Home Postgame: UVA coach Tony Bennett, players discuss loss to West Virginia

Postgame: UVA coach Tony Bennett, players discuss loss to West Virginia


uva basketballUVA coach Tony Bennett and players London Perrantes, Darius Thompson and Ty Jerome discuss the Cavs’ 66-57 loss to West Virginia.


Coach Tony Bennett

On what stood out to him in today’s game: “West Virginia is an obviously well-coached, very physical, tough, veteran team, and you could see that. Our guys gave effort, but I do not know if we quite matched the physicality. It was a little different for some of our new guys, and they did not play well. A couple of costly turnovers, they capitalized on those and then I thought they got into our paint at crucial times in the second half, whether it was off the bounce and we had an over help and they would kick it to a big three in the corner, or just tough offensive rebounds. Though they only had eight [offensive rebounds], they were keeping them alive. Then we had trouble scoring.”

On playing a smaller lineup: “I thought we made a little bit of a run when we had Darius [Thompson], Ty [Jerome], and London [Perrantes], our three probably best ball-handlers, passers, and maybe move London off of the ball and get some stuff in the middle. I thought Kyle [Guy] hit some good shots, and then it got real physical and I thought we needed a little more size and physicality, but I decided to go with the ball handling, almost three point guard types at times. For a second, I thought it was going to be good. It was just a fine line with our personnel. I thought ‘Well, should we have Jack [Salt] in there.’ You second guess, you think about all of the different rotations. It was a possession game. Then you look at our free throws and that was concerning, too, from last game and this game. You knew it was going to be hard fought so you needed to capitalize every possession, and a breakdown to a turnover, or missed free throws, you really felt them late in the game.”

On hurting in the post for second straight game: “At times, we will try to trap in the post. They were posting their three-man at times, and he had a good game, he was really physical. He was a matchup problem and we looked at the four guards, but we have to keep the ball out of the paint first with our perimeter defense. We have to be good at swarming and rebounding, but that depends who we have out there personnel wise. We have different strengths on our team, but I have to do a better job of finding them.”

 On London [Perrantes] being off on shooting and turnovers: “The four-man was on him and I think one he dribbled off his foot and the other I couldn’t see if the guy tapped it or not. You’re just so used to not seeing London turn the ball over. Again, in a game like that you’re going to have to work to get open and their design is to wear you down and make you work to bring it up. You’re battling for real estate and that does take its toll. [Perrantes] got a few good looks and hit one big three. Hopefully, we are a team that if one guy is off, our balance can help and that wasn’t the case today. Darius [Thompson] was obviously solid, but the 14 turnovers were obviously very costly.”


Guard London Perrantes

On how preparing for the press in practice helped with what they saw today: “You can’t replicate that. They do something completely different than anybody in the country. We did the best that we could. I feel like we had some times where we handled it very well and then we had some times when we didn’t.”

On how much he has seen opponents gang up on him:

“A lot. I feel like I get everybody’s best now, with Malcolm [Brogdon] and Anthony [Gill] being gone. I just have to get used to it. It is early in the season and I’m not used to it, but we have guys that can step up and help me and help the team, so I’m not worried too much about it.

On the small margin for error for this team: “We had some missed free throws and layups and some open shots as well. I know I missed some shots, a lot of them, but with the teams that we are playing we can’t put ourselves in a hole that is going to be tough to get out of. I think we played well defensively and effortwise. We just have to find a way to cut down on the errors.”

On playing against the press for 40 minutes: “It’s brutal. Playing against the press for 40 minutes is tough and they do not stop. They keep going until the whistle blows. It is something you can’t replicate because you have to find a way to get through it and we struggled to find that.”


Guard Darius Thompson

On letting opponents hurt them in the paint: “I wouldn’t say there is anything specific. I would put that more on our defense. We pride ourselves on not letting our opponents get in the paint and the past few games they’ve been getting us in the paint. so, we have to find a way to get better at that.”

On what West Virginia did to win that Virginia didn’t: “Basketball in general is a game of runs. We had our run and then they came down and forced some turnovers and they had easy layup opportunities so I would say that that’s what helped them out.”


Guard Ty Jerome

On playing more minutes and against a press: “I think it’s a good learning experience and I played okay. I think my missed three at the 2:30 mark was really costly and really hurt us, but overall it was a good learning experience. I think our scout team really prepared us well for the press. It’s a good press, and we had a few costly turnovers, but I don’t think the turnovers were the biggest problem in the game. We missed a few free throws, and had a few defensive breakdowns late.”

On locker room atmosphere: “Not many words were said. Guys were just upset. Coach Bennett said ‘It’s not the end of the season. Learn from this, grow from this.’ He didn’t think the effort was poor. We just need to fix a few breakdowns, and we’ll learn from it and get better.”



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