Virginia-N.C. State Post Game Quotes

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VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Dec. 3, 2006

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Virginia Head Coach Dave Leitao

On the win...
"You have to put this game in the category of any win is a good win, particularly in this league. We were nowhere near playing at our best in terms of playing at the pace we want to play offensively. As I thought they were very tough to guard because they play together, they play confidently, they know what they're trying to do out there. It's a credit to Sidney (Lowe) for him to be able to do what he's done in a short period of time with limited bodies."

On responding to a poor offensive performance...
"I have to credit some of the guys that we have who stepped up, not necessarily offensively, because we didn't shoot or play real well today, but a guy like Mo, who previously attached how well he played to how many points he scored. Obviously, he didn't shoot very well today, but he guarded, guarded Grant pretty well, played a really good floor game, rebounded when we needed him to. Obviously, Will responded, and J.R. especially, who struggled, struggled with me, struggled with his game, struggled with his offense the whole way. He made a free throw down at the end, and when we went to him made some big shots to get us a lead. That's the kind of swagger or bravado that good teams and good players have."

On keeping J.R. Reynolds out until the eight-minute mark...
"He had three fouls. You have to judge it. It's not just time and score. I didn't think he had the kind of energy that would keep him from picking up his fourth foul that early in the second half. Fortunately, we moved Mo up to the two and put Will in, and between Will and Adrian, we were playing well enough that we could get by without him and we weren't losing a whole lot. That's what you want. You want to have your bench be able to put you in situations where, if a guy is not playing well, that the other guys will step up and respond."

On Virginia's rebounding advantage...
"If you look at us as a unit, we're big and look physical enough, but we weren't taking advantage of it the way our bodies say we can. We didn't quite do it the way we needed to against Purdue. Especially since there were so many missed shots today we thought there would be a lot of rebounding opportunities. If we cold just attack the offensive glass, and we did. Will had some second shots, as well as other guys. That was a way to get an easier basket than our offense was giving us."

On Ryan Pettinella's play...
"He saved us with his energy, running up and down the court. The big deflection, getting back on D when everybody else was jogging, was huge for him, for us, for the crowd. His post-ups and his baskets when we really didn't have any really gave us a big lift."

N.C. State Head Coach Sidney Lowe

On the game overall...
"Let me just say that I was extremely proud of our guys. This was a tough environment to play in, and we played hard that first half. I thought we had control of the tempo of the ball game. In the second half we came out and we knew they were going to make a run. We did a great job of holding it down and making them run ourselves and actually putting ourselves in a position to win. That's what you ask for. When you're on the road, you try to put yourselves in a position to win, and then you've got to make plays. And that's what they [UVa] did. They made big plays. Reynold's three in the corner--that was probably the biggest one. That really did it for us right there. And then they hurt us on the boards. They did a nice job of crashing and putting us under the glass and getting the rebounds, so you have to give them a lot of credit for that."

On the team's fatigue...
"I could say that, but I don't want to take away from their efforts. I'd rather give them the credit and just say that they went after it hard. Our guys played a lot of minutes, but I don't want to take away from their efforts."

On Reynolds...
"They [Uva] were able to rest some guys so that they could come back in and be fresh. Certainly that helps a great deal because he [Reynolds] was running off two, three, four screens in one sequence. He wouldn't have been able to do that if he had been playing the whole amount of minutes, but he did a great job. He came back in and he did what he's capable of doing. He made shots, he made us work, and he made the shot that he really needed."

Virginia Player Quotes

#1 Freshman Guard/Forward Will Harris

On finding his rhythm and coming in to his role as freshman contributor...
"Well for me being a freshman, it's all about feeling out the game. Getting in to these big game situations, the main thing for me is to step up to the challenge. Being one of the young guys, it's important not to back down from the challenges."

On Reynolds scoring important shots late in the game...
"I love the way that J.R. can hit the big shot. J.R. and I are kind of similar in the sense that we never back down from the challenge that Coach Leitao puts in front of us."

On guarding Brandon Costner late in the game...
"Costner is like 6'9 or 6'10 and had a real good first half. Being a player on Coach Leitao's squad, you have to be able to come in and make a difference. I took it upon myself to go in and make a difference on the defensive side because those are the things that really get a team going. Coach issued the challenge and it was important not to let [Costner] get going again."

On the difference between his first half and second half play...
"We came in here on halftime and had our meeting and after Coach, and J.R., and Sean came up to talk to me, I had this fire in me to go out there and win and try to play confident."

#2 Senior Guard J.R. Reynolds

On his late game run despite a slow start...
"I just want to come in there and pump things up a little. I wanted to come in there and give us a little edge."

On the importance of opening-up conference play with a win...
"It's important because we need to get every ACC win we can get. It's definitely pretty important to start at the top and not the bottom."

N.C. State Player Quotes

#11 Jr. G/F Gavin Grant

On his thoughts on the game...
"We thought we played well. We thought we put ourselves in a position to win the game. Reynolds hit a big three in the corner in the last two minutes to put them up and then the crowd got going. We weren't able to get back from that three and make the shots we needed to make."

On the last few offensive possessions...
"I definitely thought we got some good looks, we just weren't able to put them down. Even Brandon [Costner]'s last shot of the game, I thought he was wide open. We just weren't able to make it. I missed some chippies around the basket. And we fought hard. We feel bad that we lost, no moral victories here. But we feel proud of the way we played on the road. We're a young team, starting three sophomores, missing our only senior. So, not to be looking at all the positives but I am proud of the way we played and I think a bounce here or there and we could be the ones celebrating right now."

On Virginia's winning the rebounding battle...
"That's where I think we lost the game in the second half was offensive rebounding. They missed a lot of shots and we just let them get the ball back. One time they were able to get three straight offensive rebounds and then hit a three. I thought we fought hard, a couple bounces here or there, they got the ball and we didn't, they made the plays when they needed to. I tip my hat to them, they played well."

#34 So. F/C Ben McCauley

On his thoughts on the game...
"We got some pretty good looks and unlike them we didn't knock ours down. They played a heck of a game, they had some big buckets there at the end. Unfortunately we couldn't get our shots down and I thought that was the big difference in the game."

On how his team played...
"Coming on the road, I am sure Virginia was really pumped for their first ACC game in their new arena. They had to be really excited for that and I am sure they were. But it was a good test for us. It shows us a lot about ourselves about how we can compete on the road against these top ACC teams. Unfortunately we lost, but we learned a lot from it."

On what his team needs to do to improve...
"Better shot selection, especially early on. We need to concentrate on getting the right shots, making the extra pass and hitting the guy that's open-Take less contested shots."