“The most aggressive team won tonight. The best team tonight won. Their defense was a lot stronger and more aggressive than our offense. First half we had given up 18 points on turnovers, had 12 turnovers in the first half. Low possession game and needless to say that hurt us a great deal. We’re still only down four. I told them I felt like the luckiest guy in the world because I felt like the way we played we could have been down 30. Second half we get it… to one, and that’s when (London) Perrantes made two in a row. He’s a heck of a kid, heck of a competitor, and I really enjoy watching him play when he’s playing somebody else – I don’t enjoy watching him play when he’s playing us. (Kyle) Guy got them started early in the game, I thought we played great defense and he makes one at the shot clock early and then banks another one in and gave them a little more energy and a little more excitement.
"The first half it was turning over the basketball and giving up points on turnovers. In the second half and you look down and we shoot 28 percent in the second half – that’s not going to beat anybody that’s a good team. They’re a very good team. They had a tough stretch, lost three or four in a row, but they’re a good team. They shot 32 percent and beat us in their building because of how well they played defensively. We want to try and get something more inside and dominate the boards a heck of a lot more. We get 10 offensive rebounds, but they get 13 so that’s no dominating the boards. That’s one place that we have to do… You’ve got to give them credit, they made shots. I’m sure Tony (Bennett) is not excited about shooting 32 percent but they made big shots and made five shots with less than four seconds left on the shot clock. Four of them were threes, so that kind of thing is important.”
What did you think of the way Perrantes guarded Justin Jackson?
“He did a nice job. He is smaller, quicker, and got underneath him and made it difficult for Justin to take the ball to the basket. Justin took too much of a load on personally and tried to take some tough shots. I’d rather take five more seconds and get a better shot than take one that tough. He’s made a bunch of baskets for us this year and we probably wouldn’t be sitting where we are if he hadn’t taken some of those tough shots, too… but London did a nice job.”
What’s the takeaway from tonight’s poor performance after a successful past two weeks?
“It’s the ACC. That’s what it is, guys. You guys act like it’s nothing but this is a pretty doggone tough league. We can stink it up one night and then we can play like great balls of fire the next night, and so can the other teams. I think everybody thought Virginia was really going to be a good team. We beat them at our place and nothing went right for them, but tonight I don’t think it’s as much what we did wrong as it was how good their defense was. I didn’t like the turnovers and don’t like shooting 28 percent in the second half, but when you turn the ball over it’s normally because the defense does something, when you shoot 28 percent it’s usually because the defense does something. So let's give them some credit. I think it’s the ACC.”
Your team only scored one field goal after the nine minute mark of the second half. Was that just a matter of Virginia locking down or was it missed opportunities offensively?
“It’s a little of both. During that late stretch I thought Justin took two that weren’t that very good. Isaiah (Hicks) went to the basket, I thought he got fouled and the referees didn’t, so they didn’t call it. Kennedy (Meeks) missed one inside. Theo (Pinson) missed one right in front of our bench that was a good shot. So we missed some shots, but they guarded it, too. I think it was a little bit of both.”
It was a strange start to the game with your team going up 7-0 and then UVA scoring 12 straight.
“We didn’t get a good shot. I think we turned it over on the first possession and took a bad shot on the second possession. But they missed them also. Then we scored two baskets and then we bank one in from three ourselves… we can’t talk about luck because we did it ourselves. It’s 7-0, but they were getting shots. They weren’t turning it over. We were turning it over a couple of times and then we turned it over some more. At our place when they doubled the post it really didn’t bother us very much, and tonight you can figure it out… Our post players had nine of our 14 turnovers. I think their double team on the big guy affected us more here than it did at our place. When we did get an open look we didn’t make it, and we weren’t strong with it inside.”