Postgame: Interviews with UVA coach Tony Bennett, players following 67-39 win over Norfolk State

tony-bennett-newlinks2UVA Head Coach Tony Bennett

On the game:  “They didn’t have their good interior player and I think that affected them. The young man Jeff Short was hitting some tough shots and keeping them in it. We kept talking about making them earn it. The unselfishness defensively and offensively will always be important to us, and that showed in the statistics.”

On making 3-point shots: “It was just ball movement, guys touching the paint, making the next pass, and rhythm shots. An unselfish pass approach is good and to see those shots go in was certainly encouraging. When you get those you don’t always have to take the first one. I like that they will pass it up to get a better shot, and that certainly opened it up for us.”

On 3-point shooting percentage: “We are not a heavy 3-point shooting team, but in a game like this where there is a lot of zone and its condensed, there is some real rhythm looks we will take. I think our identity will be good balance and an inside – outside approach. It will be determined by how the team is playing you, but some of them we just had to take. When you take shots with balanced feet set, obviously, percentages go up for us.”

On 3-pointers: “It would be a mistake if we fell in love with a 3-point shot. With good basketball, the ball has to rotate; the ball has to touch the paint off the dribble, off the post up. I think that is a strength of ours. Guys fall in love with it, that’s for sure, but you need to be mindful of it.”

On Norfolk State: “I told the players that last year was a tight game with three minutes left. They are a good team with some good players. We used the term in the pre-game  “No prancing and dancing.” We said it was our home opener, we were coming off a road win, there is no prancing and dancing. Just get straight to work and don’t try to be anything but who you have to be. That was the approach tonight and I thought they responded to that pretty well. To get guys to accept that it is a grind, a blue-collar possession approach, is hard.”

On the rotation: “I need to get a feel for the rotation. Right now I feel comfortable playing 10. We have a sub for each perimeter and we have the two interiors using Darion [Atkins] and Isaiah [Wilkins]. That is 10 deep. The positives are depth, competition in practice, and different looks. The negatives, it can be hard to know exactly which rotation to go with.”

 

Virginia Sophomore Guard London Perrantes

On the win: “It was definitely good to get back out there. There is no feeling like going out there and playing in front of the home crowd again. It felt like just yesterday that we were playing at Madison Square Garden. It felt especially great to get back out there after sitting out the first game.”

On the offense: “I feel like we have a lot of offensive weapons. We said that a lot during the summer and now people can see it. We have a lot of freshmen stepping up and playing good minutes. We also have a lot of depth and a lot of experience from all the older guys. It’s good that we are all unselfish and are capable of making that next pass and the open shot.”

On sitting out of the first game: “It was tough, I wouldn’t say I was sitting out on purpose but I felt like it was good to get other people involved at the beginning of the year and get our confidence up. Having Devon [Hall] back in his first game after redshirting was huge for him. I was glad to get back out there and my foot is 100 percent.”

 

Virginia Junior Forward Mike Tobey

On the win: “It is always exciting to be back in the home atmosphere at JPJ.  It was a business-like approach. We had to set the tone for the home opener. We responded pretty well and executed on defense.”

 

Virginia Junior Guard Justin Anderson

On the offense: “We did a great job executing tonight. We are starting to get a feel for each other – knowing where each other are. I think this team is slowly coming together, but we know we have a lot more improvement.”

On his performance: “I came in extremely focused. I knew we had a tough challenge in front of us. I think Norfolk State did a great job preparing for us. They made it tough on us defensively, with led to our offense being a little stagnate.”

On his teammates passing him the ball: “My teammates did a great job. They gave me the ball in places where I could score. I started to hit the shots, but all credit to them.”

 

Virginia Junior Guard Malcolm Brogdon

On the hot 3-point shooting start: “I think we got a lot of good open looks, we were moving the ball well. We just took advantage of their zone and shot with confidence. Some of them were early shots, but for the most part they weren’t. We worked the ball around and got the defense moving like the coaches asked us to do. We shot it when we saw an open shot.”

On Norfolk State being a tough opponent in the past: “They played us hard last year. [The veterans] knew that coming in. The younger guys had to step in and keep playing the type of ball that we know how to play.”

 

Virginia freshman Guard Marial Shayok

On being aggressive offensively: “I thought that I was in rhythm. I put in a lot of work over the summer. Coach Bennett helped my shot get better and I feel like I’ve been working on it a lot. I had a lot of opportunities today, so I tried to be aggressive and took advantage of them.”

On his performance tonight: “I feel like I need to work better on my close-outs defensively. I just need to keep working and get better throughout the game.”

         
 

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