Postgame: UVA coach Tony Bennett, players after win over Ohio State

UVA coach Tony Bennett and players Marial Shayok, Devon Hall and London Perrantes talk with the media after the Cavs’ 63-61 win over Ohio State.


Coach Tony Bennett

On what he learned from his team tonight“We got thoroughly outplayed in every way, shape and form in the first half. They beat us down the floor, they were the aggressor on the glass, they were just a tough-minded, talented team, and we could not stop them in any way, really. We were loose with the ball. Then, in the second half, we played. I have used that saying, ‘when you whip a donkey it will kick, but when you whip a thoroughbred it responds.’ Now, by no means are we thoroughbreds, but they responded. I got after London [Perrantes]. I said, ‘Come on. Let’s go in every way, shape and form,’ and he did, he played. We went with four guards in the lineup. At times, I thought that was a nice lift for us. We were able to guard better. Offense will come and go, but your defense can’t, and we violated something very important for ourselves. We got a little tougher defensively. We don’t score in the interior, and that showed up, but you still have to be able to get to the paint, and I thought in the second half we obviously were better. They are a solid ball club, well-coached, strong, quick, they have balanced scoring, all of that stuff.”

On the play of London Perrantes and the team’s second half effort: “It was the tale of two halves for [London Perrantes], without a doubt. He had a terrific second half, and a not-so-terrific first half, to be polite. I got after him and he responded the right way defensively. He worked. We do not have another way to do it. I wish we did. Some teams do not have to be on all the time, well we were not tonight, so we showed we could play twenty minutes. What we did in the second half is mandatory. I think, again, are you going to make your threes like that and do all of that, perhaps not always, but the effort and the soundness, that was needed, even the pace that we ran our offense. I do not know if we were a little nervous or not used to being in that spot, but it is going to be one of those years where we are going to have to scrap every possession.”

On the team’s halftime adjustment: “We just had a pretty direct conversation with all of them, and what we stand for, what we built our program on, how it has to be, and not to kid ourselves. They were all challenged. I talked to London [Perrantes] as the senior point guard. They were all challenged and I thought they responded. It was really quick how they came out, and I think Ohio State was a little loose, but boy, we closed that gap awfully quick.”

On the how the team needs to play moving forward: “We have played some solid basketball, but we have to be ready. We cannot afford a sleepy start. It’s funny, we watched tape the other day on when we beat Ohio State there and we were a little sleepy. I said, ‘Maybe last year’s team, at times, though we never said it, they had a little more firepower and could afford to be sleepy, but we did not want it.’ This team cannot do that. When that happens, you see what happens with the score. All of a sudden we are down sixteen. The message is ‘be ready.’ The defense cannot take a possession off or get loose.”




Guard Marial Shayok

On what it’s like for him to realize Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill aren’t there and they have to fill in: “You just have to be ready for it. We all worked so hard this summer to improve our games and put ourselves in position to step up when called for. Tonight was a good example. We didn’t start strong but we finished strong so that was good.”

On London Perrantes rebounding after not having a great start: “He just acted like our leader. He is the leader of this team and he led by example. He didn’t need to say much at halftime because we all knew what he was capable of and he wasn’t playing his best. None of us were, so it was good for him to step up tonight for us.”

On refocusing back to defense after missing two free throws: “I thought they were going to go in and they hit the back rim, but you just have to forget about it and have a short memory. I knew I would feel even worse if my guy got the bucket or scored a three to win the game so I just had to refocus and play good defense.”


Guard Devon Hall

On what it’s like for him to realize Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill aren’t there and they have to fill in: “It is a matter of being ready. Coach Bennett preaches that, even to guys on the bench. Guys started the game off and we didn’t start very strong so it was a matter of being able to finish.”

On scoring his season high tonight“I think for me it was being assertive and being aggressive and staying confident. I wasn’t scoring as high as I did tonight, but that comes and goes and sometimes being able to step up was big for me tonight and it helped my confidence.”

On how much they prepared for Ohio State’s JaQuan Lyle and how it played out: “I think we did well against him. We tried to keep him out of the paint as much as possible and push him out because he is a heck of a passer. We have been seeing film and he has been making terrific plays and we were able to push him out to half court and I think we were able to disrupt some of that.”

On halftime: “A little bit of frustration on our part and being able to talk about certain mishaps that we had and we know we were capable of going out and executing on defense but we weren’t doing that.”


Guard London Perrantes

On the difference of the first and second half: “Defensively I felt like we gave them so many open looks and let them get into the paint a lot. We weren’t making too many plays on offense and that kind of started with me and I just wanted to come out in the second half with a different mentality, just being able to make plays for myself and for others, but it all started out with our defense and I feel like I started it off for us.”

On playing in the first close game of the season: “We definitely needed it. We have a bunch of great teams in the ACC so we knew that it was going to come eventually. I’m glad it came now and I’m glad we overcame it. Our young guys definitely stepped up for us. Ty Jerome played extremely well for us at the beginning of the game. Everybody just kind of fought back. Nobody just sat there and just let it go. We knew we had to come out and play as hard as we could to get back into the game.”

On motivation from Tony Bennett: “I knew I wasn’t playing to the best of my ability or even close and I feel like that was hurting our team. I was on myself about it and I’m glad [Tony Bennett] got on me. That’s the most I’ve gotten ripped by him since I’ve been here and it sparked us all just knowing that I can respond to something like that. That means that everyone can too. Just being able to go out after that and play the way we did is huge.”

On upcoming West Virginia game: “You guys know from last year how tough it was and they play the whole game pressing the ball. We played a little bit of the offense that we’ll play in the West Virginia game tonight. We weren’t planning on it, but it was just something that we needed to do. So being able to play today with that four-guard line-up will be able to help us on Saturday.”

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