Nov. 13, 2017
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett
On performances of [Jay Huff] and [De’Andre Hunter]
“Yeah, I think it was a good game for them. As I told you guys all along, you’ll see flashes of a nice upside where Jay stepping out and hitting a three and De’Andre hitting a three, slashing in their ability to move and jump and all that. So, I thought those things were on display tonight and there’s certain things against other teams where you are going to have to, obviously, tighten up a little bit defensively. But, very pleased and it was good to see them out there doing that. That’s a weapon when Jay can step out and shoot the three like that, and stretches, and puts pressure on the defense. What I most liked about De’Andre tonight was, he did a good job against Greensboro too, is his ability to slide, guard, and use his length. That’s so important as you continue to play teams and those perimeter guys get going have someone who can bother, so we’re going to keep trying to instill that in him, to be a stopper.”
On what he sees in [Jay Huff]
“[Jay Huff] is a true servant, he really is. That’s something we talk about in our program a lot. You can just see, even at the end when [Austin Katstra], he was looking for him to make sure he got his 3 in. I think it’s official that Austin is a better player than his father Dirk, the first shot that [Austin Katstra] took, that reminded me of Dirk from everything I heard, but him knocking down the three, I think he moved past Dirk in ability. But Jay, he was looking for him, and that’s Jay. This is a process for Jay, I talked to those two after the game, or the next day, and just said ‘it’s there, you’re both have gifts, you got to claim them. You got to work at them and just know that I believe in you. I don’t know when it will come, but I believe it will in time, as far as your opportunities and what you do.’ So again, you saw some things. And Austin Peay was not sharp tonight. They did a good job against Vandy for a lot of part of them game and tonight they were of. But, I thought we did a solid job of taking advantage of that and it was good to see those young guys get their feet wet, and [Marco Anthony] as well.”
On the experience for the younger players
“I think it’s important. We had two quality scrimmages, so that was important. But to play and be in those situations, every experience is invaluable for a group that is less experience. And I think the atmosphere we’ll face against VCU, having been in there before, will be different and, obviously, they can play. Their program is established, excellent coaching and I’m impressed with them. So, we’ll have to really be ready and it will be a good experience for us. And again, as you can see, matchups will matter how much guys play and just how the game’s going.
On scoring expectations for Devon Hall
“I think the game will dictate that. We want our guys to, as I said, be assertive and look for it. We need those guys to get to the line, drive, and look for their open shots. I think [Devon Hall] has improved every year as much as anybody, just keeps working and working, and I believe that he’s capable of that. I was just talking about finding that sweet spot, not forcing, but still being aggressive and being sound, but not being hesitant. I think he’s learning to establish that. It was good to see him get to the lane and then knock down some shots. He’s earned the right to be assertive.”
Austin Peay Head Coach Matt Figger
“It’s a good opportunity always to go on the road and play a team like Virginia that’s so well coached. Tony’s one of the best, not only coaches in the business, he’s one of the best people in the business. You guys got a treasure of a coach here. He is such a genuine human being. I was joking with him before the game. My first two games coaching I got to coach probably against two of the nicer guys in the business. Hats off to those guys, they played well today. If anybody questioned what their offense was, we gave them the confidence to get their offense back. You can put that one to rest. I thought they played extremely well tonight.”
On what you did and did not know about Jay Huff coming into the game:
“Ironically, he came to our team camp when I was at South Carolina. He was really good for them. The way they’ve changed his body physically is incredible. The strength coach here, I’m going to tell Tony, he needs to get a raise. Those guys are physically gifted now with their size. With Jack Salt, you’ve got two big seven-foot physical guys, and not only that, but he’s super skilled. I’ve seen that when I watched him in team camp, so I knew how good of a player he was. I just didn’t realize that he got so big and strong over two or three years.”
On Virginia showing an example of what you want your team to look like:
“Absolutely. You always strive to win games and give your guys lessons and stuff like that. We weren’t prepared to play grown men today. I had five freshmen on the floor playing guys who have been in the NCAA tournament, these kids here at Virginia can compete for ACC titles and stuff. Obviously, Guy is a tremendous shooter and I saw him in AAU ball and I know he was really good. I know he lost his confidence a little bit last year but they gave him some confidence. Then Ty Jerome is a big old physical point guard. You guys have got two big physical guards, a physical power forward and a physical center and you bring more physicality off the bench. Nigel Johnson is probably a great sixth man for them because he’s been able to score in a couple different places.”
Virginia Guard Devon Hall
On Jay Huff’s game tonight:
“He was great, shattering confidence. I mean to not play and hop in a game and do that, you have to have some toughness with you. I was really glad to see him do that.”
On career high and seeing the younger players in action:
“It’s good. I love to see our young guys be able to get more opportunities and be successful doing it. De’Andre (Hunter) came in, got a dunk, Marco (Anthony) had a turnaround jump shot, and Jay (Huff) knocked down a three, so it’s good to see those guys be able to get their confidence going, knowing the minutes might not have been there the first game we played. It was good to see those guys do that.”
On VCU and advice to younger players:
“I think just not to get sped up and be poised. It’s obviously a crazy environment. So just being poised. I think we have a lot of young guys who are poised with the basketball that should be fine. We will obviously work on their stuff in practice, just to get used to it.”
On Bennett’s career high of 93 points:
“I didn’t even know 93 was a high. We scored well. We were able to get buckets kind of easy and people shot it well, people played well. It’s good for us to put big numbers up.”
Virginia Guard Kyle Guy
On Jay Huff’s game tonight and the buzz they both got when they first played:
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t cognizant of it in my first game in last year. His was probably a little louder just because he didn’t get to play last year and it’s just been a long wait for him, but I think he has been working for it and it showed off. He scored a lot quicker than any of us did our first game. He was tremendous tonight.”
On taking it to the basket tonight:
“It’s very important to me and I know Devon says I have a one dribble limit in the game. That is what he used to say last year. So this year, we are trying to move to three dribbles. I just want to be aggressive and help the team in any way I can. I know getting to the basket is part of my game and I’ve worked on that.”
On reducing the number of turnovers heading into VCU
“They are very good defensively, so it was good to see our turnovers down and the offense was a lot sharper as a whole tonight than it was on Friday. You know it’s just experience, getting out there and playing with each other and we will get more comfortable.”
On team captains:
“They’re tremendous at what they do and they built this program. They are tremendous leaders that us younger guys look up to. They expect excellence and so does Coach Bennett. That is something I look up to and the other guys do too, so that’s been great.”
Redshirt Freshman Forward Jay Huff
On not getting to play last week:
“I trusted the coaches. Obviously, I would have liked to play. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t want to play, but I trusted that Coach Bennett knew what was best, and it worked out.”
On the success of the first game:
“I had no idea what was going to happen. A couple of those shots actually felt really long and I thought they were going to go about three feet over. A lot of those were blessed a bit.”
On being aggressive because of not playing in opening:
“I wasn’t thinking much about being aggressive. I just kind of went out there and things happened.”
On the crowd cheering for you:
“I heard the noise. It was nice. It was good to hear a lot of people in the stands who were actually good friends of mine from classes and from Chi Alpha, a Christian fellowship I’m involved in. It was pretty cool.”
On hitting the three-pointer and then put-back dunk:
“It felt great. Walking into half time it kind of cooled down, but when I was out there it felt amazing.”
Redshirt Freshman Guard De’Andre Hunter
On playing in the highest scoring game for Coach Bennett:
“We have a lot of offensive pieces. We have big guys that can shoot. We have guards that can really pass and get into the lane. If we are clicking, we are going to do well.”
On playing at VCU next:
“We are going to have to be strong with the ball. I have never played at VCU, but some of the older guys have. We are going to try to make practice as real as the game. We are going to have to go against a lot of pressure. On Friday, we are going to have to take care of the ball.”
No. 1 'Hoos Ready to Roll in CharlotteMen's Basketball3/15/18At approximately 9:20 p.m. Friday, in a South Region game, No. 1 seed UVA (31-2) meets No. 16 seed UMBC (24-10) in the NCAA tournament's first round.'Hoos Ecstatic To Be Dancing AgainWomen's Basketball3/13/18In its first NCAA appearance since 2010, Virginia (18-13) will meet California (21-10) in the first round Friday at 5 p.m. in Columbia, S.C.ACC Champions Shift Focus to NCAA TourneyMen's Basketball3/12/18The No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, Virginia (31-2) opens Friday night against UMBC (24-10) in Charlotte, N.C. UMBC is the South Region's No. 16 seed.
Director of News Content
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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