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January 14, 2013

Tony Bennett

COACH BENNETT:  Got a week to prepare for a very good Florida State team.  We just have to use this week to try to improve in the areas that have been hurting us in the last couple of games that we've dropped on the road.  So we'll try to use it well, and get the guys fresh and healthy as possible.

Q.  He said you were going to have Darion checked out when you got back to Charlottesville.  Is there any update on that?
COACH BENNETT:  No, not right now.  That was this morning.  He had his appointment, and I'm sure we'll get some feedback by, I would hope by the end of the day or tomorrow if he has to get a test or X‑ray or MRI or whatever they do.

Q.  Him not being a hundred percent these last couple of games, how much has that impacted your defensive performance?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, when you watch it on tape and just seeing him, he's kind of certainly favoring his leg, and he's not the same as he was earlier.  I think sometimes you can play if you're not quite a hundred percent, but you've got to be close, especially the way Darion plays and has been effective for us.
I feel it's unfortunate for him.  But whether it's the time of this week to rest or whatever, obviously, the course of treatment is we can get it so he can go and play all out and fly around.  Because that is kind of his mentality with his versatility and activity on defense, and when he's not able to get out and show on screens as much or be as active, it affects him and probably does affect our defense when he's on the floor more than most guys, probably.

Q.  You haven't gotten a whole lot of production out of Paul Jesperson in recent games.  What are you looking for from him on a game‑by‑game basis?
COACH BENNETT:  Right, Paul had a nice second half against Carolina.  Not as much the last couple of games.  Paul's greatest strength as a player is his mind, his smarts out on the floor.  You want him to be opportunistic in his scoring, but take what's there and be sound.
In saying that, it's quality looks in shooting the three and making the play.  He's getting some pretty good looks.  Some of them just haven't gone down in the last game.  He took six shots, and, again, got some pretty clean looks.  Last game it was pretty much Joe.  We need him to give us some offensive help and certainly be as sound as he can on the defensive end.  But want him to keep looking for shots and stay within his game.
But certainly we need some other scorers to be a threat out there and to ask Paul to just make plays off the dribble and do things that maybe aren't in his strength would be probably not right.  But we need to certainly need him to take what the game gives him, but be assertive in that.

Q.  Following up on that, regarding your offensive problems in the last couple of games, Mike Tobey gives you some scoring.  What does he have to do to get on the floor more?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, he's been playing a little more the last couple games.  You know, with Mike, I look at offensively, and I ask, are we getting quality shots for the most part?  In the last game we did.  Some of our turnovers have hurt us and resulted in points for the other team.  Some of the turnovers that were a little unforced.
Then in Mike's case, he's got to keep coming.  Defensively he had a match‑up against Booker, and certainly we play a team defense.  But that provided some challenges for him that were hard.  They had Milton Jennings shooting the ball well, and I thought Booker could establish his position a little easier on Mike being new to a player of that caliber.
He had a little trouble, but I think that's what's, you know, promising for him is he's shown the ability to adjust and improve, and he does have that offensive prowess.  Depending on Darion's status, I think there are certainly going to be opportunities out there for Mike.

Q.  I also want to ask you about Mike Tobey.  Limited viewing of him down here, he seems to be an extraordinary shooter for a 6'11" guy.  But doesn't seem to be as productive on the boards as you might expect from a 6'11" guy.  Is that a fair reading from a limited viewing?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, I think as Mike gets more physical, he just gets stronger and improved his explosiveness.  Those things will come.  We've talked about it among our reporters.  Mike's young for his grade.  He is very young.  Just turned 18 in late October.
So you can see there is some youth or he's not as mature as even a guy his grade should be.  Probably could be back a year.  But he does have a nice skillset.
I think what will get him on the floor more, as Doug just asked as he continues to improve defensively, which he has, and he gets more physical on the glass.  All of those areas he's taken steps in, but right now probably a little more on the skilled side of things.  And he has some things in the post, specifically mentioned the rebounding, and for us looking at the defensive side of things, those kind of have a lot to do with certainly the physical strength, but also your nose for the ball and desire to get it.
That's something you learn as a young player.  The more experience he's in as the Bookers and the players we'll play against, I think he'll get a grasp for that more and more.

Q.  Again, your guys in Virginia probably know this.  But can you fill us in a little bit on Jontel Evans as he's coming off the injury?  Is it better, is it the same?
COACH BENNETT:  I think he played more minutes in the Clemson game and felt fine or felt better, I think.  Physically felt good.  He's got to work on taking care of the ball, making good decisions, but it's been good for him and good to see him out there and not have any setbacks, which he's had the last couple of times he came off this injury.
So from that standpoint, my hope is he'll get better and better as he gets more game reps and more practice reps hopefully he'll be sounder and just get more of his timing and feel back.

Q.  I guess I overlooked this the other day, but Clemson's shooting percentage in that game, what did you make of that?
COACH BENNETT:  Yeah, it was a very impressive second half.  You know, Jennings, for them when Jennings is shooting the three ball well, it provides some challenges because a lot of times they'll feed the post with him and he'll stretch you, because they haven't shot it particularly well from three besides him.
So when he gets going like that, and then you have the floor spread, whether they use ball screens to set with Booker and roll them into the post, they've got the hits and threes from Jennings.  Made some tough shots, a couple off the glass as I mentioned you saw in the game.  Then Booker got some deep post positions whether it was on Mike or anybody.  When he gets that deep, it's pretty hard for us to handle that.
So whether it was Jennings hitting the threes, Booker getting deep post position and a few break downs, they certainly were effective and we didn't do a good enough job, obviously, to stop them.
Then the buckets that they needed, either we missed on the other end an easy one and they came down and hit some quick threes and that made the difference.

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