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March 12, 2014

James Johnson

Devin Wilson


Miami テや 57
Virginia Tech テや 53

COACH JOHNSON:テつ That was a hard‑fought ACC Tournament basketball game.テつ I thought both teams came in and battled right down to the last play of the game.テつ I thought our guys came out ready to play right from the start.テつ I thought we got off to a good start, got the ball to Eddie.テつ He knocked some shots down.テつ We got off to a good start defensively, took a lead.テつ They fought back, took the lead, and then second half they came out, took a lead, we fought back, and then it was a great game down the stretch and they were able to make plays.
I thought their veterans, they stepped up and made plays down the stretch, but got to give them a lot of credit.テつ After losing to us twice in the regular season, to be able to come out with the victory today.テつ I've got to give my guys a lot of credit.テつ They fought, they competed hard all season long, and they did it again tonight and left it all out on the floor, and we just didn't make plays.テつ But I thought the effort was there, and they really did a great job competing.テつ We just left a couple plays out there on the floor tonight.

Q.テつ Devin, obviously you guys missed four shots and missed a couple of free throws there in the last three minutes.テつ Do you feel like this is maybe a win you could have had here, and what was the problem, kind of, scoring down the stretch there?
DEVIN WILSON:テつ Yeah, for sure I thought this was a game we could win.テつ We just didn't seem to make the plays at the end.テつ We've got to finish those plays, which we normally do, but I give Miami a lot of credit.テつ They played good defense at the end, made us take tough shots, but we've got to be able to capitalize.

Q.テつ With Joey going to the line, what was your thoughts?テつ Obviously 36 percent, I think, for the year, and also how big an impact was the foul trouble he got in in the first half?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, the first question about him stepping to the line, I thought that he was going to knock them down.テつ At the Pittsburgh game he knocked two big free throws down late in the stretch, and that basically was going through my mind.テつ I told him knock these two free throws down and then we'll lead and go from there.
Him getting in early foul trouble was a huge impact for us defensively and on the offensive end.テつ He's our go‑to guy right now in the post‑offensive end.テつ And he's a veteran guy in the middle of our zone or on the wing in the zone, and him just sitting on the sideline being on the bench for so long hurt us on both ends.

Q.テつ Coach, I was very impressed with your team's effort out there.テつ I know it's not a win, and we're not talking about moral victories, but what are you most proud of what your guys did out there for 40 minutes?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ Just the most proud of the way they competed and they fought and they gave effort, and that's something that those guys have been doing all season long.テつ They could have easily packed it in.テつ They could have easily packed it in.テつ And we talked about this is a new season, and you come out and let's play like it is.テつ It's a one‑game tournament, and they laid it all on the line and played hard, competed, played with a lot of effort, a lot of energy, and they left it all out there tonight.

Q.テつ Coach, Jarell was able to find his shot, especially outside the first half.テつ Was there anything ‑‑ was it more defensively what they did or was Jarell kind of‑‑ did he lose his hot streak in the second half?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ Well, I thought he had some really good looks in the second half.テつ I thought maybe fatigue set in, legs were a little bit tired in the second half.テつ Obviously had to play a lot of minutes, didn't come out of the game.テつ But they were wide open shots, shots that he probably, if he had them again, he'll knock them down.

Q.テつ James, I'm guessing at the end there that's what you wanted.テつ Devin, I'm sure, intentionally missed the second free throw and Jarell got a good look close to the basket.
COACH JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, we wanted Devin to miss the second one.テつ We got a free throw play that we worked on early on in the season, and we had to pull it out tonight.テつ Devin did a great job of missing the free throw, perfect.テつ You've got to miss it perfect.テつ He did a good job of missing it.テつ Eddie did a great job of getting in there for the offensive rebound and had the ball ‑‑ didn't have a good look, though.テつ The trees were around him, and I thought he just powered right up, and I was hoping we'd get a lay‑up or get a foul out of it.

Q.テつ Swoope, 21 for them.テつ I think he had 20 points in the first two games.テつ Obviously it was a tough match‑up for you athletically.テつ What did they do to feature him to self?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ He was more aggressive, and they ran the stuff they usually run.テつ He was more aggressive driving the ball to the hole, and I thought that the veteran did‑‑ the old guy in him came out.テつ He's a guy that's been around a long time, and he played like he didn't want to go home tonight.テつ He was a tough match‑up for us.テつ He drove the ball, and we knew he was athletic.テつ He's a driver, and he did a great job on the glass rebounding the basketball for them, too.
But I thought his veteran‑‑ his leadership and how he played like a veteran guy that didn't want to go home.

Q.テつ Just down the stretch, the way you guys kind of mixed moments of great execution and then moments of kind of head scratching.テつ Did that feel like just this last month in a nutshell, how the end of the game went where you couldn't seem to catch a break even though you had an opening?テつ How were those last minutes for you?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, you know, we've seen it in close games down the stretch.テつ We've seen it.テつ We had some open looks that we thought we could have knocked down, had some free throws on the line, had some free throws.テつ But like I said, give Miami credit; they made those plays and we didn't make those plays.テつ It may be a little bit of fatigue set in for us with those plays, but those are things that our young ballclub will learn from, and we'll continue to move forward with them.

Q.テつ James, last year you had the play at NC State on the free throw.テつ Did you have to change your missed free throw play after that or was it somewhat similar?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, it was somewhat similar.テつ It was somewhat similar, the same result.テつ We got the rebound on both plays.テつ We were able to put the ball in the hole at NC State last year, and this year we missed it.テつ We got the rebound and just didn't get a clean look.テつ They did a good job of just keeping their hands up, not fouling.テつ Jekiri, the 7 footer, I think, was around the ball.テつ Swoope may have been around the ball, not sure, but they did a good job of keeping their hands up, playing big, and not giving us a clean look.

Q.テつ You guys shot 54 percent from the field in the first half but only 20 percent in the second half.テつ Did Miami make some defensive adjustments on you?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ I thought we got good looks, especially Eddie.テつ I thought a few of his were wide open, he just didn't knock them down.テつ I thought Emelogu had one in the corner that was wide open, just didn't knock it down.テつ I thought we had good looks, just didn't go down for us, and again, I think that, maybe, has to do with a little bit of fatigue, legs tired.テつ This guy beside me has logged a lot of minutes this year, logged a lot of minutes today.テつ Eddie played the entire game today, had his shots, a little bit of fatigue, but just‑‑ got to make those shots.

Q.テつ Devin, any noticeable differences from one half to the other?
DEVIN WILSON:テつ I think second half, we came out, we executed well.テつ Like Coach said, we weren't able to knock down shots, whether it was fatigue or Miami just really making it hard for us.テつ But I thought we executed well.テつ We just weren't able to get the ball in the hole.

Q.テつ Devin, there's been some talk about your coach's job and the future of the program.テつ What would it mean for you to have him back coaching the team and coaching this group of young guys?テつ Just tell me about him, why you think he's the right man for the job.
DEVIN WILSON:テつ It would mean everything.テつ He's the guy who brought me in here.テつ I was a little under‑recruited in high school, and he had faith in me that I was going to be able to come in here and produce, so having him back next year is going to be everything for us and the freshman class and the class that he's bringing in, as well.

Q.テつ Coach, every coach meets with his AD at the end of every season.テつ Yours is a little tricky because you have a new AD and you've had two tough seasons.テつ How are you going to approach something like that?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ My first thing, I want to sit down and talk to my team and just get those guys together and talk a little bit about where we're headed from now.テつ We've got to take some time off here as a team.テつ We're banged up, and this young man beside me played a lot of minutes and we've got a lot of injuries.テつ We want to give those guys some time off.テつ And then I'm sure that Whit and I‑‑ he has been evaluating the program since he's taken over the job‑‑ and I'm sure we'll sit down and talk and continue to evaluate the program and me and where we go from here.
I'm optimistic that I'll be back and I'll be the head coach here at Virginia Tech, and I look forward to coaching these young men and us moving forward.
I think we've got a good group of young guys.テつ You look at Devin Wilson who made the all‑rookie team, Trevor Thompson who really came on, Joey van Zegeren is just a sophomore, Ben Emelogu, and then the incoming class we've got coming in.テつ The future is bright for us here at Virginia Tech.テつ We've just got to go to work, got to get back to work, take some time off and get back to work.

Q.テつ James, you held them under 60 points and they shot worse than 40 percent from the field, Miami.テつ Do you feel like this is like so many games late in the season where the defense was there for you but the offense wasn't?
COACH JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, I thought ‑‑ we were sitting in there talking to the coaches before the game, and just thought that 60 was the number.テつ And 60 has been the number that we needed to get to in the last 10 games or so, and we haven't been able to reach it.
I thought the defense‑‑ I was pretty confident about our defense showing up and being ready to play.テつ It's been like that.テつ The second half of the season we went to the 2‑3 zone.テつ The guys bought into it and really did a good job of executing the zone and the different things we did out of the zone down the stretch.
Just offensively, we've had our moments offensively.テつ We looked good in spots, knocking some shots down like we did in the first half.テつ And then the second half we shoot 20 something percent, and we've had those halves, too.テつ You can't have those halves like that playing in this league.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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