Postgame: Virginia coach Tony Bennett on win at Syracuse

tony bennett uva basketballVirginia coach Tony Bennett talks with reporters after the ‘Hoos won 59-44 at Syracuse.

Was it exciting for you to hold them to an all-time scoring low here at the Carrier Dome?
“No, what excites me is the quality of possession and guarding them. Those numbers and records don’t matter. I just saw persistence and being in the way of their shots and our guys didn’t let down from start to finish cause we knew that would be key. I have so much respect for coach Boeheim and the job he’s done and they played good zone and they’re a little short-handed with (Matthew) Moyer not being fully healthy so I get that, but you still gotta come in here and you still gotta make people shoot tough shots and rebound better. Last time I think they had 18 offensive rebounds, so we were a little better on the rebound front as well, so a complete game. Thankful and happy our guys played it from start to finish.”

How much did you guys work on getting the ball into the middle and into the wings to get those easy baskets?
“I think that’s always an important key against zones, finding ways to get it to the high posts, and it’s nice when you have guys in there that are making the right plays. Zay (Wilkins) hit a couple shots, and De’Andre’s (Hunter) very good at that, and then we were sliding in and out our perimeter guys who are used to making those decisions cause they’re surrounding you from behind and the sides and sometimes it’s just either making the pass or the shot, could be baseline or wing and I like what our guys did.”

Coach you mentioned De’Andre Hunter did a good job in the high post making decisions. Are there instructions or principles that you tell them in the high post?
“Make a good play. First you gotta work to get the catch, and sometimes it was Ty (Jerome) in there or Kyle (Guy) and even Devon (Hall) our guards were in and out. But you gotta know cause they adjust their zone and they’ll match up. You just gotta take a look at the rim, look at your partners, be aggressive at the right times, but be sure and assertive with soundness. You can’t get on your heels cause they’ll start matching up. So it’s just taking enough reps and enough challenges. When we drove quick and got a shot that I think put them a little off balance so we could find the perimeter guys.”

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