Feb. 19, 2014
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett on the threes his team took ...
I really need to watch the tape. I thought we got some really good looks early that we had to take. There were probably three or four that probably weren't necessary and were rushed. Even a couple inside the three, but they were packing that zone in so much. They mixed it up a little, they went some triangle and two but predominantly 2-3, but that's the first time we have played against a team that has played all zone against us all year and you need to make some threes. If you look at the teams they've played since they've gone exclusively to this, the number of threes have really gone up. You have to shoot some. I think we got, for the most part, pretty good looks. Joe [Harris] was a little uncharacteristic at times, but it was necessary that we got a little more assertive in the second half against it. I thought we got aggressive with Anthony [Gill] in there and then we went four guards, which was significant because we made nice passes and Justin [Anderson] was big down the stretch.
On the play of Justin Anderson ...
Of course he did. There was that one play where he dove on the floor and that ignited everybody. Later there was a similar play, there was about three or four guys diving on the floor. It was hard fought. Justin did a really good job on [Devin] Wilson. I'll say this, you had two really good freshman point guards playing out there today in our guy and their guys, hats off to them. He put a lot of pressure on us, but Justin was doing a good job of guarding him. He had a great possession at the end against Ben [Emelogu] but he did a great job at the end knocking down those shots, so no question we went four guards at the end, which is that versatility that we can do at times.
On Virginia Tech's defense ...
James [Johnson] is doing a real good job these last few games. The way they're guarding, they are a different team. How they are guarding you and their patience offensively. They are running you off screens, and then at the end they are putting the ball in Wilson's hands. It's really hard guarding him off the ball screen. Mike [Tobey] was having a little bit of trouble. I thought some of them we made them earn, some they made some tough shots but we had some breakdowns. Some of those rebounds they got, they had eight offensive rebounds and in the first half that cost us, but it was one of those games you had to just gut it out.
On the possibility of it just not being their night ...
Yeah, you never know, they got a rebound here and put one back. I tell our guys, just keep playing. If you get quality shots, just take them, don't worry about it. If you make a quality possession defensively and they hit a tough shot, don't worry about it, just keep playing on. You're never out of it and this team has shown that this year. I knew it was going to be a challenge and I knew it was going to be hard. We were very fortunate, I feel like we stole one. We did because they outplayed us the majority of the game, but we made enough plays down the stretch and came up with enough stops.
Virginia Tech Head Coach James Johnson's opening statements ...
It was a hard fought game tonight. Both teams competed, both teams played hard. That's what the rivalry games are about. I thought our guys came out ready to play, ready for the intensity of a matchup like that. I thought down the stretch they made plays. They made plays and we didn't. To be a winning team and be on the streak that they're on, you find ways to win games. They've done it, and they did it again tonight.
On speaking to the team after the game ...
I just told them we played well enough to win that game. We just didn't make the plays down the stretch that you need to make against a good team like that, and they made the plays. Against a good team you have to play 40-plus minutes, however long it takes. They'll keep coming at you and coming at you, and they're used to winning. That helps a team like that, especially when they are in a close game. They are used to winning, they are used to making plays and they have guys that can make plays. I told them that we should have had that one. But you have to give them a lot of credit, they made the plays down the stretch and we didn't.
On tonight being the night ...
I felt good going into the game from the start. With the guys, their approach, coming off of a win, they were playing with a little more confidence. Their approach was a little different than it was up there, they're young but now they understand what the rivalry is about. They were a little bit more calm and patient and poised tonight. I felt good throughout the entire game. But they made winning plays and we didn't.
On the play of Joey van Zegeren ...
He was very active tonight, even with that I thought he got out to a bit of a slow start. But he came on and was very, very good. He's been good for us, especially on the defensive end. When he's active on the offensive end for us like he was tonight, we are a much better team.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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