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Postgame: UVA players on win over #5 Tar Heels

UVA players London Perrantes, Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins, Jack Salt and Kyle Guy talk with reporters after the Cavs’ 53-43 win over #5 UNC.


Guard London Perrantes

On Devon Hall’s two missed dunks: “So, what happened was he was up late last night and I told him, ‘You’re going to miss two dunks in the game if you don’t go to sleep,’ and he did not listen to me. I am the father of the house though.”

On his assignment of guarding Justin Jackson and becoming a defensive stopper: “I was looking forward to playing against [Justin Jackson] and against North Carolina, especially after how the first game went. That was probably the most frustrated I have ever been just from a defensive standpoint. I felt like he could get whatever he wanted in the first game, especially in the first half, and when coach told me that I was going to guard him I just was ready, I wanted to be that. I thought that I could do it, I believed in myself, the team believed in me, and I just knew that if we were going to win the game that I had to do what I had to do.”

On Coach Bennett’s assessment of this game as a ‘golden opportunity’: “We have been in a slump. Obviously. we won that last game at NC State. We had nothing to lose. We had two more games left, North Carolina has been playing as one of the best teams the last couple of weeks. We had nothing to lose. We just wanted to go out there, play hard, and do what we could to win this game.”

On Devon Hall’s two missed dunks: “We knew defensively we were going to have to be at our best to win this game, regardless of how good offensively we were going to play because they are such a high-powered offensive team. Defensively, we knew that we were going to have to buckle down and play as hard as we could and let our offense go. Obviously, we are off and on sometimes on offense, but our defense has to be there at all times and it was there tonight.”


Guard Devon Hall

On whether the team took this game personally: “Absolutely. I think that when we were in Chapel Hill, we were a completely different team and we did not take it personally on the defensive end. They were just getting anything they wanted – lobs, dunks, and wide-open jumpers, and we were kind of not ourselves. I think each guy individually took it personally deep down inside to step up his game.”

On Kyle Guy’s impact on the team’s success: “I think he means a lot to us. If he is hitting shots and we can get him going quick, we are going to find him. If we are able to get into the lane and make drives and kicks, or if we have any sets we run for him and he is able to get going then he spaces and opens up the floor for a lot of people.”


Forward Isaiah Wilkins

On London’s final home game: “That’s crazy. A, he’s done so much for this program, and B, this season’s gone by so fast. Obviously, it’ll be an emotional day. Everybody loves London and the crowd will be very into it. Hopefully, we will pull out a win. He’s not afraid of the big moment; he proved that today. He took a lot of big shots today, a couple deep threes, but he’s improved as a leader every single year. I’m learning from him every single day, a great floor general and a great dude.”

On change of momentum in last week: “It’s just one win. One win can change a lot for our confidence. We got the win at NC State and guys are back to shooting the ball. It might be off the glass, but they got a little swagger, a little confidence back.”

On bounce-back from loss to UNC: “You just have to let it go. I forgot we played them nine days ago. It was really big for us to get the NC State win and obviously, this one was huge for us. You have to let it go, and keep playing. There are so many games to play, and then hopefully a lot more games to play after the end of the regular season.”


Center Jack Salt

On third straight 20-win season: “I am honored to be a part of this program. All the coaching staff and players, I’m just grateful to be here in Charlottesville with all of these coaches and players.”


Guard Kyle Guy

On what was different this time around against Carolina: “I think we took that so personally. I think it was probably the best thing that could have happened to us against that team, and we wanted to make a big statement coming back home.”

On the fun he has on the court: “I have a blast. This is why I play the game – because I love to be in these situations. I love basketball, and I think you can see that in my play.”

On finding space for shots despite the press: “We were just being a little more aggressive and a little more assertive on offense. We were a little timid at Chapel Hill, so here we tried to be a little more aggressive, and Coach [Bennett] was encouraging us all week to make sure we were prepared.”

On where the confidence comes from: “Just playing with a chip on my shoulder. I know my teammates have my back. They believe in me, and I believe in them. Growing up, I was a scrawny little skinny kid and kids tried to pick on me, so I always played with a chip on my shoulder; I carried that to the college level.”

On the grit and toughness against a taller lineup: “We just tried to leave everything out there on the floor, and I think we finally grasped that after the first North Carolina game. We don’t want any regrets, and if we are going to lose, then it is going to be because they hit contested shots. We just wanted to leave everything on the floor and give it our all.”