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UVA Basketball: Tony Bennett on win over Louisville

On his outlook at achieving the regular season championship at the beginning of the season:

“You always hope, but you never know. I knew that we needed everybody. We used our theme of united pursuit. We’re going to pursue it for all we’re worth and be united in the hard stuff and in the successes. The guys certainly improved and we got lifts. It was really different guys at different times and the key guys had terrific years. But, to be able to do it in this league over almost three months and 18 games, it’s really a test of consistency and they answered the bell. If you think about that with Jack Salt and it being his fourth one in six years, and I know how challenging that is in a league like this, but, these guys, they paid the price in the offseason and they worked hard and their body of work speaks for itself.”

On Virginia overcoming second half deficits:

“For Louisville, first congrats to how hard and well they played. That was a physical game. The possessions were hard, they made some tough contested shots, they attacked us and they made it hard for us. To be in a tough, physical game when [De’Andre Hunter] isn’t scoring like he typically does, we had to come out. I thought Ty Jerome was terrific, Kyle Guy, what Jay Huff did coming off the bench with those threes, and then Braxton Key making the big three and grabbing some rebounds. We needed all those things. We needed different guys at different times in those settings in a physical game. When we’re playing for a regular season conference championship, to be in that spot and to get it is even better, but, hopefully there’s some confidence.”

On Ty Jerome’s performance:

“Ty Jerome was so complete. I think he’s feeling better and he’s such a competitor. I think the crowd gave him some extra juice and I think he is getting healthier with his back. We needed it all, that pull-up he hit and some of the passes, because Louisville is a physical and defensive team. They may extend a little bit of that zone, but those guys, they were ready to play. Coach Mack had them very ready and we felt that down there. That’s our league. To see what Ty Jerome did, all across the board, we needed everything.”

On mentally preparing for postseason play:

“We talk about it all the time, ‘it’s 40-minute territory,’ as we say in the games. Possessions matter and this is the test. Consistency over 18 games, now you’re in a situation when its one-and-done. A hot team or a matchup, you have to just be ready to go. And that’s a different kind of challenge, so hopefully we’ll be ready for it. But, you press on. You step to the game and learn from all the things, the successes and the hard lessons we’ve learned, and be as ready as you can.”

augusta free press
augusta free press