UVA coach Tony Bennett on ‘Hoos loss to #2 Duke

tony bennett uva basketballOn Virginia’s 3-point defense versus Duke:

“I thought that we were a little slow to our closeout. We really tried to keep [Duke] out of the lane and jam the lane. We probably over-corrected in terms of that. You have to read when is that guy okay on the ball and then leave and be there on the catch. I thought there were too many of those when we were staying a little long. But, we did jam the lane, so we had that going for us.”

On Virginia Needing to Play a Cleaner Game:

“I told our guys after [the game], for us to beat a team like Duke and the way they’re playing, we are going to have to play a cleaner game in a few areas. [Duke] was quicker to the ball, they are terrific athletes, strong-handed, they snatched some out of our hands, some loose turnovers that led to the breakaways and then a couple careless ones here and there. You can’t beat a team like Duke, especially when they are shooting at that clip, whether we were too long in the gaps or not, without playing a really sounder, cleaner game. But, when you look at it, Tre Jones makes them a different team, I knew that. He brings a level of toughness and ball-handling, sureness, touch in the paint, and then defensively, he’ll get after you. We had some chances to be in there but, not enough. My hat goes off to a team that played very well today.”

On Ty Jerome’s Status:

“Well, he obviously couldn’t have played in the Miami game, and then we had two days off. In that first practice back, he did maybe two-thirds or three-quarters of the workout and moved well and responded well the next day. Then he practiced 75 percent or 80 percent the next day and then he did 90 percent the day before. So, I knew he was going to play as long as he didn’t have a setback. Glad that he’s been able to be healthy, hopefully he’ll be all right.”

On Duke’s 3-point Shooting:

“They shot a lot better [today]. [Tre Jones] puts pressure on you. We plugged the gaps and we probably were in there a little long and [Duke] hit deep shots. They have some special players in what they can do. It’s not just if you’re really tight on them, they certainly can beat you off the dribble and get on the glass, but they weren’t missing many. We needed to get there quicker. We were a little better in the second-half, but not good enough.”

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by May 15, 2019, and expected to retail for $25.
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The book, with additional reporting by Scott Ratcliffe and Zach Pereles, 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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