Friday, November 25, 2016 Post-Game Quotes – Texas A&M 68, Virginia Tech 65

Texas A&M Coach Billy Kennedy – “Virginia Tech is a very, very good team. I think first half we got too emotional, frustrated and in the second half we did a good job of having some composure. Virginia Tech is a good team and that was a great win for us.”

On second half adjustments – “They shot the ball extremely well. There was a stretch they got a little fatigued and I was hoping they’d miss shots. We just matched up with their perimeter and tried to get to the foul line. We’re big inside and I think it bothered them some. We didn’t take quick shots, we moved the ball, and started to put the pressure on them.”

On strategy going into the game – “One of our goals was to keep them 65 points or less. I think the first half was a track meet but the second half became a half-court game. We didn’t think we could score 70-75 points. We controlled the tempo a little bit offensively. Keeping them at 65 was one of our goals and we were fortunate enough to get it. I know our team, if we could get to 70 we could win most games if we can control the tempo.”

On what it means to play UCLA and on John Wooden – “I had the chance to meet Coach Wooden and what he represents. I have a lot of respect for him and to play UCLA would be a good opportunity for us. Anytime you’re involved with something Coach Wooden is part of is a true blessing.”

Texas A&M’s Admon Gilder’s on Robert Williams’ athleticism – “Robert can jump out of the gym. He has almost a 44-inch vertical jump and it’s impressive to see someone his size able to jump like that. His play takes a lot of pressure off of us guards. It was surprising to see that from him.”

On second half adjustments – “I think it was probably the best thing for us to open it up and show we can lose at any time. Coaches had us playing inside out and we’re doing a good job with that.”

Virginia Tech Head Coach Buzz Williams on today’s game down the stretch? – “We just did not close out the game. I thought their offensive execution and their offensive rebounding was strong. Down the last 15 minutes we were not able to finish possession or get stops on defense and that hurts.”

On today’s rebounding differential? – “That difference is too much of a spread. It puts so much pressure on your team, relative to every other category. If those numbers are that drastic relative to the spread that means that you not only are not getting shots and your first shot field goal percentage defense is pretty good, but then they are getting (the ball) back. They shot the ball five more times and turn the ball over six more times than we did. The variation is because of the offensive rebounding.”

On the play of Texas A&M’s Robert Williams?– “I think he is the best prospect. That’s what we told our team and I was very impressed. He has a great skill level and he’s an elite level athlete for his size. He is a game changer relative to what he can do on both ends of the floor and that’s not to take away from the other players they have.”

On moving forward? – “Anytime you play in an event like this, whether you win or lose you want it to be a learning experience. As a group we will have to do a better job of protecting our space and preventing put-backs and extra possessions. That would be priority number one. Priority number two would be putting more pressure on the rim than what we did and that’s hard as big as they were.”

Virginia Tech Guard Ahmed Hill on the team’s first half play?– “We penetrated the lanes and guys hit open shots. We attacked the basket and shots were falling for us in the first half. The second half we did the same thing but they kept coming up with the offensive rebounds and we couldn’t get the stops we needed to.”