Postgame: Virginia coach Tony Bennett, Miami coach Jim Larranaga

miami uvaVirginia coach Tony Bennett and Miami coach Jim Larranaga talk with reporters after the top-ranked Cavaliers defeated the ‘Canes, 59-50, on Tuesday.

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

On major concern going into the game: “How fast Lykes can get down the floor. Bruce Brown being out is a tough blow for them, he’s a heck of a player. I think they’ve done a good job without him. Watching how they played against Virginia Tech there and how we struggled against Virginia Tech – we lost a tough one – but how quick Lykes or the other guys get down the floor and how well they spread the floor offensively with four guys that usually can make some plays, or shoot it when [Anthony] Lawrence is at the three. So, I was just a little worried about handling that spread ball screen and stopping them in transition. Those were kind of our biggest focuses.”

On key to tonight’s win: “There wasn’t much turnaround. We have great respect for Miami basketball. It’s just coming here we just said, don’t be deceived by surrendering the small things. That was kind of our message.”

On response to Virginia Tech loss: “There wasn’t much turnaround. We have great respect for Miami basketball. It’s just coming here we just said, don’t be deceived by surrendering the small things. That was kind of our message.”

Miami Head Coach Jim Larrañaga

On the game against Virginia: “That was an interesting game from my point of view. When you play the number one team in the country, it’s very likely that the players will be fired up, full of energy and really wanting to compete at a high level.”

“The complication with that is that it can also speed them up and get their minds going faster and it’s hard to calm down and make a simple play.”

“I thought in the first half that really showed on us and there were several opportunities where we had a wide open three in the corner and there was an air-ball, we were 30 percent from three.”

“We had a nice turnaround jumper in the lane that missed badly and an offensive rebound opportunity that we should have easily converted. I’m not talking about difficult plays.”

“I’m talking about plays that were right there for the taking. Not things that Virginia did to make us miss those shots. We missed those out of anxiousness and maybe a little bit of inexperience of being in this position where you have the chance to beat the number one team in the country whose reputation precedes them with how good they are defensively so you do tend to rush a little bit.”

On his health tonight: “(I felt) much better. I was still feeling terrible yesterday and I just wanted to sleep all day. When I woke up this morning, the meds finally kicked in and I felt good. I had lots of energy today. I thought our shootaround was very good and we would play well tonight.”

On Dewan Huell’s play lately: “I’m not sure specifically what it is. I can speak to certain things. He was getting a lot of complements about how consistent he was playing, how efficient he was playing, he was leading the conference in field goal percentage and I don’t mean in November and December, I’m talking about January. He was shooting at a very high rate, but it seems like he started putting pressure on himself to do more and when you do that you actually end up doing less because you’re trying to do things that you weren’t doing before and maybe some things that are a little bit outside your normal realm.”

“I think that’s true about a lot of guys not just Dewan, but I think probably tonight with Lonnie (Walker IV). You could see plays off the dribble when he wasn’t getting anywhere and struggling. I think Anthony Lawrence II was the same way where he’s played fantastic basketball up until this weekend. Then he struggled against Boston College and he struggled tonight. I’m sure he wishes he had some of those shots back.”

“Some of the credit has to go to Virginia’s defense. They have that reputation for a very good reason. They’re very good at what they do and you have to be patient and very well disciplined.”


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