Postgame: Virginia coach Tony Bennett, players on win over NC State

tony bennett uva basketballVirginia coach Tony Bennett 

On Devon Hall’s performance
“Well, talk about efficient, nine shots and 25 points. He’s efficient and he’s really a triple treat in terms of hitting the 3-ball. He’s got great rhythm on his shot, attacking, drawing some fouls, and just really did a good job. I liked him defensively tonight. If you run him off the line he’s strong, when he’s guarded in the post and he can get a foul or two. He really was key when we got a little shaky with the ball at times, I thought he was going and then when Kyle [Guy] was shooting it well, that was a nice combination.”

On NC State’s defense
“They are a hard-playing, pressure team so you have to bounce it a little more and they are into your space a lot. They were making [Ty Jerome] use the bounce and [Nigel Johnson] gave us good minutes, but I thought they made you work to get catches. We knew that watching them. Watching them against Clemson I thought they even upped their defensive pressure more. We thought we’d have to fight to get catches, come off screens, use the dribble a little more, use some ball screens. Thankfully the way [Devon Hall] was getting to the paint and shooting, that loosened it up a little bit. But that was a fight, even though the score might not suggest it. They were always right there and they can turn people over.” 

On the team’s playmakers
“I think that’s the strength of this team, there are a few guys. It kind of depends how the game is going and how they are playing us, but you could say [Devon Hall], [Ty Jerome] and [Kyle Guy]. All three of them have done it so far this year at different times. As perimeter guys with the ball in their hands, I think those three are all genuine options depending on what you need and what you’re doing.”

On shutting down Omer Yurtseven
“I thought defensively early, we were really good on first-shot defense. They had 10 second chance points in the first half, but I thought defensively we were taking away pretty much everything, and they just made some nice plays on the glass. He was 5-for-6 against Clemson from three, and they were cold tonight, but we did contest a lot of his shots and we were aware he was going to screen and separate, and then he can score in the post. [Jack Salt], [Isaiah Wilkins], [Mamadi Diakite], for the bit he was in there, those guys work hard and they know to cover for each other. I liked that. I liked their ball screen defense, because they spread you out and I thought we covered well for each other in scramble.”

Guard Kyle Guy 

On the team’s 3-point shooting tonight:
“I think we were just trying to get the best shot possible. Devon [Hall] was playing really well getting to the basket and we were all getting to the basket and feeding off of each other. I do not think it was them taking the three-pointer away, I think we were just trying to get better looks.” 

On the importance of winning the early home games before playing on the road later in the season:
“Yeah, I actually said something today like, ‘We have a lot of home games this year.’ I think it is always good to capitalize when we have home court advantage. We do not like losing in front of our fans, so we keep pushing the pedal to the metal and keep doing what we do.”

Guard Devon Hall 

On leadership during the game:
“I have been here for five years, so that is the time when a leader steps up and tries to keep composure.”

On being the first player warming up:
“I do the same routine every single day. It is just keeping it simple, doing my same routine and if I need to get any other shots, I do that after practice. I feel confident every single day. If I’m open, I am going to shoot with confidence.”

On Jack Salt’s screens:
“It is like a brick wall. Jack is extremely strong, so if he hits you with one, you are going to feel it. He takes pride in setting screens like that.”

Forward Isaiah Wilkins 

On if he had ever completed a four-point play before:
“Never in my life. I was excited, I’m not going to lie.”

On the satisfaction of making shots late in the shot clock on offense:
“It gives me more time to get back on defense when the ball goes through the hoop so I appreciate you all [Kyle and Devon] making shots.”

On Nigel Johnson’s defense:
“I think that Nigel picking up the ball for 94 feet today was huge for us. That can go unnoticed, but that was huge.”


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