UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett talks win over William & Mary

tony bennett uva basketballOn De’Andre Hunter being more assertive and shots falling:

“I think both of those factors, we tried to put him in spots to be aggressive and he had the right mindset. He saw one go in early but he we have a couple different base offenses and one of them that we were working on is really beneficial to De’Andre. He can get some lane line drives and post-ups. I think De’Andre is so good in the high post, if you go back to games against Syracuse on a zone or Miami, he can make some plays. We’re trying to find a chance to get him the ball in those situations whether man-to-man or zone. Obviously, he has continued to improve and he played well today.”

On guarding William & Mary:

“I thought we guarded well. Nathan Knight really impressed me. He made some nice drives and scored from the post. They were two of twenty from three, that system is really hard to guard. It’s Princeton action or I don’t want to say for sure. I know Coach Shaver puts his own spin on it and they are very well coached for sure. Shooting is really important in that, when they are spacing five out, or four out. You have to be disciplined on cuts, their back-door cuts, their ball screen splits. I thought that we did a good job, especially in the second half. We also took care of the basketball in the second half. We had seven turnovers in the first half and one in the second half, or six and one, however that played out. The live ball turnovers, they had seven points in the first half on our turnovers. We didn’t give them the ball in the second half and that was a big part. They did make some tough shots in the first half so I didn’t have a problem with the way we defended. I think we made them work and contested most of their shots. They were a little off and that has an impact on their offense. The ability to hold a team like that to under those percentages is good.”

On this season, so far:

“I told the guys before the game that you should feel good about yourselves. Not too good about yourselves, but good. How you’ve played up to this point, what you can be. But know in saying that you have to recommit to how it is every game. I ask them to play in a way defensively that is challenging and demanding. I told them that I chose all of you, our staff chose all of you to come here, and you chose all of us. You chose knowing how we were going to do it and in the right way. So, feel good about what you have accomplished, where you are going and how you do it. So that’s my long-winded answer. I like what I’ve seen, we have improvements certainly. Competition will continue to step up, and we’ll keep knocking, like we like to say.”



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