Bennett Happy at Where Team Headed After Win Over Tribe

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-- Virginia head coach Tony Bennett is happy his team is going in the right direction. Bennett discusses UVA's 67-52 win over William and Mary.

Tony Bennett had a lot of positives to take from UVA's 67-52 win over William and Mary Saturday afternoon. He discusses the game, where the team stands, Darius Thompson and more in the video above. 


On UVA’s success in scoring fast break points:

“That is important for us. Points off turnovers were, on the stat sheet, 20-2 in our favor.  I thought that we capitalized on those and made some plays in transition. That is one of the things you guys asked me early in the year. What does Darius [Thompson] bring? I think he is good in the open court. He brings a different dimension that way, and he slashes, as you saw today. But those are valuable buckets off of a turnover or a couple easy ones if the defense isn’t back and set, as they did to us a couple of times.”


On the half court offense:

“We were sluggish. They are a very containment, pack line oriented. A couple times when we thought maybe they were in a zone, we were slow getting into stuff. You’re right about that Chris. It just seemed like, you know we wanted to go inside, we wanted to make a play. But we were out of sync with our timing. We always talk about pace and timing in the offense. I thought both were below average today. Some nice plays were made, but it was a so-so half court, man-to-man offensive effort. Even against the zone I thought we were just so-so, but that is why those open court buckets were good. And then I thought defensively, that is a team that will test you. You have to be disciplined in your stance and work. I thought we were ready defensively to guard all the Princeton action that they are really good at.”


On Virginia’s balance offensively:

“I think Anthony [Gill] got it going, Evan Nolte gave us a nice lift. I don’t know if they changed or not, but we needed that bounce and you know, without London [Perrantes], it is a little different. He accounts for some points, but also creates for some interior guys off quick plays. So perhaps that is why we were a little out of sync offensively. But balance is huge. Movement inside, outside, touching the paint, a couple big offensive rebounds, drawing fouls. When your offense is not clicking, you need to get in all those other areas that are important, and then your defense has to stay in there.


On defense compared to against Ohio State:

“Yeah, it was better. You have to be continuous against William & Mary because they are always back cutting, lifting up, and they are pretty much playing four perimeters. They are different than some teams. They didn’t shoot it particularly well from 3 [point range], but they are capable off the dribble. They try to get some buckets in transition and they really attack you off the dribble. Omar Prewitt  early, he was hard for us to handle. You can see [Daniel] Dixon could get some shots, but he split some ball screens too. So they put pressure on you off the bounce, and then they are always moving it. So, you have to sustain your defensive stance and possession for most of the clock. You know they are trying to wear each other down.”


On London Perrantes’ status coming off his appendectomy:

“We will find out when we practice tomorrow. We will get a feel for it. He has not practiced yet. We are hopeful, and I don’t think there have been any setbacks.“


On the team’s progress as a whole at 7-1:

“We are just trying to take steps. Going on the road without London [Perrantes], playing a good team in William and Mary, those are two positive things with room for improvement. Now you head into a game against a very physical, pressure-oriented team that is playing good basketball in West Virginia. We have two days to prepare, so our depth has helped us. We are going to need that, and different guys have to step up at different times. I’m just interested in us becoming sounder defensively, and better in the half court offensively from this game, and we will find some more things to work on from the tape.”

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