The Good Ol' Blog Archive for April, 2009
Thursday, April 30th, 2009
After a breakout campaign in 2007, WR Staton Jobe missed all but four games last season with a foot injury. The redshirt junior Jobe has been medically cleared beginning this spring to go full speed. Jobe returns to a tough line-up, fighting for a spot in the rotation with impressive young talent like Jared Green and Javaris Brown. I caught up with Jobe after the Spring Game to talk about his comeback and the new offense. Here are his thoughts.
On his recovery:
“It’s tough but that’s football. You get injured and get bumped back down but it’s kind of a test of character. There’s people who can persevere through it and work their way back up and that’s what I’m in the process of doing right now.”
On competing with a new crop of young receivers:
“I think it’s great to see those younger kids step up. It spurs competition within the receiving corps and kind of makes us all play better. It makes me perform better. Step up my game which I need to do. I think it’s great for the team overall and it’s going to make our offense more productive.”
On the new offense:
“I think it’s a great offense. I think Coach Brandon is doing a great job with it. It’s a lot of fun. I think we’re going to do well with it. Right now, I’m trying to find my spot in the offense and hopefully I’ll be able to do that. … When our new coaches came in, they said everyone is on a level playing field right now. Everyone is starting off even.”
Thursday, April 30th, 2009
Next up on Dear Old U.Va.’s series: Jeff Jones. (Check out the full post!) A short sneak peek:
He just never seemed in tune with the offense. When he was on the court, Jones often played like he was on his own island: he’d jack-up jumpers when you’d least expect it but then pass on open looks that didn’t appear to be part of the set.
Much like Calvin Baker, Jones never developed into the slasher that Leitao wanted (and needed) him to be.
Ben goes on to say that what happens with Jones is one of the biggest early tests for new Cavalier coach Tony Bennett. Can Bennett pull out the talent Jones displayed in high school? Let me answer this question, or at least make a bold prediction, right now: Jeff Jones will be the biggest beneficiary of the Bennett move. He will get better shots and make more of them. He will be an effective shooter off of screens. He will be a more consistent defender. In short, Jones will become the biggest surprise of 2009-2010 for the Hoos.
Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
I’m working on a special teams article for the EDGE, but had this leftover quote from Jared Green. The Cavalier speedster blocked a kick at the Spring Game and just narrowling missed a second one on the afternoon.
“I felt like I was going to get that one,” Green said. “That one slipped away from me. I looked [at my hands] because I thought I had it! I said ‘there’s no way’, but that ball tricked me.”
Sunday, April 26th, 2009
“Bill Parcells and Tom Coughlin are always on the lookout for anyone who played for their good pal Al Groh.” – ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley, after the New York Giants picked Clint Sintim in the 2009 NFL Draft’s second round.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Virginia announced Wednesday afternoon that the men’s basketball team will take on Penn State Nov. 30th at the John Paul Jones Arena as part of the 2010 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Virginia’s contest with the Nittany Lions is one of 11 games on the slate for the eleventh edition of the Challenge.
Penn State finished the 2009 season on a high note, coming away with the NIT title and a 26-11 record. The Cavaliers haven’t met the Nittany Lions since the 1984-1985 season, when Virginia came away with the 66-54 victory. All-time, Virginia is 5-2 against Penn State.
Despite dropping last season’s contest against Minnesota in the Challenge, the Cavaliers hold a 5-4 record overall in the challenge. The Nittany Lions are 3-6 all-time against ACC foes in the Challenge.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
“Dear Old U.Va.” continues its offseason review series with a look at forward Jamil Tucker. Here’s a brief teaser:
On offense, the Gary, IN native is a quirky, streaky player. Listed at 6’9″ tall (no way that’s right) and a beefy 241, Tucker possesses a body to bang inside. Yet, Tucker prefers to troll the three point arc in hopes of a kick-out. That’s not a criticism, either. In college basketball, there’s a paltry few guys that can stroke it (40% on three) and, make no mistake about it, Tucker can fill it up.
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009
Virginia linebacker Jon Copper, who led the team in tackles again last season, is blogging with The Washington Post as part of the newspaper’s “Long Shots” blog. Check out Copper’s latest post on “Working Out, Staying Patient”.
Thursday, April 16th, 2009
I’m not sure how many people keep track of The Cavalier Daily articles or read everything in Sabre NewsLink (your one-stop shop for Hoo news 365 days a year!), but the student newspaper caught up with Tony Bennett for a one-on-one interview. Check it out.
For those curious about Coach Bennett and the recruiting trail, here’s a great excerpt:
Q: How did you get 2009 recruits Tristan Spurlock and Jontel Evans to honor their commitments to come to Virginia?
“I think first of all, the University of Virginia spoke loud and clear to them … That didn’t change, that was a constant and that certainly worked in our favor.
“But kids are perceptive; you just have to be genuine with them and real. If you’re trying to be phony or selling them something that’s not there, it doesn’t work. I just said, ‘Hey, I never saw you play in person. I’ve watched some tape, I’ve talked to a lot of people. This is what I’m excited about from what I hear, from what I see on tape. Here are the ways I think you can be used in this program. There’s a need here — everyone tells you, we want him, we want him, but there’s a need here. Hopefully you’re still consider us because we want you here.
“But you also tell them, I’m going to hold open hands. I’m not going to force you. This is your decision, you have to make a decision based on the new information — a new staff in place, a new head coach, but everything else is the same, and try to be real with them and not try to pull one over their eyes. That to me doesn’t get you very far in this business.”
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
UVa men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett officially announced the hiring of three more coaches on Wednesday afternoon. As had been speculated, Ron Sanchez (assistant), Jason Williford (assistant), and Brad Soucie (director of operations) join the Cavaliers. Read the official release here.
Bennett’s thoughts on his staff from the release:
“One of the priorities for me was to fill my staff as soon as possible, but also make sure we got the right individuals. I feel good about the people we’ve assembled for this staff. Ritchie McKay is our associate head coach and has lots of head coaching experience at the Division I level. Ron Sanchez and Jason Williford are young go-getters who are hands on guys in developing players and really have a passion for recruiting. In Brad Soucie, we have someone in the basketball operations position with significant collegiate basketball experience. I feel good about the individuals on this staff and think the young men in our program will enjoy working with them. I believe we can really hit the ground running.”
“I’m excited to bring Ron to Virginia. I was with him for six years at Washington State, so he’s familiar with me. Ron is one of the most loyal, hard-working individuals I know and he has ties in the New York area that should benefit our program.”
“Jason comes highly recommended. In talking to Jeff Jones and Dennis Wolff, coaches Jason worked with at American University and Boston University, and other people about him, they talked first about his character and his ties to the area. We felt that was very important. When we went through the interview process, the passion and loyalty Jason has for the University of Virginia and this program was evident. He played at Virginia and this program is important to him. Jason also has a relationship with Ron Sanchez. They’ve gotten to know each other over the last three or four years, and that’s a plus too.”
“Brad has been with Coach McKay for many years. He played the game in college and has excellent experience. We’re fortunate to have him on the staff.”
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
“Dear Old U.Va” continues to review the Cavaliers’ 2008-09 season with a look at Solomon Tat. Here’s a brief snippet:
Virginia’s Solomon Tat had a truly bizarre year.
Think about this: Tat got almost as many DNP-CD’s (11) as he did starts (8). He wasn’t injured at any point. Even more strange is that, during those 8 starts, he only averaged 8 minutes per game.