Thursday, November 24, 2016 Post-Game Quotes – Virginia Tech 92, New Mexico 72

Virginia Tech Coach Buzz Williams on game plan vs New Mexico’s Tim Williams – “I think that he is really hard to guard. I think our staff tried to figure out the most effective way to guard him without compromising our defense. I don’t know if our team is talented enough defensively to guard him one-on-one. The issue is when you play someone as potent as him, you can figure out a way to at least manage him. The issue becomes how you guard the other four players. I don’t know if our plan was necessarily right or wrong. I think that for what we planned, our guys executed well enough. When you focus on their two main players, it compromises how you deal with the other three guys. #20 (Sam Logwood) is very good, #3 (Jordan Hunter) played very well. I thought we managed the defense very good, and the emphasis on what we planned to do worked very well with our personnel.”

On guarding the two main star players for New Mexico, Tim Williams and Elijah Brown? – “I thought some of the ISO stuff they did was very good. I can’t coach my team very well, and I can’t coach Craig Neal’s team. I thought #3 (Jordan Hunter) was very effective with what he was trying to do. You have to pick your poison with a two-headed monster as talented as they are, one on the inside and one on the perimeter. When you have emphasize guarding them so much, you have to make sure the team understands the other three guys are playing at a high level too otherwise they wouldn’t be playing for the New Mexico Lobos.”

On the team’s ball movement? – “I think it keeps getting better. Thank you for asking that question. That is one of the things that we try to emphasize.   We want our ball movement to be a part of our brand. I think it speaks to the character of our guys that they’re willing to share the ball. Very rarely do you see any of our kids take empty dribbles, dribbling into the same spot on the floor. Normally their dribbles are purposeful.   On a miss, we do a good job playing with space as fast as we can.   I think we recruit to that, but I think so much is talked about how talented these players are skill wise. You can still recruit to that, but if you don’t have the right character guys playing for one another, the ball is going to get stuck. I don’t think the ball gets very stuck with our group.”

On the team’s rebounding? – “We want guys who can pass, dribble, and shoot. If you want guys who can pass, dribble, and shoot, they probably aren’t going to be tall. I think what’s happening with our team, particularly those who are returning, they understand the value of Dream. Those returning guys were the guys getting beat in the head last year on rebounding. What ends up happening is Dream (Khadim Sy) doesn’t understand it, because he’s only played four games. That relieves so much pressure off the rest of our guys. So now our guys when they take up space and go in there don’t feel like they’re alone in the fight. There is at least one guy in there who can rebound. If he would’ve played a little bit more, I think (Sy) would’ve had more than 10 rebounds. That’s a game changer for us. I like guys that play like (Justin Robinson) and we can play with four similar guys and whoever the fifth guy, they should just run around and when the ball goes up, do their best to get the rebound.”

Virginia Tech guard Justin Robinson on the team’s 21 assists – “Our chemistry on and off the court is crazy. We don’t care who is scoring and we just want to win. I saw that we had 20 assists and 8 turnovers in the game.”

New Mexico Coach Craig Neal – “I thought our guys played extremely hard the first half. I thought we came out we had an 8 minute window where we got down 21 to 12 in the first half and then we had a window in the second half where they went on a 12-0 run. I think they hurt us in transition. I think our guys played hard. I just think we’re trying to get together with 5 new guys. Hopefully we can bounce back tomorrow and play better. I thought Tim played extremely well and Elijah got hindered with foul troubles which hindered our rhythm but all in all you have to take your hats off to them they played extremely well made a lot of good shots. We’re not going to be able to win big games like this is we give up 92 points. So, we have to continue to get better defensively.”

On Defense – “I thought in the first half we did something things they made some shots. I thought they tried to play as hard as they can but I think they understand that we can have little breakdowns and we had some little breakdowns that we’ve been working on. Hopefully we’ll able to make an adjustment and tweak some of those things. I think these two guys up here understand if we’re going to win big games this year that there are teams we’re going to play against that you can’t give up 92 points. I thought the effort was there in the first half I just think we missed some shots that we make and we let them get out of transition and you can’t give them 11 threes, so that is something we have to work on.”

Did you guys feel you were playing zone well enough? – “I don’t think we played as much zone as we have in the past. I think we did in certain situations but we’re going to have to look at. I thought we did some good things in man to man but we’ll have somethings well watch and go from there.”

On passing – “I think they made an adjustment. We couldn’t make plays. We couldn’t get anybody on high post to play high low which we’ve been good at and then I think we had two guys on the court that they really didn’t guard so we’ve got to look at that and got to adjust that. We’ve got to be able to shoot the ball better. When you’re 4-14 and we though we were going to have a pretty good shooting teams and we’re not shooting the ball very well right now. We’re going to have to get some guys in there that make shots. I thought LeDay did a good job fronting and battling Tim. ”

Do you think they won the match up of guards? – “I think their guards played really, really, well. They’re good. I think Robinson had a really good game he got to the line and made 9/10 free throws. He only missed 1 free throw. I think we fouled too much and put them in the bonus too early.”

Are you happy with the rebounding? – “It was a differential of 4. We had 11 offensive rebounds they had 10. I’m happy with it yes, it’s a different of 4 rebounds. It’s not like it was 35-20 then I’d have an issue.”

New Mexico Tim Williams on what VT did to prevent him from getting to the ball – “I think they just collapsed in the paint. And then one guy fronting then the guys behind me ready for the over the top pass. I think that’s about it.”

What did you think about the overall effort defensively and their effort? – “I don’t think we lacked effort. I think everybody played hard I think we came out with intensity. They just made a lot of shots and we broke down on defense. But it wasn’t the effort. I think it was just small things we have to correct.

New Mexico Elijah Brown on getting to the ball – “I think they just had a game plan in order they knew we wanted to get the ball inside to Tim. Out job is to make counters to that and when we made those counters we were supposed to make plays. I wouldn’t say it was the guards or the bigs in general. I think as a team we just have to be more aware of what they were trying to do what they’re trying to do and we have to do a better job of countering that.”

Elijah on his heath – “I’m good. 100%”

Elijah on trying to make up for missed shots – “It’s about maturity. If I keep playing the game I have 100% confidence in myself. I have to let everything come to me. I feel a lot better this year than I did last year so the 4 games of the season we just have to clear our heads and come strong tomorrow.”