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March 9, 2016

Justin Bibbs

Justin Robinson

Buzz Williams

Washington, DC

Virginia Tech - 96

Florida State - 85

THE MODERATOR: Opening statement from the coach, then we'll take questions.

COACH WILLIAMS: I always just go straight to questions.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Buzz, obviously you always want to have your guys attacking the rim. Why was that so effective against them tonight?
COACH WILLIAMS: Well, I think we're built that way. I think we recruit that way. I think our style of play, our brand is such that that is how we want to operate. I think we're continuing to improve in that regard.

I thought our ball movement was outstanding. We had multiple paint touches on I think all but four possessions when we scored. Those are all good numbers.

Q. Buzz, Leonard was just saying as opposed to the first meeting, he thought you played more to who you were in this game and ran less offense and attacked more off the dribble. Was that by design? Do you agree with that assessment?
COACH WILLIAMS: I love coach. I've known coach since I was a teenager. If that's what he said, I'm in complete support of it.

Q. Guys, Florida State's coach was saying they had no answer for your quickness and speed. Did you sense that during the game? Could you tell that was an advantage for you guys?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: I wouldn't say that. I would say we were playing together the whole game, we played for one another. We had 18 assisted baskets. I think overall that was the key to the game.

Q. Buzz, how much did you feel you fed off the home crowd tonight?
COACH WILLIAMS: We appreciate all those Hokies showing up. Maybe we can get a few more tomorrow. I think our guys sensed it. They may have sensed it prior to me walking on the floor. I know they could feel it during warmups. We're grateful for that.

Maybe you can schedule a neutral-site game here.

Q. For both the players, you were on such a roll coming here, were you nervous or curious at all to see if you were going to keep that momentum and when did you feel like you still had it?
JUSTIN BIBBS: I wasn't worried. Just anxious and excited. I have total confidence in my teammates, myself. I just felt good going into the game.

JUSTIN ROBINSON: The overall vibe these past couple weeks has been good. I don't think we were really nervous. We were trying to feed off one another, stay in the groove all the time in our preparation to this game.

Q. You always want to be playing your best basketball when tournament time rolls around. This is six in a row for you. Do you feel this is the best basketball you played all year?
COACH WILLIAMS: Sure. The results say so. I think the teams that improve after Valentine's Day are typically the teams that play until spring break.

I don't know if we're good enough to play till spring break, but they're trying real hard. They understand and are accepting of how we need to play, which shows great maturity on a very young team's part.

I think that, like anything else in life, true confidence can only come from your work. I think they're much more understanding of what their work is. I think that's why we're improving.

Q. Coach, third time you'll be playing Miami tomorrow evening. Lessons learned from the first two meetings that will help you out tomorrow night?
COACH WILLIAMS: They're as talented as any team in the league. They have the Coach of the Year of the Sheldon McClellan, all of his stats are superlative. I know Angel was an all-conference player.

No. 23, leading rebounder in the league, leading shot-blocker in the league. They just throw multiple guys at us.

It will be similar to tonight. Their colors are different. They're from the same state. We'll be deficient at every position, the guys that we start and the guys we bring off the bench.

The only chance we have to win, similar to the games we've won this year, it will be based on our team, not based on the coaches or not based on individuals.

Q. Coach, you led wire to wire. What is the key to keeping such a high intensity over the full 40 minutes?
COACH WILLIAMS: I recruit guys that are raised the right way. Normally when they have really good parents, they understand the difference between right and wrong. They can identify it on their own.

These two guys are as good of an example of that as we have. I think too much people think there's a shortcut or a secret or we found it on Google. It's the law of the farm, you know. Wake up and do what you're supposed to do, then do it again the next day and try to be a little bit better at it.

When you try to build something and you build it based off character, typically that gives you your best chance for success. These guys, not just these two guys, you can tell by the words they use that they love one another. When you add character and love, it's probably a great place to start.

Q. The first half you were on fire shooting-wise. What helped you in the first half? What did you do on defense to make it a tough shooting half for them?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: I mean, the first half, like throughout the whole game, we play for one another and we're just clicking throughout the whole time.

I think when we're on the same page together, playing for one another, getting multiple paint touches, the extra pass, I think it's hard to stop us.

At the same time just credit to everybody playing together and for one another.

JUSTIN BIBBS: Like he said, at the same time we shot a lot of practice shots. We were getting inside to the paint, kicking out easy shots at the rim. That really helped our defense a lot.

Q. You just heard Buzz say you're going to be deficient at every position in the matchup. Some teams would be ticked off hearing their coach say that. You seem to embrace that almost like a challenge. What do you think when you hear that?
JUSTIN ROBINSON: I wouldn't say we're mad about it. At the same time we take pride in it also.

Being the underdog is what we like, so there's really not much to say about it.

JUSTIN BIBBS: When he said that, we just let it take pride on defense. We just try to stop them. We know that they're really talented. Now that he put a challenge on us, like, we got to succeed on that.

Q. Coach, 20 points for Seth Allen off the bench this evening. From what I understand, he's been coming off the bench during this entire streak. What offensive infusion does he give you off the pine?
COACH WILLIAMS: Yeah, we study a lot of different things. Our numbers in January through that rough stretch in February, some of the things that we realized, one would be that Jalen was more effective as a starter, and Seth I think probably has a very high IQ. He pays attention more than he acts. When he's able to see things through the first media timeout, he hits the ground running in a good way.

I think part of the reason why Seth has been so good offensively is because he's become much more consistent defensively. He's been a good offensive player since he moved to Blacksburg. But when our team is playing four on five defensively because he's doing things that we don't want him to do, it doesn't lead to great shots for our team.

I think he's been as disciplined probably in his career. I didn't coach him at Maryland. I think his defensive discipline has allowed his offense to be much better.

Q. Justin, you were talking Monday night in the locker room about how confident you were because of how you have been playing. Did that feel that way to you before the game today? Did you have a vibe that you were confident going into this one?
JUSTIN BIBBS: Our vibe was real positive. Like you say, just coming into this game, we were just real happy to play, excited to play.

I can't explain it, but our confidence is really high right now. That helps us a lot.

Q. Coach, what was the catalyst as far as ball movement goes?
COACH WILLIAMS: I just think it's the accumulation of all the things we do since we started practice. Again, a lot of the guys, 62% of our minutes have been played by guys that didn't have a uniform last year. You can say that's why we got beat by Alabama State, but I think there's been a crescendo to how we play. I think that's been because of the reps that they've been getting, the reps they get every day in practice, the reps they've been getting in games.

I think if you're trying to improve and your team is maturing at the same rate that you're improving, I think that's a potent combination.

Some of the things I used to have to say in early December during finals week, I don't have to say it anymore. Literally they're saying it. That's what you want, when the players are doing the coaching instead of the coach having to do all the coaching, they're saying the things that we were saying over Thanksgiving. So now we're just kind of trying to move to the next step.

They understand what one more's are, they understand what multiple paint touches are. They get all that. They also recognize when we're not doing that. I think that's probably just as important when you get to mid March as anything else, that you're not burning timeouts because you're out of character.

They know what our character is. They know what our recipe is. I think their effort and their attitude to accomplish that has been pretty transparent to me.

Q. Buzz, you'll see a Miami team tomorrow like you haven't seen this season with Ja'Quan Newton back. He had the suspension and wasn't playing when you played them. What kind of element does he add for them other than some quality depth?
COACH WILLIAMS: He's a really good player. He shredded us last year. Obviously without him, they shredded us at their place.

He's very important to their team, in my opinion. I'm not coaching him. If you're a double-figure guy off the bench, you're a really good player.

Seth is a double-figure guy for us off the bench. You could argue that Seth plays starter minutes. I've always felt that way about Newton.

He's a ball guard that's hard to defend, that draws help, that makes those other guys even better.


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