augusta free press news

UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett on win over #7 Virginia Tech

tony bennett uva basketballOn Ty Jerome’s performance:

“I thought we played very well as a team. For [Ty Jerome], you look at that stat line with 14 points [and] 12 assists, he loosened it up early with some of those long threes that we’ve seen him make over the years. He really controlled the game well, played hard and I can’t say enough about a lot of the guys and the way they played. Virginia Tech puts pressure on you, they really do. We had to play that well and I know we separated, but they did miss some shots early. But we played really hard, the atmosphere was incredible and we were so balanced. I really like how [Ty Jerome] shared the ball, but everyone was moving the ball and sharing it. Because of the way Virginia Tech defends, if you don’t move it, they’re going to kind of smother you. They’re going to jam the lane and you can’t drive, so it’s got to be drive, kick, next pass and we made some good plays.”

On De’Andre Hunter’s contributions:

“[De’Andre Hunter] was so complete tonight. He scored in the post, he turned and faced, he drove, played some three, handled the ball well, played some four, the forward spot for us, and I thought his versatility was on full display tonight. I think [Nickeil Alexander-Walker] is a tremendous player for them. They are two super-sophomores, if you want to say it that way. But I thought De’Andre really was so efficient and worked hard defensively too. So, it wasn’t just an offensive performance, it was a complete performance.”

On Kihei Clark’s play:

“It was good to get the splint off of his wrist and the cast. He had tape and he had more mobility. He’s going to say ‘that’s all I needed, Coach.’ Banging those threes was huge. But, [Kihei Clark’s] job against [Justin Robinson], one of the better guards in our league without a doubt, I’ve watched his game evolve over four years and Kihei, he’s just got something inside of him. Those of who who’ve watched us can see that. He won’t back down, he’s quick and he’s got a low center of gravity, and that bodes well and he just made [Justin Robinson] earn most of the night.”