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Press Conference: UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett

tony-bennett-newlinks2UVA basketball Tony Bennett talks with reporters after the third-ranked Cavs’ 83-72 win over Davidson on Tuesday.

 

On Darion Atkins and Anthony Gill exploiting Davidson on the inside:

“Yeah like they exploited us with their offense. Those guys were significant with their play on the glass and second chance points in Darion’s case, and obviously, Anthony just being able to have some mismatches. When they did trap, he made the right decisions and when they didn’t he had an impressive offensive game without a doubt. I thought Darion’s activity, once we got into it, was important. They did have a big man, but those guys can really shoot and they stretched him. Obviously, you could see our struggles to keep up with their cutting and execution offensively. They were terrific that way to start.”

 

On Jack Gibbs fouling out and Brian Sullivan:

“We actually had Brian on a visit and he has such a quick release. I thought our urgency and our alertness or awareness to start the game, and transition defense was very poor. Gibbs dominated and he got into the elbows and our bigs were going back and all you could see were the back of their heads. If you don’t fly back and figure out how to get the ball stopped and matched up to the shooters, that’s the first problem. When they start running their offense that’s the other problem because if you’re not continuous they start to exploit you. Justin [Anderson] went under screens and got hurt early. We weren’t alert and ready. We told our guys all week that this will be one of the hardest offenses you will try to guard because they back it up with shooting and cutting. They kind of schooled us. They really did.”

 

On turning things around before halftime:
“We had to stop the bleeding and we got some buckets and a couple of OK stops. In the second half, we weren’t great defensively but we were better. The ones they took were more contested and they had to work a little harder to get them. They just didn’t get the ones where they waltz down the middle of the lane.”

 

On Justin Anderson’s back to back 3 pointers:

“They went zone. Those were significant. Coach McKillop is an excellent coach. You watch a lot of teams and I have respect for all coaches, but the job he does with those guys is impressive. They have two freshmen that started, so I wanted to make sure to give credit to him for how he had those guys ready and prepared to challenge you that way. There was a point where I didn’t know if they wore down. I know we were on the edge wearing down but our crowd gave us energy. Being at home helped, and then Justin got that three. The second three he hit, London [Perrantes] had terrific vision and got it to him in the corner. Those were significant and then our defense fed of the crowd and their energy and made them get some tough stops.”

 

On the 12-0 record:

“I’m so thankful we’re in this spot, but it’s on to the next game and we’re starting conference play.”

 

On Anthony Gill last season and this season:
“Well he finished the year strong last year. He was red-shirting, same as Malcolm Brogdon, and I though as the season wore on he had big games and I think he became more confident in his rhythm. He’s improved defensively and he’s picked up where he left off and added offseason things that he needed to. That was his career high and you look at a 25-13 game and that’s significant. I’m looking down at our free-throw percentage and we needed all of those.”

 

On Davidson’s preseason ranking:

“It just shows you about rankings. That’s a solid team. We will have to keep improving. Rankings are overrated. You look at our ranking, you look at pre-season stuff and that’s just for good speculation and it will all play out.”

 

On the first ACC game at Miami:

“You have got to be ready, certainly. It’s always exciting to get started playing conference. It’s another kind of season. You hope that preseason non-conference play prepared you. One game at a time. They’re really capable, they play good ball, and we just have got to be ready.”



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