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Postgame: Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett after loss at WVU

Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett talks with reporters after the Cavs’ 68-61 loss at West Virginia.


On how WVU senior guard Jevon Carter stifled the UVA offense late in the game
A little bit of both. He’s a heck of a player. He and (WVU sophomore forward) (Lamont) West made some tough shots. Whenever we either got a lead or we were right there, they would hit a 3, and I’ll watch it on tape, some contested 3’s that cost us. I think we played well in stretches, and then I think there were some stretches where we didn’t play well, and it was just enough of those stretches to cost us, whether it was falling asleep on an out of bounds play or a couple of turnovers. Their pressure is impressive and they’re going to make you turn it over, but there’s a couple of turnovers we had that were unnecessary that led to baskets. So, those things kind of took place, but when you have a player the caliber of (Jevon) Carter, what he did was pretty darn good. He’s physical, he’s tough and we battled in there for a while. We’ll grow from it. I’m sure.

On the spark that Virginia sophomore guard Kyle Guy provided to the offense late in the game
I told him to make them in the second half. No, I said, “Listen, Kyle, if you’re not feeling it, take the good shot. You don’t have to force it.” I even said to him at halftime, “You’re kind of a hard one for me, because I need you to be assertive and aggressive, but you’ve got to be sound with the ball and pick it up on the defensive end.” He’s always a shot away from getting it going, and he’s such a threat. He got some pretty good looks in the first half. Maybe a couple were a little rushed, but then he got some real clean looks in the second half. I thought the guys did a good job of finding him. (Virginia senior guard) Devon (Hall) really had a heck of a game. He kept us in there. (Virginia redshirt sophomore forward) Mamadi (Diakite) did. We played well enough to be in there to have a chance, but not well enough in those stretches to come away with a win in this setting against that kind of intensity and pressure.

On his thoughts of Virginia sophomore guard Ty Jerome in the later stretches of the game
I thought Ty (Jerome) found (Virginia sophomore guard) Kyle (Guy) well. He had a couple of those turnovers. I think one time he got stuck in a bad spot, but he made some good plays, found people and a couple times he got in a little bit of trouble. He did some good things and then had some trouble. I think it’s like I said, we had some stretches of good ball and some stuff that we’re going to look at on tape, and I think we’re going to want those back. When he’s running the show out there against the pressure, it can wear on you, and you’ve just got to be sound. You’ve got to be sound. We were trying to get Kyle (Guy) loose for a 3. So, we had to gamble a little bit. Again, there’s some good and some things that he can improve on for sure.

On how the WVU Coliseum compares to other tough venues he has visited
It’s really good. It’s a great college basketball atmosphere. I told Coach (Bob) Huggins, and I wasn’t trying to kiss up or anything. I just said, “It’s an honor to play against him and his programs.” We’ve had a great series; his teams are tough. They’re well coached. He’s one of the best. Then, you come into this arena, and I had heard a lot about it, and I wasn’t quite ready for the gunshot. The guy surprised me on that one. They said it was going to be after the starting lineups, and I was talking to the guys and “boom” there it goes. It’s loud, though. It reminds me of U-Hall. I never coached at U-Hall, but a bigger version of U-Hall or when I was in the Big 10 at Purdue. Some of those settings, but these people know good basketball. They’ve been treated to a heck of a coach and a heck of a program. It’s a very good atmosphere, and it’s good for our young guys to be in. We’ve got to grow up and learn from it, because there’s a lot of those in the ACC.