Nov. 26, 2006
Virginia Head Coach Dave Leitao
On Virginia's play tonight...
"Obviously in the three-game stretch we just played, the score indicates, obviously we played a lot better than we did in the other two. I think the challenge I continue to give to these guys is that we can get better and become whole. I think we did a really good job of taking a bigger step today at becoming whole and what we need to look like and how we need to play. More important than anything, we need to just continue to play possession by possession. At halftime we talked about continuing the challenge of defending every play. When I look at the film, it will probably grade out that we played many more plays at that end of the floor than in the previous two games where we didn't and as a result gave other teams more confidence. I'm happy with our overall performance. I thought we dictated early by Sean (Singletary) really pushing the ball and getting them back on their heels. We got a great effort today from Jason (Cain) and his aggressive offense. We've been trying to get him to become more involved. If we can open up guys like he and Adrian to do what they can do, then obviously we can become more dangerous."
On Jason Cain's play tonight...
"Last year we went through a process of getting to know each other--not just as people, but me and my coaching style and he and his game. I think he has a lot to give at his size and to have the skill level that he does and his knack for the basketball, I don't want us or in particular him, to under utilize that. A lot of that comes from the neck up and we have to continue to get him to understand what his role can be and involve into being."
On playing a well-rounded game tonight...
"Obviously Arizona was not only a big game, but a big statement as to our well-roundness and the level of basketball was much higher. From start to finish we completed the mission we set out to do over the last two days of preparation to come out and move the ball up the court as fast as we could, to try to score early, if not to make our offense work for us. I think we did a pretty good job of that--more important, to defend and rebound. I think today we hopefully understand a little bit better as a group what we're trying to preach to them day in and day out."
On scoring 100 points...
"The score is relatively meaningless, it's how they play the game. I know it's a cliché. But if they do the things we asking them to do, then the score takes care of itself. 100 points is a byproduct of us continually asking them to push the ball up the floor and force the action."
On first road game...
"We still have a long way to go. This opportunity that we have in front of us--a challenge on Wednesday--to do something that we didn't do real well last year, which is to win on the road. That opportunity will be there and we'll face adversity, the crowd and the other team. Purdue has a solid team with an inside/outside attack. We will use this as an opportunity to get ourselves better and test ourselves in a hostile environment and see how we do."
Maryland Eastern Shore Head Coach Larry Lessett
On today's game...
"I really appreciate the opportunity to come to this beautiful facility. I thought that we did some things tonight that probably helped Virginia prepare. Everyone might think I'm a little bit crazy but I think that the game was a little bit closer than the score indicated. I've got a young team that got out of the context of what we were trying to do in the second half, which I think helped the margin of victory. I take a lot of positives; we'll have another game, Virginia will have another game. Those will kind of tell the tale of where we really are. That's why I'm so positive. I have a target game of February 3rd, by which I want my team playing well, and we took some strides towards that tonight. This is a conference (the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) that plays Virginia a lot, and we want to do well in this conference."
General thoughts from Coach Lessett on UVa...
"I really like Coach (Dave Leitao) here; Coach is a good guy, he's a friend. I don't want to put the monkey on his back, but after watching Virginia play against Arizona, and I hope that this is answering your question, I think that Virginia has a chance of being really good in the ACC. I know that it seems crazy, but I think that we played pretty hard tonight. The margin of victory was mostly a result of all the three-pointers, which is a tribute to Virginia's conditioning. Without those three's, the score would have been very different."
On senior guard J.R. Reynolds and junior guard Sean Singletary and their defensive pressure...
"You know, I am going to say that they are even better than how they played tonight. You can watch players on video, but it will never compare to actual play. They're very, very good basketball players; their foot speed is good and they shoot the ball so well. There are lots of fine teams in the ACC, but Virginia's foot speed and the way that they shoot the ball is going to help them against Duke, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech. This is a very fine basketball team."
Virginia Player Quotes
#2 Senior Guard J.R. Reynolds
On how his shooting has improved...
"I just had to get back in the groove, it took some time. After I hurt my eye I had to take some time off from practice, but now I feel like I am getting back into my rhythm."
On the energy level in today's game...
"Well Coach Leitao challenges us. He challenges us to come out and compete for 40 minutes. He won't let us play off and on during games. He wants us to step up and compete for the entire game."
#33 Senior Forward Jason Cain
On his thoughts on his game performance...
"I hadn't focused on myself lately. I had been too unselfish when I needed to start being selfish. I talked to Coach about it, he came and pulled me aside and we got everything sorted out. What I need to do and how things need to go for me."
On what Coach Leitao told him...
"He told me not to be scared to be successful."
On his role in the offense...
"I felt like last year I needed to be more of a presence inside because of rebounding. But this year we have guys averaging six rebounds a game, like Will [Harris], and people are actually rebounding the ball. Sean [Singletary] is rebounding the ball well. Now it's more of a team effort, everybody rebounding the ball. Right now we're trying to get a fast-paced offense where everybody just moves so we don't need too much of an inside presence when you run the floor."
On the importance of this game...
"It's about time we actually finished out a game. Usually we'll be up big and we'll let a team come back and then have to put them away again. As a group today, we stayed focused and competed for 40 minutes."
Maryland Eastern Shore Player Quotes
#3 Corey Brown Guard
On guarding Sean Singletary and holding him to 11 points...
"It was tough because he's so quick. He's so fast that you can't guard him full court, you just have to try to stop him in the half court by playing off him a little bit. He only had 11 points, but we lost by 40, so that's not too good."
On goals and preparation for the upcoming conference-opener against Howard on Dec. 9...
"The offensive set we were running today was brand new. We have only practiced that rotation for one day. I think if we get more practice with that and grow more comfortable with that, then we'll be a lot better on offense and will be ready to play."
On what the team needs to work on...
"Just to keep getting more comfortable with the offense. Also, we need to work harder to stop teams in the paint and down low, as well as improving the rebounding effort.
#10 Jesse Brooks Guard
On his thoughts on the game - what the team did well, and what they did poorly...
"We just put in a new offense a few days ago, and I thought we ran it pretty well. To pick it up in two days, I thought we did really well. To credit UVA, they ran their fast break really well, beat us down the court, and they beat us on the boards. We can improve by working on transition defense and our offense."
On what Coach Lessett said to the team at halftime...
"Just to keep running our offense and to not go outside of that set. That's what kept us in the game. Also, he told us to box out and get back. We had to sprint back on defense because they were fast-breaking and getting easy buckets and lay-ups."
On what the team wants to accomplish in the MEAC this season...
"We want to win it. We don't want to lose a game. If we play like we can, we can be one of the top teams in the conference."
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