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February 6, 2012

Tony Bennett

COACH BENNETT:  You mentioned we're playing Wake Forest Wednesday, I think they're probably one of the most improved teams in our league.  Coach has done a great job.  They added some personnel and they're playing certainly very competitive good basketball.  So as every game is in the ACC, home or away, you have to be ready to play.
We're going to prepare to be as ready as we can, and take the good from the Florida State game and work on the area that's need improvement?

Q.  Jontel late in the Florida State game, did you at some point in a timeout tell him he needed to be more aggressive with the ball or did all of that transpire during the flow of the game?
COACH BENNETT:  Well, he did a good job in that stretch.  We spread it out and opened it up for them a little more, and they were switching on the ball screen.  So we tried to take advantage of the mismatch.
Sometimes when you switch on the ball screen and you try to isolate a guy in the post, they kind of can clog everything up and flood.  So there are a couple of ways to attack, sometimes a switch on a ball screen.  And sometimes spreading it out and attack in the paint with a bigger guy guarding a smaller guy, or you can try to get it into the post if you can.
We saw some openings.  We were down at the time, down double digits or down 10 or 11.  13 was the biggest.  So Jontel got a couple of steals for some transition buckets and did a good job of getting to the lane with some space off a mismatched ball screen.

Q.  As you went back and reviewed the tape from that game and the turnovers how many did you think were on you and how much was attributable to Florida State's length and defense?
COACH BENNETT:  I don't have a percentage exactly.  But some of them were just some bad decisions on our part where we got into traffic and made the wrong decision.  A couple were just careless where we didn't make intended passes.  They were unattended and went out of bounds.
A number were certainly their ability to pressure you.  Get in passing lanes or know when you get to the lane, they've got some athleticism and size at the rim certainly similar to Wake Forest with that, so that maybe in the back of your mind makes you change your course of action and make some tougher decisions.
So I think it was a combination of both.  I think some of it was certainly on us.  But that certainly had to do with their pressure and their ability to alter your decisions when you get into the lane.

Q.  I seem to remember you saying something about Assane last week that the doctors were going to take a look at him.  What kind of encouragement did you get, if you got any?
COACH BENNETT:  Didn't really get any.  Meaning I thought maybe I was a little over anxious to hear.  They just took off the cast.  And I think they took an X‑ray from what I understand after I talked to Ethan about it, just to make sure that none of‑‑ I don't know how many screws he had put in.  But the plate and the screws, just to make sure everything was still in place.
It was more just to make sure nothing looked out of the ordinary or out of place and that's all it was.  I was hoping maybe you could see a little healing or filling in of the fracture area, but that didn't look to seem to be the case.
So like I said, I don't think there is anything major ly out of place.  I think it's not for a while until you get a feel for where he is at in terms of his recovery process.

Q.  In regard to David's question earlier, you said a number of mistakes were decision making and turnovers.  I'm just curious, when you reviewed the film, did anything stand out in particular that led to the decisions that were being made?  How do you go about working to correct those to try to make better decisions going forward?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, sometimes it was someone would penetrate and we didn't slide to the open area.  Maybe the guy that was to receive the pass stood or if Mike got pressured, we didn't get to open alleys for them when they came at him.  They be a couple, again, we lost the ball off of it.  They pressured us or we lost it, and we didn't see our offensive player when we made a pass.  So a combination of things.
Turnovers, again, they're challenging you at the rim.  But when penetration occurs or someone's in trouble, you have to get to open spots and get to the right areas so that there's, whatever you want to call, outlets or safeties for guys that get in there.
It's always working on being in the right positions or when a person is under pressure.  Then also that attentiveness.  We use the term being ball strong or being sure with the ball.  Just having an aggressive but sound mindset with the ball in your hands and making a real solid decision.  That's a little bit of it.  Are you screening well?  Are you moving forward hard?  Are you working to get off the ball.  But then with the ball, do you have the assertiveness and soundness to handle defensive pressure?

Q.  I was wondering, given Sammy's shooting struggles the last few games, have you guys given any consideration to possibly bringing him off the bench?  Maybe start Malcolm just to maybe break him out of his mindset a little bit?  Have you thought about any of that kind of thing?
COACH BENNETT:  You know, the way we're playing predominantly six players, Darion and Paul are seven and eight, they're all going to play, especially those six are going to play a lot of minutes.
But watching the tape, Sammy guarded it well, and did a lot of things.  Didn't shoot it particularly well of course.  But they're all going to play.  Whether you come off the bench to start, I think that's not as significant of a deal.
It's just a matter of, again, playing and doing the right thing.  And to specifically answer your question, that's not out of the realm, but I don't think that's the answer.  If we're going to bring him off the bench to relax, they've played as many games as Sammy has or as many minutes as all of our perimeter guys are getting.  It's just a matter of finding the right kind of looks to impact the game as many ways as you can, including shooting, but also in the other areas.
So I feel like that wouldn't be necessarily the issue.  But, again, we'll just keep looking at how things go.

Q.  Have you seen anything technically off with his shot?  He had a bunch of air balls in that Florida State game.
COACH BENNETT:  No, a few of those, a couple of our guys got their balls tipped, and they closed quick on the perimeter.  They rush your delivery probably more than most teams.  But you try to have a consistent shot.
At times, sometimes the shot can get flat, but I didn't see shots pretty much the same.  I know we work at it.  Just try to have a repeatable, consistent shot, and have a good feel.  For whatever the case, obviously, they got to a couple of those balls and they certainly, all the shots that he missed were strong.
So it wasn't that he was leaving it short.  He certainly shot them strong, but I didn't see anything particularly from, I guess, a square up technique or an issue that looked different in his shot.

Q.  Coach Hamilton was very flattered in his comments toward Mike Scott earlier.  Is he giving you what you wanted to get from him this year, Coach?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, how could you say not?  Mike's had a very good year.  He's certainly a lot of the defenses are gearing up to stop him.  But he's played hard.  He's hit big shots for us, and he's been terrific.  Like I said, I'm very happy for Mike that after having to sit out last year you can see the maturity in his game and the improvements he's made.
The thing about Mike too I like is he'll be the first to say I've got to improve in this area or I didn't do well particularly in this situation.  So he's still seeking for ways to help this team and improve.
He's not one of those guys that's about trying to showcase him and trying to get numbers.  He really wants the team to do well.  That's refreshing to see.  Up to this point, I've been very pleased with how could you not be with what he's done and how he's producing.

Q.  To follow up on Mike a little bit.  When practice started, did it take long for you to see that he was going to be able to play full strength and not have any lingering affects on his injury?
COACH BENNETT:  It did, because he was in and out of practice.  It was really interesting, because he played some in the summer.  He was on and off.  His ankle would flare up on him.  He went to start as close to the season as‑‑ I'm trying to think when we did our scrimmages, what those dates were.  You know, the last weekend.
Our two scrimmages, Mike did not play in.  We scrimmaged Vanderbilt and Baylor.  I think it was the last weekend in October, first weekend in November, and Mike didn't play in those because his ankle was flaring up and he was having issues.  So we weren't sure as of that point where is this at?
It's continuing to get used to the consistent pounding.  Really, since we started playing the games, he's really good about getting his treatments and doing his rehab.  Doing the right kinds of things that have made the difference.  Hopefully that continues for him.

Q.  You also noted that he's made some improvements in his game.  Where specifically have those come?  How is he a better player than he used to be?
COACH BENNETT:  He's more versatile in terms of I think he's improved defensively.  He's more of a team‑oriented defender.  We always get on those guys that that's got to continue to keep improving.  But he's trying to be more of a help defender and working on that aspect of it.
Offensively he's developed the versatility in his game to face the basket more and stretch his range out.  And when you're hurt, a lot of times all you can do is spot shooting.  You try to really groove your outside shot, but I think he's developed more.  He's had that a little bit, but he's enhanced his ability to face and stretch the defense, get the mid range shot play off the dribble a little more.
So I think that's probably added to his versatility as much as anything on the offensive end.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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