jump to example.com
newsletter linked in

Press Conference: UVa. basketball coach Tony Bennett

tony-bennett-newlinks2Transcript from UVa. basketball coach Tony Bennett’s pre-ACC Tournament press conference.

On being named ACC Coach of the Year: “I’m very thankful for it in a league like this. I said it before I came on, I think you could have voted for a number of guys but it usually just goes to the team that wins it. But, a lot of guys did a great job. When you win an award like that, and I know every coach says it, but it’s the job your players do and they did a heck of a job.”

On UVa’s loss to Maryland: “I thought that we didn’t play poorly. but we didn’t play well. I think Maryland played well. There was a hunger that you could see in them that was better than ours. We played hard, but we weren’t hungry. At this stage of the year, it’s tough, but I think we can learn from it heading into postseason play. I know that we talked about it all week, and with our bye I’m sure they were getting patted on the back all week about all that stuff. It’s great when you can learn lessons in victory, but sometimes the best lessons come from a defeat like we just had. Now we’ve got three days of preparation for either Maryland or Florida State, and we’ve got to be hungry heading into this ACC Tournament. I think we learned that in this game. I’ll take it and say ‘we lost and it is what it is’, but I think it will end up being a positive how we use it and learn from it.”

On UVa’s recent struggles in the ACC Tournament: “The challenge is to take that next step in the ACC Tournament. Hopefully, we’re more balanced and a better team and will be ready. We’re not going to change who we are, but you really want to play well. That’s the challenge that’s in front of us – that we haven’t gone on in this tournament. But, it’s a great opportunity and that’s all we can ask for.”

On Joe Harris’ stepping up his play: “I think he’ll need to. We’ll need everybody at their best at this point in the season. Against Clemson he did that, he really took over. He has to be aggressive within reason. Joe knows his game and he knows when he’s feeling it. I think you need to trust that a player knows when they’re not feeling it, when they’re off so they’re not going to press. Joe needs to be assertive for us and I think he will be, I really do. I think we’ll need it for everybody. The thing that most people don’t see is that, even though we have a stronger team with more weapons, he is still the focal point for most defenses. They tag him and shadow towards him and don’t want to let him get going. I’m not saying they want to make someone else beat them, but he can do that. We have more weapons so we can overcome it, but he still gets guarded hard and sometimes when they’re doing it there’s not much that you can do, so just create shots for other guys. Hopefully, he’ll keep that assertive mindset and I expect that.”

On London Perrantes’ recent shooting success: “There are times when you need to be a threat out there. If teams are thinking that he’s not going to shoot then that makes the game harder. I really do trust London’s feel, it’s one of his strengths, so I like to tell him that he needs to be assertive within reason. It seems like he’s been doing that more and more. We had that talk before the first game of the ACC season at Florida State and I saw him do it a little bit. At times he gets so pass first oriented, but he has that ability to stretch the floor. Again, the more weapons you have, especially with the perimeter guys out there, it will open things up for Joe and the defense will have to pay attention to everyone.”

On UVa’s rotation: “Each games dictates what you need to do. We’ve shortened the rotation and gone most of the regular season with seven guys with solid minutes. The eighth, ninth and tenth guys with Evan [Nolte], Darion [Atkins], and Teven [Jones] will remain the same. Each game will require something different and that’s something that’s been effective for us all year. It’s a feel thing, it really is. That’s not going to change for us just because we’re in the postseason. We’re not going to play 11 guys and not seven, or we’re not going to only play seven guys. It’s all about the matchup and we need what we’re struggling with, because each guy brings something different.”

On changes in the team during the season: “I think the practices leading up to most of our games were great. The intensity stepped up and the leadership of Joe [Harris] and Akil [Mitchell] was great. The Florida State game where Joe got his concussion two minutes in, but our guys hung together was important. They battled and came through, and since it has been different guys in different situations. There has been such a hunger in practices and that usually holds true. I certainly just point to the different intensities in practice. That comes from those those guys like Joe and Akil seeing things not going right and getting things straight. That change led to guys working harder themselves and being hungrier.”

Top Stories

Busy December at the Waynesboro YMCA

A look at the busy schedule of events at the Waynesboro YMCA in December 2016.

Viewpoints: Meet new Fishburne superintendent Mark Black

Navy Captain Mark E. Black was named the 12th Superintendent at Fishburne Military School this summer. Black joins Viewpoints to talk about private school education.

Busy December highlighting Christmas, holidays at the Wayne Theatre

Big band hits, a Christmas home tour, and series of holiday-themed concerts and classic movies make up the schedule in December at the Wayne Theatre.

American Shakespeare Center gears up for the holidays

The American Shakespeare Center is gearing up for its annual Holiday Season with festive, funny, and heartwarming performances.

Boy Scouts of America to honor local volunteer Harold Cook

The Boy Scouts of America will present Harold Cook, past plant manager of Hershey Chocolate of Virginia, the second annual Distinguished Citizen Award.

Recent News

Recent Sports

Recent Politics

Recent Business

Hosts Chris Graham and Crystal Graham of Augusta Free Press highlight local news and newsmakers with an emphasis on the Shenandoah Valley on Viewpoints on WVPT.

Join the conversation on WVPT's Facebook page.

Chris Graham is the editor of Augusta Free Press, ESPN3 baseball broadcaster and the author of five books. Crystal Graham is the award-winning former host of WVPT’s Virginia Tonight.

Show airs Wednesday nights at 7:30 p.m.

Want to see what's coming up on Viewpoints? Click here.

Missed a show? Watch OnDemand and on our YouTube channel.

Past shows are also available via the PBS app wherever it is available (iOS, Xbox, Roku, Android, etc). Videos will be found more easily if you localize the app and select WVPT as your local PBS station.

AFP Business

Your One-Stop Media Shop

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.


Get information on readership and advertising online with us.

AFP Classes

Augusta Free Press offers a series of hour-long classes on website design, marketing strategy, social media, event planning and more.

Web Design

You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.

Graphic Design

Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.


Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Search Engine Optimization

The prettiest website in the world is like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it. If your website hasn’t been search engine optimized, no one is going to see it or hear it – and it’s not going to work for you.


Web videos, TV and radio commercials, DVDs – Augusta Free Press LLC has you covered when it comes to video and audio production.