John Brandenburg goes for a rebound against Radford.
The Virginia men’s basketball team is off to a 3-0 start this season after topping Radford on Friday. The 68-66 victory over the Highlanders provided the first look at true freshman center John Brandenburg in a regular season game. Brandenburg recorded 1 rebound, 1 block, and 3 fouls in 5 minutes of action against RU.
“The problems I’ve been having in practice, they transferred right over to the game,” he told reporters afterward. “I need to stay down in my stance and I wasn’t in proper position.”
The Sabre caught up with Brandenburg after the game for a “Quick Take” about his college debut with the Cavaliers.
KRIS: Pretty excited to get in there?
Brandenburg: It was really exciting. It was nice because my parents were here and they all had come to town. Coach was forced to put me in with Rome [Jerome Meyinsse ] getting injured, but I think it really helps me to be able to get in the game.
KRIS: You talked a little bit about things not transferring over from practice. What has your introduction to practice been like as a freshman in Division I basketball? In high school you had size and leverage and all of that stuff, but these guys are all strong right?
Brandenburg: Practice has been, these guys, it’s a huge strength thing. Getting down in your stance. I’m practicing hard. It’s the first time you can’t really rely on your size and what I thought was quickness in high school to get by. You really need to get in your stance and stick to the fundamentals.
KRIS: Do you think you’re coming around a little? You looked more comfortable tonight than in the exhibition.
Brandenburg: I definitely need time, but it’s getting better.
KRIS: Can you just talk about what you’re learning from Coach Leitao and Coach Seymour about playing down there on the block?
Brandenburg: We’re really just working on a go-to move on offense. There’s nothing I can just do without thinking about it so we’re really just trying to get a hook shot or just a pull-through [move] that I cannot even think about and do it. And on defense, I really have to keep people off the post and stay in my stance. As you could see, I was out of position and got some fouls early on pretty quickly just because I was out of my stance and out of position. Obviously things like that are going to keep me out of the game.
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