Maryland-Virginia Postgame Quotes

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Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon

Opening Statement:

“Today wasn’t just an ordinary game. You can tell by all the cameras in here. You can tell by the fans. There were a lot of things. It was our last ACC game. Our last regular season game. [It was] senior day. We were playing a top-5 team in the country who already wrapped our league up and is just a tremendous team. We always play for Maryland, but today we played for former players and former coaches and all our fans. There’s probably a lot of Maryland fans that haven’t watched all year that might have tuned in to watch because it’s the last ACC game. Really proud of my group. At the start, Virginia was fresh and just tremendous, and we were trying to guard them but we couldn’t. Then I thought our defense was outstanding the rest of the way. I think our team was really guarding and rebounding. That said, we were pretty unselfish and executed throughout the game. Obviously we couldn’t have won this game without our great crowd today. They gave us great energy and it was fun.

On fouling up three late:

“Guys, I don’t ever foul, but this has been the strangest year I’ve ever been a part of. I did it backwards. I said, I’m going to do things backwards today because we haven’t won any close game. We’ve got to come up with the rebound. We didn’t and they ran a great play. Our guys were down. I was down. But all the stuff we’ve been through has made us really tough. It’s made us a lot tougher. It’s going to help us in the future. I said, guys, that’s on me. I never foul, but I did. I said lets make this the best five minutes of the year. They didn’t believe me at first, but I might have said it 15 times in the timeout. We did. I thought we were tremendous in overtime.”

On the last three possessions:

“I thought we were much more aggressive off the dribble. When you’re shooting the ball OK and spreading the floor and moving your bodies, it’s easier to grab the ball. Seth made two big time plays. Just going in there, no chance, but he’s so athletic that he drew a foul. It was really good to see. Our guys were just determined. They’d had enough of losing the close games. This was the best team we played. It’s a really good basketball team.”

On what they can take from this game:

“It’d have been devastating had we lost another one. Clemson was about as devastating as it gets. We had to walk up three flights of stairs, and it felt like 100 after that game. The last time we embarrassed ourselves was Florida State. We’ve been in every game, home or away. We felt like we could play with anybody in our league, but today we feel like we can play with anybody in our league and beat them. There’s a big difference.”

On the court storm:

“I’m happy for the students. I’m glad they came out. We expect a lot out of Maryland basketball. It would help us in the future if we have crowds like that every night. But we’ve got to do our job as coaches and players to make sure the building is full.”

Sophomore guard Seth Allen

On the team’s mentality late:

 “At the very end of regulation, I told Dez [Wells] we were not going to lose. He looked at me and he said ‘We have to take over’ and that’s what we tried to do. We did a great job guarding them in overtime. Our defense leads to offense. We were wearing them down and they got tired. We executed perfectly.”

On what worked in overtime:

“I believe it was my mindset. In my mind, we were not going to lose. We lost too many close ones and have been dealing with trouble finishing games all year. So I just try to take over offensively and defensively. I try to help on the defense across the lane. We did a good job.”

On what this win means:

 “It means a lot. It is more than us. It is the whole program of Maryland who is affected greatly by this. We’ve been in the ACC for a long time, so to go out like that with the court storming against the top team in the league, you can’t ask for a better game.”

On what the win means going into ACC tournament:

 “It gives us confidence. We won our last two games, so we’re going into the ACC tournament with some momentum and swagger. We’re going to go in and play our basketball. We’ve just got to keep taking care of the ball and guarding.”

Sophomore forward Jake Layman

On what this win means to the program:

“It’s huge. We played so many good teams this year. We’re close and getting over that hump, especially in overtimes, and tonight we really did that. Our confidence is really high going into the tournament. We feel like we can play with anybody, so right now we’re playing really well.”

On how game was approached:

 “I think we just kept on preparation the same and did everything the same that we would have done at practice as well as pre game. That kept us in the same routine. As soon as our crowed started, it was hard to think about how big this game really was.”

On reaction when Virginia tied game into overtime:

 “Everyone was just really devastated. There were just so many different emotions. Coach really brought us together to get our mind off of what just happened. He told us to just focus on overtime and the future for now. So we did.”

Junior Guard Dez Wells

On the atmosphere:

“The atmosphere was really good for us. It made it a really tough game for Virginia. They’re a really good team on the road and at home and for us to win our last ACC game at home is a pretty cool thing to be a part of.”

On his motivation:

“I wouldn’t call it a burden. We had extra motivation. Steve Francis was here, we have Juan [Dixon] on our bench, Walt Williams, Gary Williams; all those great players and legends from this University. They were here so we had that extra motivation to go out there and do a good job. With all that being said, and the crowd being in the game and us talking how we did before and after the game, we knew what we had to do. We had a chance to win before overtime, but when we came back in the huddle we said, we’re not letting this go, we had too many games this year decided by a couple of points so we have to go out here and take this win.”

On gaining momentum heading into the ACC tournament:

”It gives us a lot of momentum. We play our best in tournament games, that’s been shown the last year and an half. We have to go out there and execute like we know how we can and keep this momentum going.”

Junior Forward Evan Smotrycz

On keeping it together heading into overtime:

“Coach just calmed us down. It was kind of our season in a nut shell there at the end. Coach told us that we have five more minutes and we have to beat them again. I felt we did a great job coming out and staying tough.”

On what this win means

“It was great. Obviously, we felt like we were playing for something bigger than ourselves. A lot of people had a lot invested in this game and wanted to see us win and finish off the ACC right way. So we fed off that and guys were able to step up and feed off the energy and make great plays when they had to.”

On his quick start:

“I felt like I had some open looks and was able to knock them down. I wasn’t forcing anything. I always get good looks in this offense. The way we’re playing right now is great for all of our guys, guys can make great plays.”

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett

On Maryland’s success attacking the basket and their dribble penetration:

“We did a poor job in that way, but [Maryland is] very talented. They’re good off the bounce. They did a good job spacing, really attacking. When they can get to the rim like that, it changes. I thought we weren’t where we needed to be in that area and if you look at points in the paint – 32 – that’s a big number for us. We pride ourselves on trying to be a team that takes away the lane first and then makes people shoot contested shots. We certainly had our difficulties against it and as I said, kept going left, but [Seth] Allen’s talented and they have guys that are very good off the bounce and the ability to stretch with some of their other guys makes that a dangerous offensive team.”

On a break before this game and a break before the ACC Tournament:

“I think this was a charged atmosphere. We knew we were going to have to play our best to come away with one, and we almost did. We’ve got some things that we can improve on and we’re good because we’re collectively good. We have individual talent, please don’t get me wrong, but we’re good when we’re so collective defensively. That’s been our strength and offensively and when that gets fractured a little bit, then it becomes a challenge and we’ve got to keep working on that heading into an exciting time.”

On momentum in overtime:

“Certainly the momentum you felt was on our side, but they started the game, I don’t know if it was a layup or he fouled him on the drive in overtime. When we play good stretches of defense, that’s what got us back into the game, but again they got some ones at the line. We missed a couple. And they certainly separated and they executed down the stretch where we struggled a little bit. But I felt momentum was on our side of course even though the crowd was on their side. I thought we were excited. We just wanted to get a stop and when they scored on that first or second possession, that was concerning.”

On the charged atmosphere:

“It was a great atmosphere, it always is here. And obviously the game, I saw Coach [Gary] Williams there, I saw him right across from our bench obviously that’s special for all he’s done for Maryland basketball. And the crowd was lively, and that’s what our guys have got to understand, you’re getting team’s best shots. It’s that time of the year. Backs against the wall and they’re fiery…. Maryland’s talented and they’ve been close, they’ve been really close in a lot of games and you could see it when they got going and we didn’t have enough to pull away. But the crowd was great for them, the atmosphere is great, but we did get it to overtime and then they answered the bell again so credit goes to them on that one.”

Redshirt sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon

On if he felt they had the momentum after sending it to overtime:

“I did think we had the momentum. I thought we would get more stops and take our defensive intensity up to another level, but I don’t think we did. They kept getting to the rim and got the shots they wanted.”

On why Seth Allen and Dez Wells were tough to keep from getting to the basket:

“They are really physical and aggressive. The problem is when they drive, they have shooters. There is only a certain amount of defensive help you can play on them. It is tough. The refs were calling it tonight on both ends. We had to watch where are hands were.”

Sophomore guard Justin Anderson

On what was different down the stretch today compared to other games:

“We didn’t impose our will. They were a tough team tonight. They were getting a lot of open looks. They were touching the paint a lot and that is something we usually don’t allow. We have to make sure we learn from this and get prepared for whatever we have next.”

On if he was surprised Maryland answered in overtime:

“They showed great poise and discipline. We felt like we had it right after that. We did a great job getting it to that point, but we needed to finish it. Hats off to them for executing down the stretch and remaining disciplined.”

Redshirt sophomore Anthony Gill

On the play to send it to overtime:

“We just put that in last week during practice. We executed it well. It worked out for us.”

On Evan Smotrycz and Jake Layman’s length:

“It is not so much their length. It is just how they spread the court. They set screens and separate, and you have to respect them because they are great shooters.”