Malcolm Brogdon: ‘We’re Hard To Play Against’

The Virginia Cavaliers have scored 61 points in each of their last two games, beating Wake Forest by a point on Valentine’s Day and beating Pitt by a dozen on Monday night.

The win over Wake was Virginia’s first one-point win of the season.

“Wake is a much-improved team from last year and even from the beginning of this season,” Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They came in here and they gave us a run. My hat goes off to them. But I thought down the stretch we were able to get stops and get buckets that we needed and a few of my teammates had really good games.”

Brogdon had 11 points against Wake, as did London Perrantes, while Anthony Gill scored a game-high 19.

The No. 2 Cavaliers (24-1, 12-1) returned to action just two days later to face a Pitt team that had won four of five.

“It’s tough, but at the same time, this is what we signed up for as ACC basketball players,” Brogdon said. “So we’ve had quick turnarounds like this. It’s all mental. It’s not physical. Although your body can be a little fatigued, it’s mental. I think we’re a mentally mature team and experienced. It’s just a matter of getting your mind right and getting ready to play.”

Virginia, which leads the nation in scoring defense, limited Pitt to just 15 points in the first half, but the Panthers scored 34 in the second.

“I thought we might have relaxed a little bit and taken a step back on defense,” said Brogdon, who scored a team-high 18 and got his 1,000th career point in the win. “But at the same time, I thought that they went into desperation mode. And all their open looks, they started shooting them and stopped thinking and stopped hesitating. I thought our defense had them hesitating in the first half, and in the second half they just started letting it go. They were hitting contested shots. But we were able to knock down free throws and take care of the ball in the press, so we were able to pull this win out.”

Perrantes had another solid game for Virginia, finishing with 10 points, six assists, two rebounds and two steals. He has really stepped up with Justin Anderson (hand) out of the lineup.

“He’s terrific,” Brogdon said of Perrantes. “He’s one of the most underrated point guards in the country. I think he’s one of the best point guards in the country. So he’s a guy that does whatever the team needs. Wen Justin was here, (Perrantes) focused more on just assisting people and making sure the team was run right. While Justin’s been out, he’s been more aggressive, but he’s still is assisting at a high level. He’s a guy that just knows how to play the game and knows how to find that balance. For other teams, I think he’s just hard to get a beat on. I think he’s playing terrific for us.”

Virginia has won five straight since losing to Duke in January.

“We’re not a team that has one individual player that comes out every night and dominates,” Brogdon said. “We’re a collective unit. We play together every night and we have different guys step up and everybody just plays their role every night. You never know who’s going to step up each individual night. And I think that’s what makes us hard to play against.”

The Cavaliers host Florida State (14-12, 6-7) this Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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