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Jan. 4, 2018

Recap | Final Stats | Notes

Virginia HC Tony Bennett Q&A Highlights

On the bench struggling in its last game against BC and regrouping tonight:
“I knew it was going to be important with Virginia Tech and the pace that they play. We talked about this was going to be a battle for tempo when they play four for five guards. It’s a concern if you can get back and get your defense set. I thought De’Andre [Hunter] at the four and what he did was really important for us. It was good to see him give us a lift and it was a true team effort.”

On forcing 16 turnovers and if there is something different from an athleticism standpoint compared to last year defensively:
“Well, I think we are pretty good at protecting the rim, we got some nice shot blockers. But I think we understand that we have to be really good position wise and I think are guys are being active on the ball, being good with positions and being real alert. I think those things are important when people are trying to drive or loose balls. But we have gotten a few more turnovers that way, I know it will be tested. But they understand their identity of collectively playing defense as a team.”

On Ty Jerome‘s performance tonight (13 points, five assists, three rebounds):

“He controlled the game, I thought he was good. That pass he made, I had the perfect angle on it, I said `What’s he doing?’ and then `Oh, good pass.’ They say he is a neck-up player and I’ve said that since the moment he came. I love his feel and mind of the game. He’s getting more comfortable out there and he has had two really good games for us, and has controlled the ball and the game. We have used some ball screens with him and he has been productive with that, too.”

Virginia Tech HC Buzz Williams Q&A Highlights

On Virginia being one of the best defenses in the country in field goal percentage and how that made it a tough shooting day:
“I just think it’s how they play, their statistical reasons why they are No. 1 and a lot of that has to do with their personnel and their staff, including coach [Tony Bennett]. You can tell that they are well schooled in what they believe and what they want to do relative to any sort of offense that comes their way. I thought they were elite if not better than elite against us for sure.”

On having two-straight games offensively not being up to par and if there is anything he can put his finger on why that is:
“Yeah, we haven’t shot the ball well, and I think the thing I would say on that is our turnover rate is just really high. It was 25 percent at Syracuse and it was 23 percent tonight. The pace of play was much faster tonight than it was at Syracuse, it was a 69-possession game. When you miss shots and you’re giving them the ball 23 percent of the time, it just compounds the problems that we are having. So, if there was one thing that I would say, that would be what I would point to.”

On if this was a two-game perfect storm or that the team needs to get back to doing things like it was earlier in the season:
“I would say that it is probably both, I think that’s the case, very unique in what you are trying to do offensively against Syracuse, and very unique in what you are trying to do to attack Virginia’s defense. It was a perfect storm, it was the worst we’ve played on both ends Sunday and tonight would for sure be worse. So, I think we will continue to get the same test, we are giving opponents things to work on to prepare against us. I think we will continue to get the same test until we figure out how to pass it.”

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