Virginia-Morgan State Postgame Quotes

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VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 19, 2006

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Virginia Head Coach Dave Leitao

On Virginia's progress...
"From watching film I thought that Morgan State was going to come out and play us hard, and they did. The first 8, 10, 12 minutes I thought structurally we looked like we knew what we were doing, were following the scouting report, pushed the ball and those kinds of things. But we have not reached the stage where we've played through everything for 40 minutes. We're trying to get consistency in practice, and that's one thing that's kept us off balance. And it happened today. For the final 20-some odd minutes, we didn't play the game the way we scripted it out. What that tells me is that we still have a ton of work to do."

On Virginia's turnovers...
"There was a lot of sloppiness, general sloppiness. Obviously, we turned it over 19 times, many of them, as I tell the team, unforced errors. Not being locked in mentally could be a cause of it. I think Morgan State had a little bit to do with it, but it was more that we weren't on the same page as we need to be, and we've got to get better at it."

On Virginia's defense against dribble penetration...
"I was trying to force the next pass and the next pass. When you help on defense, you've got to help in a certain area. If you don't, then you've got to play help defense and then you've got to play recover defense. If you're positioned correctly, then you're already in help position and then all you've got to do is get back to your man. We did that early, and that gave us the opportunity to get out to the shooters a little bit quicker. The last portion of the first half and all the second half, they got too deep in their drives and so we could not help and then recover. There was too much room to cover. Their guy got the ball with an open shot. We fed them with confidence, and they started making them. "

On Will Harris...
"I've asked him and continue to ask him to play harder, which has been a little bit difficult because of his foot, to defend better, to use his physicality, his strength more to his advantage. He's got a lot of dimensions to his game. I'm not happy with him today, and he knows I'm not happy with him, but the other side of it is that he's got 16 [points] and 8 [rebounds]. He does show potential to be a whole lot better. He's given some gifts, and we've got to get him to use all of his gifts all the time."

On Mamadi Diane's play...
"One thing that we have at our disposal is that we have enough people who can shoot and can score. If we share the ball and play the game a certain way mentally, we can put more points on the board than we did last year. But we've got to be able to tighten up in several areas. We've got to get him [Diane] to be tighter with the basketball, not turn it over. He's gotten better defensively, and we continue to ask him to do those things."

Morgan State Head Coach Todd Bozeman

On tonight's game...
"First of all, this is a great arena. I think that it won't be a lot of time before Dave {Leitao} has this program at the top of the ACC. He has a lot to offer and is an outstanding coach. He always has his guys prepared. Tonight they obviously were the better team. I think you're talking about two possible NBA guards and they have a lot of guys who contribute in a lot of ways. Although we lost by 19, we're taking steps as a program and we're trying to build. To go on the road in the ACC and to respond after being down 16 in the first half, and then basically play as evenly as we possibly can through the rest of the game--I'm proud of the guys. I'm not into moral victories, but for us and where we are, it's a step for us. That's the only way I can look at it. With the experience that Virginia has, they obviously have a bright future."

On being down by 16 to open the game...
"God, please don't let us get beat by 50. That's what I was thinking, but I also tried to make sure that I kept my guys composed. I'm proud of our guys for keeping their composure, not proud, obviously, that we lost, but the fact that we took steps as a program. We have 10 new guys and it's just a matter of those guys coming together and gelling. Hopefully we can keep growing and clean up the little things. It's the `almost plays'--we almost get a fast break; we almost get a lay up.

On junior guard Sean Singletary...
"Singletary is the toughest guy to stop for Virginia. It might not show up in terms of points, but he pushes the ball up the floor, so he causes problems. So you have to get back, you have to stop him. If you don't stop him, he's going to get a lay up or find somebody open on the wing. I would say he's the toughest guy to stop on that team because he just goes all out."

On establishing Morgan State basketball...
"We're trying to establish an identity. We want to attack on both ends. Whether is offensively or defensively, we want to attack. That is a large part of our game. I thought we executed pretty good with our sets. We make some shots here and there and get a little closer. As I said, I'm encouraged by our steps in the right direction. We could have stepped backwards, but the guys responded."

Virginia Player Quotes

# 1 Freshman Guard/Forward Will Harris

On how he is feeling coming off injury this offseason...
"You know I'm just trying to work hard at practice and starting to get back into things. I'm a little ahead of schedule...starting to get back in to shape."

On if he is starting to feel more comfortable out there on offense...
"When I'm out there I just try to listen to J.R. and Sean - they help me out a lot - and, and I just try to focus out there and take their advice."

On, in terms of the teams performance tonight, does he think the guys came out with a different intensity level than last Sunday...maybe a little tired from the week's practices...
"We went hard this week in practice and came out hard at the start tonight. We needed to work a lot harder on defense, and I am sure we will pick it up for next week."

On what the team is trying to improve on for Wednesday's game...
"Defensively we want to stop teams better, and we want to rebound better, and we want to just bring an overall better package."

On what did Coach Leitao say during the timeout where he broke the clipboard?...
"He was just making sure everyone's head was there, making sure we were going to come out and play hard for the remainder of the game. Because we had parts of the game where we dropped, but Coach Leitao is a great motivator and he was just motivating us to finish hard."

#2 Senior Guard J.R. Reynolds

On how his eye felt tonight...
"My vision is a lot better than what it was, so I feel like I am fully recovered."

On what the team is looking to improve on for Wednesday...
"Just consistency. You know, looking to play hard for 40 minutes...that's the main thing - we've got to play with consistency."

On what was Coach Leitao's reaction to tonight's effort...
"He just wanted us to play a whole 40 minutes. We kind of played in spurts and you can't do that - especially against very good teams."

On what, in terms of team strategy, did the team want to work on tonight after they got out to a fast start...
"Right now, we're just trying to find guys who fit in to the system, trying to figure out what the guys' roles are...that's the main thing right now."

On how he thinks Will Harris is coming along...
"He's doing a great job...he looks good."

Morgan State Player Quotes

#11 Freshman Guard Reggie Holmes

On his thoughts on today's game...
"We're trying to build steps. Today they out-rebounded us. We were definitely trying, if we had gotten a few of those loose balls and rebounds and gotten back on transition we might have had a better game."

On his team's improvements from game to game...
"Today we passed much better. Previously we had been dropping a lot of balls, but today when the defense collapsed we were able to make that extra pass and find the open man."

On his goals for this season...
"We're trying to win the MEAC Championship and go to the NCAA Tournament."

#34 Junior Forward Jamar Smith

On his thoughts on today's game...
"I think we played a lot better. We're all a new team and we're just making steps and learning how to play with each other. Everybody played hard even though we lost. If we keep playing like that we'll be alright."

On playing their first few games on the road...
"This is all new to us. I've never been in a situation like this before, but I think this just brings us closer. We've been on the road all three games and being on the road is tougher than being at home. But I think this helps us be more together."

On his goals for this season...
"Get to the NCAA Tournament. I think that's everybody's goal. We're 0-3 right now but it's still early. I think once we get into our conference play, we'll be alright as long as we keep playing together as a team."