Virginia-Stanford

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VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 7, 2007

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Virginia Head Coach Dave Leitao

On Stanford's last possession...
Defensively, we weren't very good all day. I was hoping we could get a stop, but we didn't get stops when we needed them. We didn't get many stops all day.

On having two freshmen, Jamil Tucker and Solomon Tat, in the game on the last possession...
It speaks to what was going on with everybody else and we've got to rely on young guys, especially one that's been hurt, to get stops for us.

On Virginia's defense...
We never had any defensive rhythm. When we started the game, whether we were doubling or not, the back line never rotated. We gave up offensive rebounds. By halftime, we had given up 10 free points or so, either by offensive rebounds or lack of rotation or lack of understanding their strengths, position by position, from the scouting report. So I didn't really have faith all game long in what we were trying to do defensively.

On Mamadi Diane's play...
I'm not singling him out. Because I was asked about him, I'll answer the question. It was far from just Mo. But I saw he was getting screened, I saw his rotations being late, and as a result, when he missed his first shot from the corner. Some guys can find their rhythm later in the game, but neither he nor we ever found our rhythm.

On J.R. Reynolds' play...
He got his first foul early, and he got his second foul rather foolishly, reaching in on a loose ball, and that forced him to sit down. But he didn't have his normal rhythm.

On coming off the big win over Gonzaga...
We've been talking about it for two days: How are we going to do if we don't play as well [as against Gonzaga] on both ends of the floor - defensively or if we don't make as many shots of the floor? Can we still grind it out and play? We needed a quality team performance. Somebody's got to take charges for us. Somebody's got to rotate for us. Somebody's got to box out for us, and in turn, somebody's got to make it work for us on the offensive end. We shot 43 percent, which is what we do when we struggle on the other end of the floor.

On Virginia's last possession...
We weren't going to take a shot at the shot clock buzzer. I wasn't going to hold back if the opportunity presented itself. We got what we wanted. We got a guy fouled. But we just didn't make the stop.

Virginia Player Quotes

#33 F Jason Cain

On the impact of the Lopez brothers...
"We had to focus a lot of attention on them. They were a big load to carry. Two seven-footers is a big load to carry. You can't just double-team one because you'll leave the other one open."

On if Stanford provided preparation for playing the opposing post players at UNC...
"I guess so - they are two totally different teams, and totally different big men. But it should help us play against that type of team. UNC focuses on throwing the ball in to their big guys just as Stanford does, so in that sense they are similar."

#11 F Lars Mikalauskas

On the toughness of tonight's game...
"It was a physical game. They executed the whole way and that's why we lost the game."

On the presence of two seven footers in the post...
"They were really good players. They are only freshman, too, so they should be good in the future. They shoot the ball well and they are tall, so they obviously used that to their advantage."

#30 G/F Adrian Joseph

On if his shooting and offensive production was encouraging tonight...
"Yeah, definitely. But everyone can score and it's difficult to get stops on the other side of the court and that's what hurt us tonight."

On the difficulty of containing the Lopez kids...
"Being their size, they were hard to contain and they did a pretty good job in the post."

Stanford Head Coach Trent Johnson

Opening comments...
"I don't know if we can play any better than how we played this evening. They are kids; we're an extremely young basketball team. We have a lot of respect for Virginia's basketball team and I have a lot respect for Dave Leitao. It's just going to be a matter of time before they become an elite basketball program. For us, having five guys post double figures and coming out and rebounding the ball, considering how bad we played and how bad we shot the ball against Cal at home, this is a big win for us."

On freshman forwards Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez playing in tandem...
"Hopefully they will continue to improve. We thought that we had a size advantage, and we do if we use it. There's no question that Virginia's perimeter players are exceptional, so going into the game we knew that we were going to have to make an adjustment or two and try to impose our will on the half court instead of getting caught up on running up and down. If we're going to be successful, then we're going to have to play those two together along with [junior center] Peter Prowitt and try to keep the game in the 70's."

On the game plan to stop junior guard Sean Singletary...
"Our game plan was to pray. No, we tried numerous things. We tried to run two guys at him, started with [junior center] Anthony [Goods], started with [sophomore guard] Mitch [Johnson], doubling on balls, taking our guy who was guarding him out of help. He's exceptional. He' 6'0'', but he plays 6'7''. You can't contain a guy like that as long as he has the ball in his hands, so we just wanted to make him work for everything that he got."

On scoring on every possession but one in the final four minutes of the game...
"I think that it's to our advantage, no matter who we play, or where we play, or when we play, if we can keep the game on the half court, utilize our size, and play big. If we can do that, then we're going to execute. These kids, much like the Virginia kids, are bright, articulate kids. They understand, and they have a tendency to make bad coaching look good. Needless to say, my guys have done a really good job with that. When we are able to keep it a half court game, then we have a good chance of staying in games and competing at a high level."

Stanford Player Quotes

#42 Fr. C Robin Lopez

On his team's height advantage today...
"So far throughout the season, our advantage has been our height. Out West, so far, most of the team's main strengths have been their guards and perimeter shooting similar to tonight. So we usually look to bang it inside with me, Lawrence [Hill], and Brook [Lopez] with Anthony [Goods] and Mitch [Johnson] penetrating."

On starting alongside his brother...
"Yes it was a big thrill and it was also a big surprise. I had no idea it was going to happen."

On how the height disparity can make his play easier...
"Yea, it makes our job a little bit easier, but [Virginia] still went out and shot to win. They still went out and played hard. So it kind of gives us an edge a little bit but not too much. And it also makes the other team play with some fire."

#15 So. F Lawrence Hill

On how the final play unfolded tonight...
"We knew throughout the course of the game that Fred Washington was going to be able to get to the basket because that is something that he does really well. So whether they made both free throws or made one or missed two, we knew that we wanted Fred to bring it up court. The play before that we did the same thing, and I shot a jump shot and missed it and [Coach Trent Johnson] yelled at me to go to the basket. [Coach Johnson] said next time he was going to do the same thing and that I had better go to the basket so I just did what he said and made it."

On if he was surprised that he was able to penetrate on the final basket...
"Well I knew I was going to go to the basket either way. I wanted to give a chance for the lane to open up because Fred [Washington] was still there. If I penetrated right away I probably would have run into him and the defender."

On how difficult it is to come cross country to play...
"It definitely is difficult. We are all really winded from the travel and that is something that not many people think about with home court advantage. That is something that happened last year. We had a late game against [Virginia] at the beginning of the NIT and it was late for us, for them it was three hours later. So it's a big impact."