Postgame: UVA coach Tony Bennett, players talk big win over Grambling State

virginia coach tony bennettUVA coach Tony Bennett and players Darius Thompson and Kyle Guy talk with reporters after the Cavs’ 90-34 win over Grambling State.

 

Tony Bennett

On overall performance: “We will be as ready as we can. Tonight, it was really good to see Jeff (Jones), Trevon (Gross), and Justice (Bartley). There are guys who work hard in practice to prepare our guys to get that many minutes and that many shots. I was really thankful for that. You prepare to the best of your ability and you practice hard. In tonight’s game, Grambling struggled to shoot and I think our defensive system really bottled them up. Also with Kyle’s (Guy) shooting, the game got away from them. We play Iowa next and it won’t be enough to play a 20-minute game. We are going to have to play the majority of a 40-minute game to have a chance.”

On Kyle Guy’s performance: “I think Kyle (Guy) had a lot of clean looks. He also has a really quick release and is lively on the floor. And that’s a threat – it opens things up. I think that as he keeps improving in all parts of his game, his shot will be a weapon and teams are going to have to account for it. We are going to try and get him good looks. I’m sure he is going to be tracked a little closer after people start looking at his shooting game so far.”

On the team’s defense: “We were really in the gaps. They are going to have to make some contested shots over the top – that is the goal of our defense all the time. It is one thing we have been working really hard on and it has showed over the last games we’ve played. We’ve been a little tighter and sounder with our positioning because we need to be. We don’t always have a player who can completely lock someone up on the perimeter – though we’re not bad. When we do have a breakdown, we’ve had some nice shot blocks. As the competition continues to step up, that will be tested. But being set in transition defense and really tied tight together is the staple of our defense.”

On the offense: “We had guys get in the rhythm of shots. The basket was big and we had pretty clean looks. We also got some offensive rebounds and points off turnovers. You take what the defense gives you and I don’t think we were trying to force anything. We were unselfish moving the ball and getting guys open.”

On new lineups: “We’ve had four games in seven days so we didn’t play anybody heavy minutes. We tried to get experience for Mamadi (Diakite) and some of the young guys. There are just different teams you play which match up at the four spots. Whether its Isaiah (Wilkins), Mamadi (Diakite), or Jarred (Reuter) – those are the guys who will be testing if our forwards can guard a four-guard offense. We’ll also look at what we are doing offensively. There will be games where we can experiment with that. The evenly distributed minutes are good for the guys who don’t play a lot to get in there.”

  

Guard Darius Thompson

On more consistent minutes: “I would definitely say we’re more comfortable. Throughout last year, Marial Shayok and I both had times where we were starting and we both had games where we hardly played. Being out there now and getting a lot more minutes just feels a lot better. We’re just going out there and trying to play with a lot more confidence every night.”

On evolution of the offense from last year: “This year compared to last year, its different. We don’t sit back and think, oh who’s going to take over Malcom [Brogdon]’s points or who’s going to take over Anthony [Gill]’s points. I think as a team we all try to do it collectively. We move the ball really well this year. I know there are a lot of times where someone has an open shot but we always kick it to one more and knock down shots. I think our team chemistry and ball movement this year is a lot better.”

On whether the team is prepared for better opponents: “I would say we’ve been tested but tested against each other in practice every day. We go against each other every day, battling against one of the better defenses in the country. I think our practices make us prepared for anybody.”

 

Guard Kyle Guy

On how he has adapted in last two games: “It feels really good right now out there. I’ve been trying to be really poised and focused and make sure I’m mentally prepared for each game. Credit to everyone on the coaching staff and everybody else on the team who prepares me for the games. I expect to go through my ups and downs, but I just want to try and stay even-keeled through it all.”

On his 13-minute night: “In high school, you always played most of the game. Now, however long coach puts me in, it doesn’t matter to me. I just try to contribute the best I can for as long as I can.”

On shot selection: “A good way of playing more and more each game with Coach Bennett is not turning the ball over. So, I have tried to not be conservative but just let the game come to me. I feel like I have a second nature feel for the game, so I try to get everyone involved and then when I’m open I just don’t even think about it. I shoot.”