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Jan. 31, 2018

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On Ty Jerome relishing late game situations:
“Those were impressive shots. Sometimes we got the switch; sometimes we did not, but he just needs a little space [to shoot] and if you come up too close he will get in the lane and make some tough shots. I would like to say that is just the great engineering of the offense, but that is guys making plays. When the game gets to that, you try to give the right space and put the ball in the right guy’s hands and let guys make plays. He made some big shots, as did Kyle [Guy]. Credit to Louisville, that is a talented team. Well coached. They exploited some things. We did not guard perfectly and they made us look out of position, at times. Offensively, we leaned on some things there, but guys made some plays. I do want to mention that I am so happy for Marco [Anthony]. The lift he gave us. That is just him working. He puts in his time, and he reminds me of Devon [Hall] in that regard. We needed it all.”

On the anxiety regarding personnel tonight:
“Well Louisville will concern you, because you know how good they are, but we didn’t know [who we would have]. Devon practiced yesterday for the first time; Mamadi [Diakite] did. Devon is a warrior. DeAndre just did a little bit yesterday, so we were not sure if we were going to have him, but I thought he did as well as he could have considering that. He played through, and with the suspension of Nigel, our backcourt gets thin. I did not know how much Devon was going to be able to play. Plus, with the foul trouble with Ty, all those things factored in, but Marco was huge with that. I would have played Deandre some on the perimeter, but I just did not think that he needed all those minutes and Marco showed that he deserved those minutes.”

On Marco’s preparation for today:
“Guys get ready by how they approach their pre-practice, their practice and how they keep their head up. Marco is sure-handed. He is a strong young man. He is even young for his grade. We knew yesterday that [Nigel would be suspended], so he prepared in that regard and we got him some more reps in yesterday’s practice. Louisville is a tough team to get thrown into the fire in this setting, but he was very poised. That is a credit to him, and he is a fine young man.”

On keeping Marco engaged in practice and the confidence he showed tonight:
“I think it is because of our leaders – guys like Devon and Isaiah [Wilkins] talking to him to [keep his head] up. We talk about that — and every coach does — you never know when your number is going to be called. We have that `next man up’ mentality. A guy can get in foul trouble or get injured. I have told him that I was close [to putting him out there] and to stay ready at halftime in a few games if I did not like some things. We talked about his opportunity yesterday. He is a worker — he works, works, works. I do not know if it is because he is from down south in Texas or what, but he has a slow, easy way about him and that served him well today. [We saw his youth show with a couple things] like finding people on transition defense, but we had some trouble with some of our veterans in that way. It was good to see him out there. He works on that shot, and he works on that pull-up, so that is promising for him.”

Louisville Head Coach David Padgett

Opening Statement:
“When they shoot the ball like that you are going to have to make more than eight three’s to beat them. Our guys competed for every single second of those 40 minutes. It is just a game where you literally have to tip your hat to the other team because they just made big plays and big shots. We defended late clock and made some really big shots for them. If you were going to tell me we would come in here and shoot 50 percent and score 64 points, I would have liked our chances but sometimes the other team just makes more shots than you do, so you just have to give them all the credit in the world. There is a reason they are number two in the country and it showed tonight.”

On Louisville’s shot selection:
“I think in the second half maybe on one or two, I think we got lost or were a second late, which makes a difference. But it was not just the three’s. It was some mid-range shots that they were shooting over shot blockers. You just have to give them credit. I need to watch the film and see maybe what we could have done different defensively, but we just tried to use our length and they made shots over us.”

On what makes Virginia strong:
“Their pace. When it is a low possession game, you are not going to turn the ball over very much and they will make you work for 30 seconds on defense and then they make shots like they did tonight.”

On what they prepared for Marco Anthony:
“I am not sure why Tony [Bennett] played him as much as he did, but I am sure he has his reasons, but he comes in and makes two three’s. One of the ones that he made in the second half we got a little lost in our defense and gave him a look in the corner, but they have guys that make big plays at big times. There is no doubt about that.”

On how they could have made it a different game:
“I thought we did a good job from a scouting report standpoint of trying to attack them with our offense. With the exception of maybe one or two times we did not come down and take quick shots. We tried to get the ball moving and attack. In the second half, especially, we got the ball inside and we got it to Anas [Mahmoud] and Ray [Spalding] around the rim and they were able to score. We could have done a better job offensively. We had some costly turnovers maybe but when that team shoots the ball like that it is going to take a heck of a night to beat them.”

Virginia Guard Ty Jerome

On Marco Anthony‘s performance:
“I think that’s such a hard spot to be in. He didn’t really play much all year, and to come in against a team like that and deliver like that, it’s amazing. I don’t think many people could do that. I told him how proud of him I was, that’s amazing right there.”

On opponent’s play with Virginia having a high ranking:
“Definitely, but I also think that every time you play basketball is another opportunity, so we should have heightened focus every game. Our focus should be at 100 percent every time we step on the floor, whether it is a practice or a game, no matter the previous result.”

On Kyle Guy‘s offensive ability:
“He’s talented, he’s real talented. He’s sneaky athletic, a lot of people don’t give him credit because of his frame probably, but he’s athletic. He has a good touch, he has good feel and he took 21 shots, but almost all of them were good shots.”

Virginia Guard Devon Hall

On Marco Anthony‘s performance:
“He works his butt off, so I’m so happy for him and to see him go out there and play that well. I wasn’t really surprised because he works his butt off and he always says `I’m just waiting on my moments,’ so he did a great job tonight. He helped us, big lift.”

On practice leading up to this game, especially on missing players:
“It was felt. I didn’t practice two days ago. [Mamadi Diakite] didn’t practice, [De’Andre Hunter] didn’t practice, so it was just a matter of others guys leading, us trying to have a voice and just trying to stay locked in. It’s knowing we are able to go out there and be on the floor, but yesterday we tried to get as much done as possible. That’s why players on the team step up in those spots.”

On playing against Louisville’s defensive length:
“[We had to] get down there. I don’t know if they led the country, but I know that they block a lot of shots. We just work on our finishing in practice and just try to make sure when we get down there we are aware to maybe try to pump fake and get them in the air and try to have different finishes.”

Virginia Guard Kyle Guy

On having family in the crowd when playing Louisville:
“Most of the people I grew up with are IU [Indiana University] fans. I did have some family come down. I am excited to play at Louisville because that is usually where I have the most people there.”

On Marco Anthony‘s performance:
“Definitely not surprised. I mean, he is just one of those guys that really waits his turn and bides his time and is ready to focus at all times. I think you saw that on the court tonight. He is very strong, good with the ball, did not make too many turnovers. With his big frame, it is hard to take the ball from him. He was really sound tonight.”

Virginia Guard Marco Anthony

On the Louisville game:
“They are a really good team defensively and offensively, too. Having their whole team just being shooters, if you had your hands low, they would just dribble in your face.”

On being nervous during the Louisville game:
“I am confident in myself because of all the hard work I put in, so it is just being ready for the moment.”

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