When we hired Leitao, I made a joke in my last Horserace article that there was no prize for Tubby Smith’s second place finish aside from … well, read the whole thing here:
Win: Dave Leitao. Our virtual wire-to-wire leader, the former DePaul head coach is now our head coach. In a flurry of activity, Coach Leitao met with his staff about the job and flew to C’Ville for a very symbolic official interview last week. He accepted our offer over the weekend, and was announced as our man at a Sunday press conference. In a bit of good news, the press is also reporting that the “up to $3 million buyout” of his DePaul contract was actually far short of $3 million. Phew! Anyway, Leitao crosses the finish line first, as the crowd goes wild.
Place:Tubby Smith. Last minute overtures from UVa, which rumors say Tubby semi-seriously considered, gave him a down the stretch surge into second place. While many say our attempts for Coach Smith were never really realistic, he places in the Horserace given our ultrahigh interest, the protracted length of our attempts to lure him to UVa and his (at least) modicum of interest. Nevertheless, there is no prize for second place here (aside from the whole “staying at the most storied basketball program in the country for big bucks and glory” thing).
Show: Dave Odom. The South Carolina coach dispelled all rumors and possibilities of winning the Horserace at a press conference last week. But with persistent press reports that he was our backup choice if we struck out on our top choices, Odom surged past Brey into third place by a nose. So, if you had Odom as your “old lady bet,” congrats on your old lady payoff.
So, Leitao-Tubby-Odom is the big exacta payoff! Congrats to the big winners out there.
Well, I’d like to revise my previous attempt at a joke. Looks like Tubby’s prize for rejecting our ultra-high interest was to be sitting in the hottest coaching seat in the land, surrounded by so many “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” boosters and unappreciative fans that it makes the Arizona Cardinals’ head coaching position look like a stable job. I’m sure he’ll survive this year, but he can’t string too many seasons like this together. Be aware, Mr. Patterson, be very aware.
Gotta hand to those Hokies, they’re dang good at their pranks. You know, if you’re into vandalism and destroying state property.
However, I wonder if the timing of when this little stunt was revealed won’t hurt the Hokies tomorrow night. I mean, talk about a little extra motivation! Revenge for the loss in Blacksburg, senior night, first place tie, and now this? What next – a bunch of Hokies going to torch the Rotunda as their next funny little prank?
I bet Greenberg is shaking his head right about now.
Revenue from concerts and other non-basketball events covers the roughly $3 million annual operating budget on the $129 million arena, where the Cavaliers are unbeaten in ACC play this season. Any profit from those events goes into a fund for maintenance and improvements to the arena, keeping it spiffy for fans and future basketball recruits…
Revenue from men’s basketball tickets is expected to be about $3.6 million, more than twice the $1.74 million taken in last season at 8,392-seat University Hall….
The university’s contract with SMG set a first-year gross revenue target of $3.63 million for non-basketball events. The arena should exceed that goal, with an expected take of about $4 million, said Rich Kovatch, the university’s associate vice president for business operations.
If I read that right, looks like $7 million in total revenue. Not too shabby.
One minor point after reading these paragraphs …
Virginia has had to spend money to make money at the new building, pumping roughly $500,000 into marketing, halftime entertainment and in-game promotions.
“It is light years ahead of what we were doing at U-Hall,” Oliver said.
At the new arena, there’s rarely a quiet or unfilled moment during a game. T-shirts are fired from cannons or dropped via parachute from the rafters, a “smile-and-smooch” camera encourages couples to pucker up, highlights play on the scoreboard video screen, fans can participate in a variety of promotions and contests.
I bet these little promotions are all a financial success, but I’m not so sure that they are a good thing for our home court advantage. The video contests seem to take the umph out of the crowd during each break, as fans stare up at the screen to follow a shell game or trivia question. We either need more creative games that keep the energy up (craziest fan contest?) or simply better transitions after the boring games to get the crowd back in the “6th man” mindset.
Naturally, with Charlottesville in the center of the state, it’s easier for Hokies to visit our academic village when compared to the location of Blacksburg in the remote outer reaches of the Commonwealth. So, naturally, there will be some Hokies in the JPJ. Who wouldn’t want to visit the beautiful University of Virginia and it’s crown jewel?
But all this talk of thousands of Hokies in the arena, some at courtside even, is ridiculous. Remember, everyone, we’re in the land of Internet rumors, falsehoods, and nothingness. Don’t believe it ’til you see it. And I have a feeling you won’t be seeing it.
My prediction: there will be a noticeable contingent of Hokies, but their presence will be insignificant with the Wahoo crowd juiced for senior night.
First up, the David-turned-Goliath-turned-David again:
Gonzaga [20-10 (10-3), RPI: 71, SOS: 89] The Zags got a break when Santa Clara lost at Loyola Marymount, moving Gonzaga back into a tie for the league lead, but it’s still looking as if the Zags will need the auto bid. The OT loss to Memphis showed the Zags could be competitive with elite-level teams without Josh Heytvelt, but that might not be enough now. The Zags have beaten UNC, Texas and Washington, but if Heytvelt isn’t allowed back, the committee will have to evaluate them on the basis on these latest performances. The computer numbers are terrible for an at-large and aren’t getting better with more WCC games.
Man, hope them shrooms were worth it, Joshie! I’m rooting for the Zags to make it so that Heytvelt has something to look forward to watching on the black and white in the halfway house.
There have only been 4 previous occasions in UVa… mens’ basketball history where teams have achieved double-digit league wins — 3 by Holland, 1 by Jones, and now, Leitao joins the list. Although Holland accomplished the feat with only a 14-game schedule (Jones did it in a 16-game schedule), when considering the state of UVa’s program less than 2 short years ago, Leitao’s acomplishment is impressive, especially when considering this year’s team does not have the pure talent/seasoning of the three early 80s teams or the front/backcourt balance of ’95.
I’ve said for many days (as have others) that 10 wins locks us in for a tourney invite. ESPN agrees.
The ACC moves to six locks as BC, Va Tech and Virginia all got their 10th ACC wins, which should be more than enough this season, and Maryland rallied past North Carolina to get the final piece the Terps needed.