UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett on his 300th win, more from Marshall postgame

On the quality of play after a break:
“[I was pleased] For the most part. They are a unique team in terms of how they space the floor and some of the shots that they will take, so you have to be ready. I think we did well in the stretches, even defensively they force you to make plays off the bounce, they channel you to the hoop and over load it. It was some solid basketball, we had our moments where we had some lapses, if you look at the turnovers you can pick out some things, but overall, we played well enough and got a nice a lift and Kyle [Guy] was really shooting the cover off the ball. That was really sweet to see.”

On the team after a front heavy ACC schedule:
“I told them we always break up our team into different phases and we were undefeated in phase one. That’s no small thing, we just wanted to try and win every game and they did that. Now we go into phase two, conference play, and we understand how good the league is and we’ll have to continue to improve. We have a good look at our guys and I think Florida state is next, an athletic team that will spread you out. We’ll enjoy the new years and then get ready to go against high level athletic ACC competition, which is going to test us and find out where we are.”

On increased playing time of Jay Huff:
“I think he presents some challenges for the other team with his ability to stretch it. I don’t think he hit a three today but his length, that’s a valuable experience for him. As I’ve said all along, he shows flashes, he’s got to continue to become more consistent, and sometimes that’s the best way to be out there in those situations. He’s done some good things in practice and this was a game where he got more extended minutes. As I’ve said we’ve got our seven-man rotation we’re looking at establishing, is there an eight or a nine in the process? Jay has done some good things, that was good experience for him today.”

On Bennett’s 300th win:
“I’m thankful. It just means I have really good players, it means I’ve been coaching for a while, I’ve had a great staff. My whole hope is that in my 300 wins I’ve honored and respected the game, the people who’ve poured into my life and what I value as important, and that in the many games I’ve lost, I’ve done the same. And that’s all I can ask for, so I’m very grateful to have been given this opportunity.”

On the impact of Bennett’s father on his coaching career:
“What my father did for me; he came out of retirement and went to Washington State, bottom of the barrel in the PAC 10. Basically, took all the bullets, I’m the associate head coach for three years, and established a program. He said son here you go, I don’t know if you will be successful, but at least you’re in a spot where you have a chance. He took a great career, final four coming off that, did that for me, took the losses, and then I took over, and we went to the tournament and won some games. I don’t know how many dads would do that for a son to get me started. I always go back to that and I think “Wow”, at the end of his career to take that on for me and then I was ready to go. When I came here he said you’re on your own, you’ve got to figure that one out for yourself. That’s where I got started, much respect and much goes to him. Always the players though, always the coaches, and 300 wins, wow, I’m just thankful for it.”

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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