Story Links

March 3, 2018

Recap | Box Score | Notes

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett On what it means to send the Seniors out with a win on Senior Day:

“It means everything. You always try to play for your seniors. There is a lot of emotion, of course, and to do what we did was special. I remember doing that with past groups, but to come to half court and just look those three Seniors in the eye and say, ‘Thank you’ – you could see how much it meant to those guys. That was for us to thank the crowd. Win or lose, I told them before, we are going to thank the crowd for an incredible home stand – their passion and their support.”

On what he was told about Kyle after he went down in the first half:

“I would never have put him in the game, if he was not good to go. He was with [Head Trainer] Ethan [Saliba]. They tested him out. I asked Kyle, and he said ‘I am okay. I am good to go in.’ He seemed a little gimpy, but he was in there. He got popped at the end so that is why he came out at the end. That had nothing to do with his knee. I really do not know [about his knee] right now. They will do some tests, and hopefully it is okay.”

On the work that Virginia’s bigs do setting screens that tire out the opponent:

“Everyone has been such a part of the quality or success that we have had, but Isaiah [Wilkins] and Jack [Salt] play their role so well. They screen; they rebound; they occasionally shoot and they get those guys open [on screens] and of course that takes its toll. We would not be in this spot without those guys. They are as much a part of our success as everyone, and that is a significant role. I thought Devon [Hall] was terrific down the stretch, making some of those plays, and I thought some of those rebounds that Dre [Hunter] got were very significant.”

On what Coach Bennett plans on doing to prepare the team mentally going forward:

“Now you are in one-and-done tournament play – the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament. I think that it was about putting our stamp on this game and finishing the season strong in terms of our identity. I told the guys there are a lot of reasons why you could be a little off – the celebration at Louisville and that excitement, the quick turnaround, playing against a good team in Notre Dame today – but that is unacceptable. You put your stamp on this game to the best of your abilities. We had some trouble and you see why when Notre Dame is healthy they are special, but we toughened it out and now we get ready [for the tournaments]. You continue on, but you understand that it is quality play. You do not change who you are, but you know that if you drop one, you are out.”

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

Opening Statement:

“Man, I love how my group battled. In the midst of trying to put ourselves back together, I told them, ‘we’re back.’ With Bonzie [Colson] and the injury. Even though we didn’t win, I really liked what we got out of them today against a great team as we head to Brooklyn. You have to give Virginia credit. I thought [Devon] Hall was fabulous. Every time we put a little game pressure he made a big play and Tony [Bennett] has done a fabulous job with this group and they’re really good. We don’t want to see them in Brooklyn.”

On the big screens of Jack Salt and Isaiah Wilkins taking their toll:

“I think when you play them it’s physically draining because you’re chasing their perimeter guys off those road blocks and they’re great screeners. I thought our guys did a great thing with everything else today. We have to be disciplined when we are in Brooklyn. We showed a lot of clips of us defensively when we had success against them in Brooklyn (last season). For the most part, we gave ourselves a chance and we couldn’t get enough offense going, but I think you have to credit Virginia’s defense on that.”

On what is fair for the NCAA to do regarding their team:

“It’s an interesting question. We are probably one of the harder ones to analyze. Now, we have to do some work in Brooklyn to put ourselves on the docket. But we’re in there, they have to look at us. Our numbers are good, and one thing I’m very happy that the committee saw today is Bonzie Colson is obviously back. He is back and with him we have a chance, but we need to get going in Brooklyn. I hope we can give them a few more wins so that we are really debated in that room.”

On where Bonzie Colson is conditionally:

“He was cramping a little bit. But even before the injury he had a little bit of a cramping issue in the skinniest calves in the history of a power four group. No one has skinnier calves, they’re non-existent. We’ve always had a bit of that cramping issue, but we talked last night and I played him 21 minutes against Pitt and I told him we were going for it like the old days and he said he was ready for it. I think today helped him play himself back into shape. We’ll rest him tomorrow but he has to go 35 for us if we’re going to make a run at the tournament.”

On Matt Farrell shooting 3 for 15:

“I think you have to give credit to Virginia’s defense. They really pushed him out and had different guys on him. I thought everything was really hard for him offensively, and people have done that, and when they’ve really taken him away it’s affected our flow. He missed some pretty good ones, but when you play Virginia and you get an open shot in the second half, you’re a little tired because you’ve been chasing Jerome off of road blocks. That’s always been a problem when we play these guys because you’re a little tired to rise up and take that shot because you’ve been guarding him. He’s healthy too, and to see him and Bonzie [Colson] healthy as we head to Brooklyn in a good frame of mind, that’s all I can ask for. After what I went through in January I am just so pleased I have everybody back heading into the tournament.”

Virginia Forward Isaiah Wilkins On getting the offense flowing late:

“I think it’s a group effort. [The guards] have to come off of our shoulders tight and their moving a lot during the game and I know it’s easy to get tired. So, it’s just a mix of them doing that and us trying to get a piece of the defender coming around. So, yeah, it’s a group effort.”

On his emotions in the team gathering after the game:

“It’s just special, it’s been a really special time for me here. I love all of these guys. It’s just been a great four years and this is a great way to go out, I was really happy with it.”

On preparing for the upcoming tournaments:

“I think we just have to have a full reset. There’s been a chapter, and it’s been closed and you have to be extra prepared, but still play free. I think that we’ve prepared up to this point, all the way from the summer time until now. So, it’s time to lock in, go out there, you can’t play tight. Play free, but you gotta give a little bit more at this point of the year, since everybody’s playing good ball.”

Virginia Guard Ty Jerome On what the season has been as a whole:

“We don’t play until Thursday so we’ll probably have tonight and tomorrow to really reflect on the regular season and how amazing it was and really be thankful for it. Our fans at every home game, they’re amazing, huge thank you to them. This team, we just didn’t give up all year; on the road, in tough environments, it was a great, great, great regular season. And we need to carry this momentum forward going into the best time of the year.”

On Coach Bennett’s center court talk after the game:

“He just said to ‘give thanks to the fans. That they’ve been here for us every home game, they’ve been amazing and we just wanted to come out and give thanks one last time for the seniors and last home game of this year for us.’ We’re just really thankful for them.”

Virginia Senior Guard Devon Hall On playing on senior day:

“It’s nice to come out to the court and be able to pull out a win on senior night, but I’m not necessarily feeling any type of pressure to get a win. Just try to keep your emotions stable and try to fight for your team. For the most part I did, walking out there with my family and holding my jersey up, that stuff sinks in. It’s a special for moment for me and my family. I’ve been here for five years and I can’t ever play here (JPJ) again, so it’s a special moment.”

Print Friendly Version