UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett on win over Miami

On UVA’s offense without point guard Ty Jerome:

“I think that we had a hard time finding the balance of running our stuff hard and trusting the offense to produce a quality shot that we got to being where we have to force the action. I think that there is a balance and we have to still stay assertive. We were unsound the last two games, and of course Ty (Jerome) helps us with that and his absence certainly showed. It was invaluable experience for all of our guys to play in that. We made some defensive plays to block some shots and bother some things. They missed an awful lot of wide-open looks. We were fortunate in that regard, but there were enough good looks defensively and at times we were fumbling around and struggling. There is a quote that says, ‘Excellence isn’t easy, but stay focused’; at times, we wavered in and out of that.”

On Ty Jerome’s injury:

“Well he couldn’t play today obviously. He would have played today if he could play today. He’s improved – in the NC State game, he hurt his back early in the game and tweaked it. He just wasn’t able to play today. That is really all I know, I’m thinking that it is going in the right direction, we will see.”

On offensive hesitation:

“Certainly, some of it was Miami. They have two guys who can really pressure the ball [in] Chris Lykes and Zach Johnson… At times, early on, we got some good looks out of our ball screen offense and we just missed a lot of shots. That seemed like it was the best chance to have an opportunity to get some scores. We were struggling in some of our other stuff so we just tried to ride that a little more and be as good as we can offensively. But that showed at times, the indecisiveness. that led to some turnovers and either forced shots or not making the right plays. Again, there were enough good plays and that is part of learning.”

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Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

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, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

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