The Good Ol' Blog Archive for September, 2009
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Virginia safety Rodney McLeod stopped by Monday’s weekly media press conference to answer some questions from reporters. Here are a few highlights from the interview.
On the bye week and UNC … “We took a very hungry approach to get a victory. Last game – that hurt us. We definitely should have won that game. We just are looking toward North Carolina in the ACC and we’re trying to get a win this week.”
On UNC … “They’re a very running-[oriented] unit. They like to power the ball in there, just attack you. Their receivers like to come down and block. I think it’s going to be a very good game. It’s different. You know, it’s conference play so we’re just trying to get ready for that.”
On defending the ‘Wildcat’ formation … “Yes definitely. Like I said, this week we worked on areas that we thought teams might try to [exploit our defense], plays that we thought we didn’t do very well on. Wildcat was definitely a big thing we needed to improve on so we worked on that a lot.”
More on the ‘Wildcat’ … “We just need to stay composed. Everybody sees the running back back there and everyone’s like ‘Oh my gosh, wildcat’. We just need to chill out. It’s basically the same plays. We just worked on that, worked on the fits and where to fill in gaps and stuff like that.”
Monday, September 28th, 2009
The Virginia women’s basketball program picked up a commitment at the end of the summer AAU season when Kelsey Wolfe, a combo guard from Seneca Valley High School, decided to join the Cavaliers. The 2010 class member had an outstanding year for SVHS on the hardwood, scoring her 1,000th point in late January.
Wolfe, who said she likes “being on the court”, attended the Debbie Ryan Skills Academy (elite camp) this summer. After that stop, she continued play for the Fairfax Stars on the summer AAU circuit where she had an outstanding few weeks and turned quite a few heads in college recruiting circles.
The Sabre caught up with Wolfe for a few quick questions about her commitment.
When did you decide UVa was the place you wanted to play?
“I had two schools that I narrowed it down to after the July season. I really liked Virginia so it just ended there.”
What was it about Virginia that you liked?
“The coaching staff. It just felt like a family atmosphere, which I liked a lot. It’s a great academic school so I can’t go wrong with that. The basketball program is pretty good too so that’s a big plus.”
Are you a point guard or more of a combo, ‘whatever they need from me’ kind of guard?
“I’m probably more of a combo, whatever-they-need kind of guard. In AAU, I’m more of a shooter and No. 2 guard. In high school, I’m mostly point guard and two guard and three.”
You seem to have a really good court sense about you. What do you think that comes from?
“Both of my parents played sports. My dad played basketball and my mom played volleyball so I guess that kind of [helped] but just over time as you get better you start to love it more.”
Kris’ take: Combo guard. Top notch shooter. Has a knack for scoring offensively so she shouldn’t be labeled purely as “a shooter.” She has a really good feel for the game and does a lot of little things like relocate offensively after a pass, fill shooting holes on teammate drives, and the like. High basketball IQ. Not as athletic as some ACC wings often are, but can make up for it with her smarts I think.
Friday, September 25th, 2009
As promised, we’re taking a look at some UVa bloggers today …
From Old Virginia compiled a big list of coaches and placed them in hiring categories – definitely worth a look. … The folks over at the 7even Win Society also put up a post called The Case FOR Al Groh, apparently in an effort to balance their opinions since they say they are “not huge fans of Al Groh around here.” … Trent Thurston put up some more possible candidates on the HooYa! Blog too.
Instead of talking coaches, The Great Blog of Virginia is looking back at the good ole days when UVa beat UNC in 1996. … And The Roanoke Times is wondering what happens to Vic Hall if he returns from injury.
Away from the football field, former baseball stars Ryan Zimmerman – playing good defense – and Michael Schwimer – making the playoffs – have a couple of good posts up. … The Washington Post’s blog is giving brief snippets on UVa’s four basketball commits.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, September 24th, 2009
I thought the blog might be a good place to put some links of interest that don’t really work in the NewsLink model where we update as many regional beat media stories as we can find plus any hidden gems. Or maybe the links are too old to make sense in NewsLink, but we missed it before. Here are some interesting reads for a Thursday evening:
ESPN.com’s Andy Katz: Agents and coaches battle for prospects. Hat tip to dpc1994 for this one, which looks at the changing landscape for men’s basketball, agents, and recruiting. Some ACC coaches are quoted in there.
These articles from the Hindustan Times are a little older, but it’s always good to read about Somdev Devvarman. Super Somdev leads India to elite World Group and A new star is born. A great, great rep of UVa!
This Rivals.com roundtable of answers won’t make a Virginia fan smile, but it does give a peek at what outsiders are thinking about UVa’s situation right now: Which coach will be first to be fired?
And now for a trip around the ACC neighboordhod … Think Maryland and Virginia fans can buy each other drinks Oct. 17? (Turtle Waxing) … a league match-up that I haven’t seen mentioned once on our message boards this week is Wake Forest-Boston College but Blogger So Dear and Eagle in Atlanta have Q&A posts up … Tar Heel fan is talking defense.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a spin around the UVa-related blog world.
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
I fired off some email responses for the ACC Sports Journal (ACCSports.com) this week. Here’s an excerpt (check out the full Q&A):
ACCSports.com: Al Groh’s had some tough times during his tenure at UVa, but is it safe to say this is the lowest point?
Wright: Safe to say? Is there another option at this point? First, the raw numbers. UVa is the only team from the big six conferences (SEC, Big East, Big 10, Pac 10, Big 12, ACC) without a win in 2009. The only one. UVa has started 0-3 for the first time since 1982, the first year of George Welsh’s tenure. UVa has lost seven straight games, the program’s longest losing streak since 1981-1982 (Dick Bestwick finished with three straight losses before Welsh opened with five straight losses; the only other losing streak of five or more games in that time came in 2001, Groh’s first season). UVa is 5-12 in its last 17 games.
Beyond the numbers, Virginia fans are frustrated and, at times, taking it out on each other – at least when trying to determine what UVa’s next move is. Those fans also are not attending games. The attendance at the last home game for nationally ranked TCU check in at 48,336, the lowest at a UVa home game since 1999 when 40,100 attended the game against Buffalo on Nov. 13. That, of course, was before the expansion of Scott Stadium. In terms of percentage of capacity, the TCU attendance would have been the equivalent of approximately 32,000 fans pre-expansion.
So, yes, this is the low point of the Al Groh era.
Friday, September 18th, 2009
The EDGE message board has had a lot of chatter about the play of Virginia’s offensive line this week. Among the hot topics: UVa’s wider splits between the offensive linemen this season. What’s the theory behind it? Well, KaHOOnah did some research for everyone and dug up a pair of articles. The EDGE thread features discussion while the two articles are linked here and here.
As those articles detail, Texas Tech is the team most known for wide splits. Here’s a tidbit from the first article (Chris Brown, Smart Football blog) above:
Traditionally passing teams took very narrow splits to stop inside penetration, Texas Tech takes exceptionally large splits. Their rationale is a few-fold: (a) make the pass rushers come from farther away and enlarge the pocket, (b) open up throwing lanes for the quarterback, and (c) because they throw so much, all they need is a block or two to have an effective draw play — the defensive ends aren’t even really a factor. They can do this because they are almost exclusively a “man” pass protection team, just as the old Lavell Edwards BYU offenses were.
Of course, Virginia fans have watched the offensive line struggle with these wider splits at the beginning of two straight seasons now; UVa scrapped the spread midway through last season and pulled the linemen closer together. The OL issues so far have led some folks to consider keeping a tight end inside to help the blocking schemes. I asked coach Al Groh about that very thing this week.
Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
I was very happy to run across this bit of news from The UVa Today News Blog. Here’s an excerpt from the post that was made Friday (read the whole post here):
Bob Sweeney, the senior vice president for development, took the time to call attention to a “naming report.”
The gymnasium at the Aquatic and Fitness Center — where the photo at right was taken — has officially been designated as the “Mark E. Fletcher Gymnasium.”
Mark was always quick to smile and wave anytime I saw him over the years, even those times that I’ve played in that gym since graduating in 2000. He, by all accounts, was one of the nicest people you’d ever meet – something that I agree with wholeheartedly. I can tell you first hand that his family is cut from the same cloth.
Without question, this is a well deserved honor. Well done UVa, well done!
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
Virginia’s weekly depth chart is out and linked on The Sabre’s game info page. And while it is a “standard” depth chart and not a “spread offense” depth chart, it is interesting to note the absence of Jared Green on the list. He did not start in either the W&M game or the TCU game, either, but had topped the depth chart and generally had been projected/discussed as the leading returnee in the receiving corps during the preseason.
- No Jared Green. Kris Burd/Tim Smith and Matt Snyder/Javaris Brown are the listed receivers.
- Aaron Van Kuiken is listed on the depth chart as No. 3 at RG (they usually only list two so …)
- Perry Jones is listed as No. 2 on the KR depth chart
- Cam Johnson is listed ahead of Aaron Clark at OLB
What remains to be seen is if this is the classic ‘Al Groh shuffles the depth chart only it means nothing’ sort of news or not.
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
A TCU fan dropped me an email about posting on our message boards here at The Sabre – he wanted to send along a “thank you” to Virginia fans for being good hosts. He sent along this note that he passed on to the Athletics Department:
Upon my return from Charlottesville, I couldn’t wait to get to a computer to say “thank you” to the University of Virginia and its fans. Every year, we (a group of about ten friends) hit the road to see our beloved Frogs and we have never had a better experience than we had this weekend. For rabid college football fans like ourselves we simply can’t ask for more – scenic setting, a beautiful campus, good football, and the nicest fans in college football. We were treated with respect and kindness by every person we encountered. Having been to venues across the country, we realize that this was an impossible outcome. We have been spit on in Lubbock, heckled in Austin, and ignored in Norman just to name a few; I am convinced that all fans should be required to make a pilgrimage to UVa to see how it is done. I can only hope that you, your football team, and especially your fans can have a similar experience when you visit Fort Worth in 2012. Go Hoos!
Our most sincere thanks,
TCU Class of 2002
Thursday, September 10th, 2009
For those that don’t know and are tennis fans, you can get updates from the coaches via an email list. Here’s the most recent one with info about this weekend’s matches:
The Wahoo Tennis Update keeps you up-to-date on recent news about Men’s and Women’s Tennis at UVa, periodic updates on UVa Tennis Alums in the pros, and a heads-up on what’s next. The Update is free. If you have friends or family you’d like us to add to the mailing list, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, email address, regular-mail address and phone number. (Or, if you’d like to receive no further Updates, let us know that at the same email address.)
The Virginia men’s tennis team opens its 2009 fall schedule this weekend as it hosts the eighth annual UVa Classic at the Snyder Tennis Center. Seventeen teams are competing in the event that features six singles draws and three doubles draws. Among the players competing in the event are 12 ranked singles players and three ranked doubles teams.
The teams competing this weekend include the host Cavaliers along with Binghamton, Columbia, Davidson, East Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky, Elon, George Washington, James Madison, Liberty, NC State, Nebraska, Radford, South Florida, VCU, Wake Forest and William & Mary.
Play begins Friday at 10 a.m., followed by Saturday and Sunday matches beginning at 9 a.m. Admission is free. Andy Downing and his crew will be having a cookout on-site throughout the weekend.
Five UVa doubles teams, including the No. 4 ITA team of Houston Barrick and Sanam Singh, all play at 10 a.m. Friday. In singles, Singh (No. 9 ITA), Drew Courtney (No. 84 ITA), first-year Jarmere Jenkins, and Steven Rooda (No. 112 ITA) play at 11 a.m. Lee Singer (No. 56 ITA), Santiago Villegas, and Milo Johnson play at 12:30 p.m. First-years Brian Fang and Dino Dell’Orto play at 2:30 p.m.
This weekend provides a great opportunity to welcome back our returning players and especially to see our great class of first-years. Please come out to support your Cavaliers and enjoy the tennis this weekend. Go Hoos!