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Feb. 10, 2018

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the 38 free throw attempts and their plan against Virginia Tech:
“First, Virginia Tech really jammed the lane and did a good job. They have been doing that in their last couple games. We got some good looks and then I thought our touches were alright. We shot a couple, maybe more than a couple, bad ones and that is a very high number. But it is what it is.”

On Virginia Tech doing something differently:
“They did a really good job. They really flooded and jammed the lane. We almost stole that game, but that is what it would have been, stealing that game. They outplayed us. I told our guys I liked some of the shots and the plays they made and stretches and stops to put it into overtime, and even when we had the lead one time we fell down and we missed some free throws and a couple miscues. You cannot do that if you are going to steal one. I think there were too many break downs for us and miscues. Defensively, we were broken down and they outplayed us. We fought again to get back and possibly steal it. You have to grow from it and learn from it, but it wasn’t enough.”

On how you console Devon Hall after missing a free throw:
“I think that happened during Boston College. We had a chance to again, steal it, that is the word I would use. Sometimes that is good enough, you take it any way you can. But if I look at the quality of the game and the majority of it, I did not think we had enough quality. There were stretches of it and we had to tighten it up, but that is hard.”

On how the team will respond:
“First of all, this was a phenomenal atmosphere. Our crowd of people who came out was special. That was as loud as I have heard and I appreciate that. How do we respond? We have to go and play Miami, who I think is excellent and one of the most talented teams in our league in their building. That is part of this league. I do not get too carried away with where we are. I always say thus far, and now we have to prove it again. They have done an unbelievable job where they are, and we did not do the job tonight. Now we are going to get a chance to do it again and we are going to have to fight like crazy every game. Everybody is capable of beating everybody in this league and that is reality. If you are little off it is not enough.”

Virginia Tech Head Coach Buzz Williams

On today’s defense:
“They played really hard. That is all we have focused on since we played and lost versus Miami. I thought we were a lot better defensively against North Carolina State. We have done the same thing in practice in preparation for Virginia that we did for North Carolina State. I would not necessarily say strategically that there has been any change relative to what we have taught from the beginning. It has just been more of an emphasis on holding one another accountable, watching tape of ourselves and literally just practicing that. No drills, no offense, nothing. Just half-court defense and in my opinion, an incredible credit and it speaks to the fiber of the guys and our coaches that in early February they were willing to accept what you were saying and be accountable in what we have to do.”

On mentality of the team during the game:
“I know you have heard me say it. I say it with a 100% sincerity. It is just who our guys are. I think there are multiple questions like that and you have seen all of our games, except Syracuse and Boston College, where we could have just stopped or quit or splintered apart and it is who their parents are. It is the togetherness of those kids. Our staff has been phenomenal and their willingness to have high energy to coach, to help our guys be accountable for the changes we have made. Virginia is the number one team in the country. Coach Bennett is an early entry Hall of Fame candidate. He will be in the Hall of Fame long before his career is over. They are good enough to win a National Championship. They never, for sure in the time that I have been here, they are never going to beat themselves. They are going to win the league by four games, six games.

On what boost this game will give them:
“Well I just hope that we handle it in the right way. The margin in this league is unlike any time since I have been here. Everybody is just beating up everybody. We just started a very difficult stretch. I think we play three of the top fifteen teams in the country over a ten-day period. Thankful for the start. We will have to be very mature in how we handle it going forward, still a long time to go.

Virginia Forward Isaiah Wilkins

On Virginia Tech’s defense:
“I think they did a really good job being in the gap, you know, plugging. On the down screens the guards did not really have a lane to drive like they normally do. We made adjustments in the second half and tried to take advantage of that but they did a really good job.”

On Virginia’s shot selection:
“I think we got a lot of good looks that just did not go in. I told Kyle [Guy] and Ty [Jerome] and Devon [Hall], you guys can shoot. Nobody is questioning any of those. They will be alright.”

On the adjustments made in the second half:
“I think it was just taking more pride in what we do. I think we got away from that, and we will definitely see that tomorrow in film, but we have had two slow starts in a row so we will probably try to adjust or do something to change that.”

Virginia Guard Ty Jerome

On Devon Hall‘s performance:
“He has been great for us all year and he was good for us tonight, too. He had a big three in overtime. He did not lose that game on the two free-throws and he knows that. He is going to be hard on himself because he strives for excellence and he demands excellence of himself so he is going to be hard on himself but he will be ready to play Tuesday.”

Virginia Guard Devon Hall

On shaking this loss off:
“Learn. Learn from our mistakes. I think we played poor defensively. We are a fighting team, but we can learn from our mistakes, and we will be in the film room tomorrow.”

On what changed in Virginia Tech’s defensive scheme between games:
“They were flooding a lot more. Every time we tried to drive in the lane they jumped the gap. To be honest, we got a lot of open shots that we just did not knock down.”

On his confidence heading to the line:
“I was confident. Super confident. I shoot thousands of free throws. I will go right back to the line like I did last time. The second time I went up to the line [at the end] I thought the first one was going to go in. It felt so good coming out of my hands. I have all the confidence in the world and in myself going into that situation.”

Virginia Guard Kyle Guy

On Virginia Tech’s first half run coming out of the timeout:
“I do not know if I can point any one specific thing out, but they were really attacking downhill and Justin Robinson was phenomenal in the pick-and-roll. We had a couple of lapses on defense and they were hitting tough shots.”

On what part of Virginia Tech’s defense made it hard to attack the paint:
“We kind of go against the pack line every day, against each other, so I think they were helping even more in the paint and it was hard to make the skip pass. Guys like Alexander and Bibbs are really long and athletic so we could not just skip pass it. I know, myself, I took a couple of bad shots and that we probably could have moved the ball a little bit better.”

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