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UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett on win at Syracuse

tony bennett uva basketballHave you ever seen your shooters perform that well from deep in a game like this?

“Those guys were terrific in the second half. There were probably three or four incredibly deep threes. I think that Kyle (Guy) was looking at the ground when he shot those. That was impressive. And then to have all three of them (Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and Deandre Hunter) get that hot was good and then they combined it with really good defense in the second half. I think there were about 14 or 16 stops where they did miss some shots, but I thought we were better at contesting. We had eight turnovers and eight offensive rebounds given up in the first half. We tightened that up in the second half. Ty (Jerome) was really good in the high post as was Deandre (Hunter) and then Kyle (Guy) stretched the floor so we put guys in some spots that we thought would cause some trouble for them if we were making shots. It’s a terrific zone and we just had our night tonight against it. And they were a little off offensively, but that’s not to take away from the second half and the way our guys played there. It’s hard to beat a team when a team is clicking that way with not just one guy, but three guys.”

Can you explain the difference between the play in the first half and the play in the second half?

“Obviously, it was the shooting. But it was the stops that made the difference. They might have missed a couple of open shots, but we didn’t give them second chance points. We went with some good length. We had Jay Huff and Mamadi (Diakite) down low and Mamadi did a good job when he had to guard their mobile guy. I don’t know if the player he was defending was affected after he rolled his ankle or not though. Then Deandre (Hunter) was really good on the ball individually and I thought that Kyle (Guy) had a good second half guarding Buddy (Boeheim). He really got in front and Ty (Jerome) did the job, so we were collectively good. That paired with the way we were executing our offense really made the difference.

What was your message at halftime?

“We just talked about some stats. The eight offensive rebounds that we gave up and the eight turnovers and said, ‘Let’s get this thing to how we have to play.’ And it wasn’t fire and brimstone or anything like that. I was just telling them that we need to get after it, and we need to play ball. We had to get tougher defensively and we had to clean up a couple of those areas and battle. It was similar to a lot of halftime speeches.”

augusta free press
augusta free press