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January 23, 2012

Tony Bennett

COACH BENNETT:  We're coming off a hard‑fought game with Virginia Tech last night.  Both teams defended well.  They really did.  Virginia Tech made some plays down the stretch.  They did a good job.  We struggled to do that and capitalize on shooting the ball and scoring when we had opportunities.  We certainly learned from that.
I know our guys were hungry to succeed in that environment.  But with that being said, we'll learn from it.  Then as you just prepared to play to get as ready as you can to play B.C., and again, in this league every game, you've got to be ready for.  So we'll focus towards that.
We have to take today off because of the schedule and the rules.  So we'll have two days of preparation for B.C.

Q.  Presumably you've seen the tape on that.  What were your impressions?  Do you have any new impressions after seeing the replay?
COACH BENNETT:  No, as I mentioned, it was a hard‑fought defensive game.  So defensively it was solid.  We weren't perfect, but we were good enough to have a chance.  Again just leaving some of those points on the board, whether it was from the free throw line, missing some buckets in transition and even some drives, got some good looks.
Maybe a couple of times we were a little impatient.  But our defense was there.  In the three losses we've played, we had very cold shooting nights, and that's played a role in it.  That's hard to overcome when you don't knock down some shots and get the extra points.  So nothing stood out that was surprising from watching the film.  That was kind of the general impression after the game.

Q.  Shooter to shooter, what do you tell Sammy?
COACH BENNETT:  I think I told you Sammy was really sick a couple of days before, and I don't think he quite had his energy.  But if it's a good shot, you take it with confidence.  I've said that before.  Keep trying to find ways to let it come and shoot with confidence.  Then if you can find other ways to help out the team, Don't be defined at all by that shot.  But know when you have a shot, you have to have the confidence from your coach, from yourself to shoot it with rhythm.  That's when you start pressing or aiming a little more than trusting your stroke that you get in trouble.
So you get the shots and hopefully with experience and the other guys that are playing a lot of games know that there are some cycles that you go through, and you're always, as we say, one shot away from breaking out of a little slump.

Q.  Tony, you used an awful lot of four wings and one big last night.  Will you be able to do the same against B.C. with its size, particularly with Clifford down low?
COACH BENNETT:  Well, last night's game, Eddie for Tech kind of plays like a perimeter guy.  We almost defensively matched up a little better that way than from an offensive standpoint.  So I think each game will dictate what you do in terms of their personnel, your personnel, how you're doing.
We thought, okay, we'll try to get a little more scoring or open up the lane and go with four guards as well.  But I think it's a game‑time decision and a personnel‑based decision.  We haven't done that a lot this year because when we've had Assane and at least we've had four interiors, we've had a good rotation.  But with our numbers being shortened, you have to consider that at times.
Again, it just depends on who is in the game and what is going on, really, on both ends of the floor.  So certainly would we consider using that again?  Yes.  But we have our three traditional forwards or bigs to play for those two spots on the interior.

Q.  Then, one other thing just following up about what Doug was asking and shooters.  Do you find that they press anymore during games of limited possessions?  Just because you're forcing tech to go deep into the shot clock and vice versa and do kids tend to press a little more knowing we're not going to get the ball back for a while?
COACH BENNETT:  I think if it's a tight game and you're down, you could.  I think there is so much energy consumed when you're in those physical games and it's a grind that sometimes you don't have your legs or you're just a little off.  I think human nature sometimes hey, man, I've got to get this one.  We know we're not getting many, and we're going to have a bunch of rhythm looks.  I guess that could enter into your mind.
But I think that is the key to get it out of your mind.  Take it when it presents itself and shoot it with confidence or move on, but not trying not to have an anxious mind.  But that's all part of it.  You battle those things and try to keep working at it.
As I said, finding other ways to contribute is big.  Not just being identified or am I making it or am I not?  That's going to determine what my game's going to be.  It's got to be more than that.  I think that is something we try to stress too.

Q.  I guess I was wondering about Darion.  Six minutes last night.  You kind of figured with Assane's injury, he'd play a little more after that.  Was that something you were talking about a few minutes ago with the match‑ups and having to play a little smaller there?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, I think so.  There will be ample opportunities again dictating of how the guys are playing and what the game presents.  But certainly we'll need him and he did fine.  He didn't play a lot of minutes.  Being a freshman, he'll have to keep adjusting, but I think there will be opportunities for him.  And in that game with the match‑ups kind of how they were, we went a little more towards the four guard in the second half specifically, so that was more of a game by game thing, and I think there will be more opportunities for him.
If he keeps working hard and keeps improving, I think we'll need him.  I know we will.

Q.  Another one of your forwards, Angus Mitchell got the start in place of Assane last night.  He got 25 minutes.  Could you evaluate the job you thought did he on both ends of the floor?  I guess moving forward, in what areas do you need more from him or would you like to see more from him?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, you can't all of a sudden change who you are.  Like you said, Assane's not in the lineup, so you have to play to your strengths and do the things you have to do.
I thought Akil was solid.  When he matched up on Eddie, Eddie made a couple of tough shots and made some plays.  We told Akil you certainly can shoot Threet.  You look at his percentages and how they use him, so you've got to be able to guard on the perimeter as well as inside.  And Akil's quick that way.  Maybe got caught a couple of times where we were helping him in the gap, and Eddie got a good shot.
But he was solid.  He didn't get a lot of offensive opportunities.  He added a nice draw and created a nice post move.  Missed a close one to start the second half.
I think, yeah, he'll need to keep being a part of it.  If he can get on the offensive glass and get some baskets in transition, all of those ways for Akil, because he will have more opportunities as Darion should too.  So anything we can get out of them from an offensive standpoint is big for us.  So we'll look for that without changing who they are and trying to make it like it's got to be within their game.

Q.  He's been averaging six or seven rebounds off the bench the past three games prior to last night.  He only got one last night.  Do you pinpoint any reason why he wasn't as effective on the boards?
COACH BENNETT:  Well, some of it was probably guarding a little more on the perimeter.  They did a good job of spacing it out and certainly a lot of his match‑ups were on that perimeter.  So he wasn't able to probably come back and get around the glass.
But that is a strength of his, and we need him to continue to have a nose for the ball on both the offensive and the defensive glass.  Again, I can't point to it.  It's a war on the glass, and we'll need that as we continue in league play.  But, yeah, last night wasn't as much.  Some of it was being on the perimeter.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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