Postgame: UVA coach Tony Bennett after OT loss to Miami
UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett talks with reporters after the Cavs’ 54-48 loss to Miami on Monday.
On the team’s recent struggle with free throws: “It’s cost us more than one game for sure, the ability to finish a free throw. Those were three front ends, I think, of the bonus. They obviously were 20 of 22. A few things showed up that cost us. Hands were low and they shot some threes, things that have cost us in the past. It was there for the taking, and we didn’t, and they did. They made some tough plays. It’s too bad, it was a special night, but it doesn’t take away from Malcolm [Brogdon’s] night, that was awesome. He’s one of the special ones. But it would’ve been nice to have a good feeling and to celebrate what was a wonderful career for him on a special night.
On whether the team is struggling to play to its usual standard: “For sure. We struggled to score. We’re not shooting well. London [Perrantes] obviously didn’t have a strong game. There are a lot of things we’re trying to overcome, and we need everyone playing at a fairly solid level for us to be able to be successful in this conference. There were better stretches of defense, harder offense, quality shots, and we got a few pocket passes with some dunks. Mamadi [Diakite] had a couple dunks that I thought he had and he slipped the pass off to Isaiah [Wilkins]. But Mamadi did a couple of good things for us. But it’s where we are. Our inexperience is showing and we are obviously sliding right now. We have to fight like crazy to play as hard as we can and see if we can get one.”
On if London is getting fatigued: “Yeah, I thought we were a bit tighter tonight, but that’s just what it is. It’s our fourth game, we had to just fight, and the crowd was wonderful. Fatigue is going to be part of it at this time of year. You know, you’re so close and it messes a little bit with our guys’ minds. I thought we had it, and then we dropped those free throws and they make the big shot. London, he just didn’t play well. It was just one of those games. He wasn’t sharp for us. He is getting matched pretty hard, they’re guarding him, and he’s not getting a lot of clean looks. But you just keep plugging, that’s all you can do.”
On the team’s 12-0 run and their performance there: “We were defending well and running our offense well. There was good movement. We don’t throw it in the post to score but that’s why I mentioned we got a couple off the curls where we dropped it down. Devon [Hall] hit a three. We just got good looks, good action and the ball was going in, combined with stingy defense, that’s our formula. Then there were a couple turnovers, a couple of plays on their part and a couple of turnovers. You add in the missed free throws, that hurt. I thought that was a big swing when we could have pushed it out to maybe ten points at that point.”