. We got pounded on the boards the last two days. E.C is our best rebounding guard and Cyril is our best rebounder. Andre showed his offense and talent. We have to bring him along a little bit more defensively and on the back board. As a senior player, he’s such a good shooter and free-throw shooter. He’s a pretty good free-throw shooter.”

On players rotating roles: “(University of) Nevada, who we played on the road, is as good as anyone we played this year. We played some really good teams. It magnifies for you where you need to get better. I think this is a group of guys that understand what it takes to win and understand the mistakes we made tonight for the Providence’s, the Alabama’s, the rest of our non-conference schedule. We can’t have a stretch like we did tonight during that four to five minutes where we didn’t make free-throw or layups if we want to win games at the level of competition that our non-conference schedule is at. At the end of the day, it’s probably a top five top ten non-conference schedule in the country and if we don’t bear down and do the little things like making free throws or layups, we’ll come up short.”

Rhode Island Guard Jarvis Garrett

On going forward after tonight’s game: “I feel we are going to continue to play our game, continue to be scrappy, play full court defense and play as hard as we can.”

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