March 1, 2007
Virginia Head Coach Leitao Quotes
On tonight's game...
"Obviously I'm very proud of all of our guys with their efforts. Defense today was terrific through out. We only had a couple of moments there where we had lapses. We really cut out their transition offense which last time hurt us real bad."
On the revenge factor...
"I tried to play it down with the team, but obviously it lived in their mind set, their spirit. They brought in a very workman-like spirit today. Obviously Sean and J.R. led us like they always do, but Mo (Mamadi), Adrian, Jason, Tunji, the guys off the bench, Jamil's timely rebound, the big shot in the first half-- all of those kinds of things really contributed to our win today. I think that they really felt slighted last time we played them, it was a build up of the guards, but it was Vassallo and Washington that really hurt us. Jason and Mo, and Adrian and those guys that I mentioned really came out and personally made sure that they were a big part of the game today."
On taking Virginia Tech out of their transition game...
"It's something we talked about from the time we started preparing for them. We really took a beating in transition defense last time. They were getting rebounds off our sloppy offense, off our bad shots, off their steals and really getting out and running. We took care of the ball very well today. Whether we made a shot or missed a shot, we sprinted back a lot and talked; obviously that's what we needed to do."
On being in first place...
"It means a lot. We have a chance on Saturday to do something very special. I spent a lot of time before the building was open talking about legacy. I was joking with some people that a lot of people will remember that first game here, well even more people will talk about and remember if we can take care of our business and call ourselves ACC champs. That's a special thing especially in a year where there are a lot of good teams. To do that would be meaningful to this program for where we're trying to go, but most important for the guys in the locker room because they work so hard."
On being emotional by giving J.R. and Sean hugs when he took them out with 34 seconds remaining...
"Just thankful that those two guys have grown. That they've developed as people, matured and in basketball. I thought back to that first workout we had two Augusts ago when I first got here and not knowing if either one of them would make it through a two-hour workout. Now the combination of an undefeated conference season at home and how much they've been an inspiration to that, a part of that and grown from that."
On being 16-1 at John Paul Jones Arena...
"They are the only team in this league to go undefeated in conference play at home. It speaks volumes about the guys that we have and their character."
On the Virginia fans tonight...
"Tremendous. I made a point to stay out there to thank all of the fans in all of the sections. It was big in this game because it was such a premium on being in this building. They just willed us at times when we needed to be willed and other times they were just there and I think that they had a great affect on the game."
Virginia Tech Head Coach Seth Greenberg quotes
"We just didn't play well. It's plain and simple. We didn't make the plays that we need to make to win a big game on the road. We missed people--we didn't have enough attention to detail in terms of finishing possessions and rebounds. We didn't chase people hard enough over screens. We weren't determined as we needed to be to run offense. We just didn't play well. And you have to give them credit. They came out and made a bunch of shots early, and we got right back in the game, though. Our guys remained focused and got enough stops to get back in the game. The last five minutes of the first half I just thought that we had some guys who didn't get it done for us. They didn't compete at the level you need to compete at to keep the lead. We missed free throws, and we had opportunities. We had terrific opportunities. We cut it to five in the second half, and then we couldn't get a stop. And we missed some shots. You have to give them credit, they're a good basketball team. Their guards are terrific. They got some good minutes early on from [Adrian] Joseph. I thought their guys in the first half came off the bench and gave them good minutes. And Joseph made shots, and [Ryan] Petinella got a three-point play by beating us down the floor. [Jamil] Tucker made a three, which is what he does. You've got to give them credit. We knew it was going to be a great environment. I thought it was great for the state of Virginia."
On the difference between the two teams tonight...
"We didn't play well, so I couldn't tell you. If we'd played well, I could have told you the major difference. We just didn't play well tonight. They're a good basketball team, so they're going to make shots. They made a bunch of threes--we missed free throws. We had chances to get back in the game and didn't."
On their shooting percentage...
"I'm not sure if it was their defense or our ineffectiveness in terms of our spacing and how we played offensively. We didn't convert on some fast break opportunities. They're a good defensive team. Tunji [Soroye] came up with that big block in transition, but it's probably a mixture of their defense and our ineffectiveness."
On Virginia's depth...
"You guys want to say `Singletary, Reynolds, Singletary, Reynolds.' They've won 11 games now in the ACC. [Jason] Cain's had good games, [Adrian] Joseph's had good games, [Mamadi] Diane's had good games. These guys are ACC players. You guys want to trash them all the time, like it's a two-headed monster. Those other guys contribute and put them in position to win games. We came in to guard those guys, but we didn't do a good job guarding them. They got too many open looks."
Virginia Player Quotes
#33 Sr. Forward Jason Cain
On the importance of this win...
"It put us over the hump. It put us in contention for the #1 spot in the ACC. We've got to stay focused and come in and not sleep on Wake Forest. We can't let this win beat us on Saturday."
On the Virginia Tech team...
"Their guards are outstanding and their big people and their wing players complement them very well. They played solid defense and we're just lucky to come away with the victory today. Today was just our day."
On containing [Tech players] Washington, Dowdell, Vassallo, and Gordon...
"The whole team focused on that. Gordon and Dowdell didn't hurt us as much. They're great players so they're going to get theirs. [At Tech] we let Washington dictate the game. Vassallo is a great shooter and we left him open. Today we tried to focus on them and contain them as much as we could."
On his last game...
"It was just great. I'm glad I got as many cheers as I got. I'm glad the atmosphere was the way it was. The crowd pulled us out with the victory today."
#44 Jr. Guard Sean Singletary
On the team effort...
"It definitely was a group effort today. Everyone played with such urgency, especially Jason Cain, but not only the seniors. J.R. played lock-down defense. He didn't score as much as he usually does but he gave us some great defense."
On J.R. Reynolds...
"He always guards the best players at the top of the league so I wouldn't see why he wouldn't be on the first-team all-league."
On the Virginia players...
"Mamadi [Diane] definitely stepped up, he was very aggressive with his shot selection. He let the game come to him first and foremost. He played aggressively and put up some big shots for us. Jason [Cain] was relentless on the rebounds and got the put-back. Tunji [Soroye] did a good job finishing and did a great job defending. Jamil [Tucker] knocked down big shots and got big rebounds. Adrian [Joseph] definitely got a big block and a couple rebounds. I got some big shots."
On home court advantage...
"Every time you're playing in your home court there's a lot more energy because you have the crowd and everybody behind you. We got up to a nice little lead, and from then on, they made runs at us, but we cut them off for the most part."
Va. Tech Player Quotes
#1 Sr. G Zabian Dowdell
On Virginia's quick start in the first half...
"That's home court advantage for you. They hit a couple of shots early and we left some guys open. They got the crowd into the game and fed off the energy."
On recovering from Virginia's strong start...
"It says a lot that we can come back but it's bad when you make so many mistakes. You put yourself in a bad position to have to come back from. It was just one of those games. They had too many wide open shots and they were knocking them down."
On the Cavaliers' shooting 10 of 16 from three-point range...
"Anytime you give a lot of wide open looks to a team like that, especially with all the shooters they have, it's going to be a long game for you. They did a good job of knocking down shots and finding the open spots. They made us pay."
#13 Jr. F Deron Washington
On recovering from an early first half deficit...
"It says a lot about this team that we can come back when we're down. Tonight was just one of those nights where we couldn't get our shots to fall. It was just one of those games and [Virginia] was knocking down everything."
On what things his team can take out of tonight's game...
"We just have to come prepared for every game. We need to be prepared on any given night, we need to run with it and then take it to the next game."
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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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