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March 2, 2018

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

What is it that makes UofL effective shooting the ball against them when other teams have not have good stretches like you have?
“We, for the most part, took good shots, we just try to be aggressive, put some pressure on them. Their defense puts pressure on the offense most of the time. We try to let our offense put pressure on their defense.”

If there was a point at which it was going to be a loss
“I mean, you’re down 13, you’ve been up spots, you never really think that you just say they played really well. There’s part of me that’s so thankful, excited, and happy how our guys showed resiliency and finished. I also feel some pain for them or compassion for them. I thought (Deng) Adel, we had a hard time handling him. Ray Spalding and Quentin Snider and all of their guys they played so hard and they played well. I thought if we just kept plugging it was there. 0.9 with the ball, I did tell the ref, I think he might think this is a move. Watch his feet, he may travel. And I feel bad that he did it but De’Andre (Hunter) said he called bank so then we’ll take it. Our guys had to make some tough shots and of course there’s some times you need things to break right and they did for us but we kept plugging. Of course a good win but I know how hard of a loss that is for Louisville because of how well they played throughout that.”

About the last .9 seconds
“Well, I first asked the ref I wanted to make sure, do we have time to catch and shoot. I know it’s 0.4 I think where you can’t catch and shoot or you can’t have 0.4 and above. I’ve got to get that right, so I asked. I just wanted to put that in his head, we can catch and shoot. We’re trying to get a slip and Isaiah, he said ‘hey listen he told Dre (Hunter) they defended it well’ so we kind of had an action then a counter. Again, he hit a really tough shot and that was it. But that at least kind of set up a play that we call and take it.”

Feelings on being the first ACC team to be 9-0 on the road
“I don’t know if other teams have gone undefeated but a really good accomplishment. To do it in this league, in this setting. It didn’t look promising but you have to go on and play. Clearly with the parity in this league, there’s not a lot of separation regardless of record, we know that, and you’ve got to play. We were in some tough situations when we were down at Florida State, down here, and it came down to making plays and that is what happened today. I’m very thankful and we’re going to go back and have one more regular season game at our place.”

On team not shooting well until end of game
“Well, we tried to open the floor some. At the start of the game, we missed three or four free throws in the first half- three or four layups. We were right there with some shots. We were there and that was a little concerning but what was more concerning is they’re good one-on-one players. They attack and they hit some tough shots and then some shots they hit we weren’t in position or didn’t guard it the way we should and they stretched us out and got to the paint and did some things that were tough for us so I was more concerned or disappointed that we weren’t putting up a better fight defensively. I can always live with tough, contested shots made but I didn’t feel we were doing that consistently enough to be in that game. Then Ty (Jerome) gets that first offensive foul where he held and that was troublesome because that cost us a little bit. But again, it was attacking and plays made off the bounce that certainly were there and enough big threes.”

Is this the most improbable win you’ve ever had as a coach
“A couple years ago, we were at Wake Forest that might have been more improbable. It was a bank shot from the dead corner. That might have been more improbable as crazy as that sounds. But things happen, you don’t know. It’s unfortunate that the young man traveled but I’ve seen that happen a lot so that’s why you keep playing until the buzzer goes off.”

On Ty Jerome’s play down the stretch
“I saw there was no foul trouble, he was happy to be out there. He was in foul trouble then I said okay we have to get him back. He had three and we’re going to start to separate. He’s important, he kind of makes things go and he was aggressive. Obviously, he had a big second half, he’s done that on more than one occasion for us late in games in the second half.”

About maintaining focus
“Just try to get a stop and a score and a stop and a score just not giving anything easy. It wasn’t happening a couple of times, we had a chance and we would possess the ball and we’d foul on one and we’d possess the ball and it would go off our foot one time. It just seemed like we couldn’t hold possession and there were unfortunate plays that’s one good thing about this group of guys they keep playing, they just try to keep getting quality looks. It was kind of a score-stop mentality, and O to D possession or a D to O and it just kind of don’t look at it past that.”

Feelings on something about this building and every time you come in here
“We lost on a bank shot, remember? It was a swish? Ok, I got bank on the brain, sorry. you can’t blame me. Actually we bothered it and he shot it up higher and we lost on that shot, so I remember that. But we’ve had some good performances.”

Feelings on Devon Hall and Isaiah Wilkins
“Terrific, great leaders. That’s this team. Every team you wanna play. Really hard and smart. But the leadership we’ve had the fortune to have over the years with those guys, and they did start out as role players. Devon is a redshirt. And every step they’ve gotten better and more and more they are so bought in. They are owners of this house and it matters to them to hold guys accountable and they encourage. You couldn’t ask for better leaders. I am so glad how it’s gone for them.”

Louisville Head Coach David Padgett

On if Deng Adelwas told that he could run the baseline on the final inbounds play
“I didn’t ask him.”

On whether telling the players that they can run the baseline on inbounds plays is protocol for referees
“Normally. I’m not sure if the referee said something to him or not.”

On the final inbounds plays that was called
“It was just our press offense that we had run a couple times earlier to get the ball inbounds successfully. The game doesn’t come down to one play. It never does. It was obviously a big play, but it’s not the play that decides the game.”

On De’AndreHunter’s game-winning three-pointer and how Louisville defended it
“It was a prayer. It was a prayer from 30 feet. The stars weren’t aligned for us tonight.”

On the mistakes made by Louisville down the stretch
“Coaches always take the blame for the loss. I should have done a couple things differently there, that’s on me. First time head coach, 30-year head coach, everybody’s going to make mistakes. That’s not on the players. It never, ever will be on the players. It’s on me as a head coach.”

What did they change in the second half
“We certainly needed the ball inside a little more, we hit a couple timely threes, there is no question about that. Even Tony said it, we played well enough to win the game there is no question. You have to give them credit, they are the number one team in the country, and they showed grit, not giving up when they were down, whatever the lead was. They made big plays down the stretch, the biggest one of the game at the end.”

About how to refocus the team for the next game
“We don’t have a choice. We have to win this game Saturday. There is no real such thing as must wins but this is one that is about as close as one as we will have. We have less than 48 hours to get ready for a team that is playing about as well as anybody in the league. We have to bounce back from this one.”

On what he told the team in the locker room after the game
“That I love them and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Was this about as good as you’ve played all
“Yeah it was, unfortunately, playing well enough isn’t enough sometimes.”

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