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Dec. 22, 2017

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On senior forward Isaiah Wilkin’s meaning to the team:
“I’m glad the crowd recognized what he did in the first half with his hustle and his heart because that’s as good as it gets. That was my halftime talk, I said that is what it is about. I said, that’s a hunger and a drive that I want. I said about Isaiah, let’s all just hook our wagons to him and play with that kind of desire and that kind of will to just lay it on the line. Hampton, their guards are tough. They made some contested shots early. They added the two new guys. And I knew they were capable, Jermaine Marrow is a heck of a player and can score, and when they made those, it was kind of a back and forth game. But the hustle plays that Isaiah made, keeping balls alive on the glass, are really good. That was a good Christmas gift for me.”

On his thoughts, early in the game:
“I watched them play, they beat Appalachian State by about thirty earlier this year and I saw them battle some teams for halves. And then with the addition of the young man who was the nation Junior College player of the year as a freshman and he played a lot of minutes at TCU in the Big 12, Malique Trent-Street, he gives them some athleticism. And then Jaekwon Carlyle has come on, he’s a good defender, he made some of those shots. I said to our guys, you are going to have to play against these guys. Their perimeters are good, they are going to ball screen you to death, and there’s not a lot of life. A lot of people, they say `We’re good’ and then are going on vacation, but not so with this team. And I think they’ll only get better as they get their chemistry together with those new guys.”

On rebounding performance:
“That is a big part of our defense, getting back and playing against a set defense and trying to limit them to one shot. It has to be a group thing. I think that with Hampton and others, the size in the interior is not the same as some of the teams we’ll see, so the ability to block out with position and then go get the ball is important. A lot of times the guards have to come back and rebound. And Devon Hall, he didn’t have as good of an offensive stat line, but I think that his size and his work on Jermaine Marrow made a difference as the game wore on. We are going to need that and Isaiah’s offensive rebounding, they are significant.”

On sophomore guard Kyle Guy‘s second-half scoring:
“It just takes a shot opportunity or a shot attempt. I think he almost shattered the backboard on his first shot, he shot it and hit the glass first. But Kyle is unique because, as talented of a shooter as he is, I have never seen a guy who could either shoot and air ball and a miss a shot and then all it takes is one shot. With West Virginia and then here, we want him to hunt the shot and be aggressive and, of course, take good shots, and he really got going off of a couple of out of bounds plays in the second half. But it is rare to see a guy maybe miss a few bad ones and he is always one shot away from getting on a streak with that quick release. He is going to keep looking, we have to screen for him and keep getting him open, keep making the right plays.”

On team improvement through the non-conference schedule:
“I thought that Isaiah and Ty [Jerome] were really key in the early part of the game to keep us in there as they were making four tough shots. We got some good wide-open looks and we missed them, but I thought that Ty has had two really good games in a row and Isaiah as well. They just kept us in there. And I really liked De’Andre Hunter as well. He gave us a nice lift with an offensive rebound put-back and a nice transition bucket at the end of the half. Those things are all important in that game. Again, we defended and shot pretty well in that first half, they just hit some tough shots. Ty was really sharp and really good. Assists to turnovers was really solid as well.”

Hampton Head Coach Edward Joyner Jr.

On today’s game:
“We got our butts kicked. I am proud of the effort that they did but forth, especially in the first 20 minutes of the ball game. We played a good ball club. If we handle this the right way and take this experience into when we have to play next time we play a team like this, it will be sometime in March, maybe we will handle it a little differently.”

On what the team can carry forward from the first half stretch:
“It is kind of like the old saying goes, sometimes a win is not a win and a loss isn’t always a loss. See the one thing you have to understand about Virginia is they pay attention to detail, they don’t miss an assignment, like I told the guys, in that first 20 minutes, you didn’t either. I am not putting this on the officials because it’s not. That’s no excuse. You have got to get them to make a call. You have to do things correctly. There is also a different type of physicality. In the first 20 minutes, I thought they matched it. I thought they did a great job. We were down 15 and I counted at least seven layups that we missed. That, we can control. In the second half, again, when you are playing with a team of that caliber and you have to deal with that type of physicality for 40 minutes, if you aren’t used to it every night, it is a learning experience. I think that they can take from that first half that if we come and do what we are supposed to do, you can compete with anybody, for that first 20 minutes. How are we going to fix that next 20? If we get another opportunity to face a team like this in the NCAA Tournament, we will be ready.”

On four-point play at the end of the first half:
“He said that when my young man hit the floor, I don’t know what was said, I really don’t know what he did to earn it, if he got it, he had to have done something. I did think that was the momentum swing for us. During that play, we were feeling good because one thing you want to do is control the two guards, [Kyle Guy] and [Devon] Hall, and at that point, I think they had one field goal between the two. So, you are executing your game plan perfectly. I think what that did for us, or for them, was give them a little bit of separation. When a team like that gets a little bit of separation, time, physicality, all of that becomes a factor. Now they can run what they run and that’s what really wears you down. At the point that you are hanging in there and it has to go bucket for bucket, sometimes they may take a shot a little quicker than they want to. When they got their separation, it allowed them to get into their game. They are tough to handle for anybody in the country when they get into what they do well.”

Virginia Point Guard

On the effect of [Isaiah Wilkin’s] performance on the team:
“I think it hypes everybody up. I mean that’s what he does best and he’s the best in the country at it, there’s no if, ands, or buts. He’s a tremendous player to play with and that just gets me all excited, so I think it does for the rest of the team too.”

On first half vs. second half performance:
“My teammates are always telling me to keep shooting and to let it come to me. That’s what I try to do, I try to stay aggressive and look for other people if my shot’s not falling, but keep shooting at the same time. Today [Ty Jerome] said `Kyle, you need to get 10 straight points,’ so that’s what I tried to do.”

Virginia Point Guard Ty Jerome

On strong performances in the past two games:
“To be honest, my confidence is exactly where it was in the games I didn’t shoot well and I didn’t play well. I told you last time that my confidence never wavers, it’s just about coming out, being aggressive and making the right decisions.”

On [De’Andre Hunter‘s] defensive and offensive performances:
“I mean I think you guys saw both sides of the ball today. You saw him defensively, spreading out. We put him in, he guarded [Malique Trent-Street], who was supposed to be one of their best scorers, I don’t think he scored much on him. Then the second half, you saw him slide and stay with [Jermaine Marrow], who was good with the ball. And of course, you saw him break out offensively, and that’s what he’s going to do when he gets the opportunity.”

Virginia Forward Isaiah Wilkins

On making multiple dives for balls throughout the game:
“I just go get the ball. Then try not to hurt anyone. Getting the ball is the priority, so I go for it.”

On where the team is coming into ACC play:
“I think we are finding our identity. To me it’s the hustle plays, and things like that. We’ll grow from these types of games. ACC play is going to be tough so we just have to be ready to accept that challenge.”

On his energy and its effect on his teammates:
“Hopefully they could pick up from it. I try to bring it to every game, and some games I won’t have it so somebody else will bring it and I’ll feed off of them. I think they know that’s who I am. I’ve been doing that since I started playing basketball.”

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