Postgame comments from Saint
Mary's Head Coach Randy Bennett following the Gaels' 88-73 victory at Drake.
"We played a good team tonight. Drake has been playing
well. I was surprised we were able to
separate. (Matthew) Dellavedova was tremendous
in the first half. He hit some tough
shots. He played at a high, high level
in the first half. He gave us some
space. Then, in the second half (James) Walker
and (Beau) Levesque played well. It just
seemed like every time we needed to hit a shot, somebody hit one.
"They lost their four-man,
Jordan (Clarke). He didn't play much in
the second half. I don't know what
happened to him. That affected
them. I thought we did a good job
defensively and I thought we played at a high level offensively. I thought we beat a really good team on the
road. If you would tell me that was how
it was going to turn out before the game, I would have taken that every single
time. I'm a little surprised, to tell
you the truth.
"(Drake) did what a lot of teams
do (defensively against Dellavedova).
They try to make it hard for him to get the ball back and are physical
with him. Just try to wear him out. In the first half, he was tremendous. He was the difference in that first half. In the second half, we had some other guys
step up. It was nothing new for him.
"I am surprised we won with
(Dellavedova) turning it over nine times.
I never sub him, so sometimes he gets a little tired. He's better tired than somebody else fresh.
"(Ben) Simons is a good player
and we knew that. We tried to limit the
number of open looks he got and always identified him in transition and in half
court sets. We were lucky he missed some
shots. He is a good player and a big
part of our focus was taking him off the three.
"It is hard to get away from
him. He is strong. He has a very, very high basketball IQ, both
offensively and defensively. He is going
to know your sets as well as you do. He
is hard to get away from. He is strong,
hard to beat off the dribble. Everybody
notices him for his offense. But, he has turned himself into a really good
defender. We put him on the other team's
best player almost every game.
"Drake shoots it really well, so
we didn't want to give them that. We
didn't want to give them transition and we didn't want to give them
threes. They hit 10 threes a game and
that is top 10 in the country. So, that
was our focus - to take those things away.
If we had to live with (Seth) VanDeese getting some post-ups and twos
over a hand, then we were going to. He
is a good player. So, if you can play
him one-on-one, he is going to score some.
They have a commitment to getting the ball inside to him, which they
should. He hurt us a little bit. I just
didn't think they were going to beat us with twos. I think they need threes to get you.
"I don't see (all the nation's best point guards). I just focus on our team. I've seen them all in the West. So, I'm not going to say where he (compares). I just know that you are going to have to be
a really good guard to be better than him.
He is so experience. When you
factor in leadership, I don't know if there is one better. He is a tremendous
leader. He is a good player. He is a way better defender than people
know. He has great vision. But, his best (trait) by far is his
leadership. I'm really going to find out
if I can coach next year."