Earlier today I got the chance to swing by the Cavalier men’s lax practice. The team is in the midst of prepping for Sunday’s game against No. 1 Syracuse. I’ve said it before on the message boards, and I’ll say it again here: If you are going to be in/around the Charlottesville area this Sunday, you don’t want to miss this game. Coach Dom Starsia asked me to pass on this message: “I do think we are going to have a great crowd. All I would say to any casual lacrosse fan or someone who is mildly curious: If you’ve heard a little bit about lacrosse and you’ve got some curiosity about it, this is the one to come to.” (more…)
The Good Ol' Blog Archive for March, 2010
Per a college sports notebook in The Roanoke Times, a pair of Roanoke-area Hoos have agreed to join the UVa football team as preferred walk-ons. Click here for the full story (the article includes some Virginia soccer news too). Here’s the excerpt on the pair of football walk-ons:
The new University of Virginia football staff has reached into Timesland for a couple of preferred walk-ons, including 6-foot-2, 272-pound George Wythe lineman Drew Lester, who had 24 tackles for loss as a senior, including 10 sacks. Lester was a first-team All-Timesland selection at offensive guard and the Cavaliers also landed a second-team All-Timesland choice, defensive back Colby Rhodes (5-8, 195) from Jefferson Forest. Lester was a first-team All-Group A pick on defense.
Earlier this week, The Daily News Record in Harrisonburg reported that Broadway High School senior Adam Caplinger also had accepted a UVa walk-on slot. Read that online blurb here. Caplinger started for three years at quarterback and finished his career with 4,881 total yards of offense.
Stay tuned to The Sabre for more information about walk-ons for the UVa football team.
On the EDGE message board this morning, there was some conversation about what to do Sunday in the world of sports. Well, RML Hoos has it covered:
Subject: Looks like mid 50′s and Sunny. You can hang out at Davenport and Klockner
Posted by: RML Hoos on Wed Mar 3 2010 10:21:41 AM
Message: all afternoon. Park over at the corner before noon, grab lunch. Walk past Snyder to watch some of the Tennis match against Texas. Walk over to Klockner and Davenport to watch Lax and Baseball until the sun goes down. You get to see 5 teams ranked in the top 4 (UVa Baseball, Tennis And Lax, SU Lax, and Texas Tennis). Hard to beat that in one weekend, much less one day.
Virginia post players Assane Sene and Jerome Meyinsse joined the media for interviews after Sunday’s disappointing loss to Duke. Sene (interesting side note: he texts his brother who played basketball … in French!) posted 10 rebounds, 2 points, 2 blocks, and 1 assist in the game while Meyinsse recorded 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 block. Here are a few quotes from questions I asked the duo …
I don’t know how much individual film you watch, but do you think you’re getting better with your individual skills out there?
“When you have a coach like Coach Bennett, you have to take that chance [to improve]. He’s a great coach, he’s a great guy, he’s a great mentor for the players. He knows what each player can do and what we can’t. Every practice, I’ve been talking to the coaches. Like Coach Sanchez, he really wants me to get better every time we’re in practice. He’ll call me over to get more shots and all of this stuff to try to make me stronger in the post. If I see all of this stuff that they’re showing up during games, I just have to thank all of them, all of the coaches, for trying to help me get better and just keep working hard. Things will come one day.”
On whether the game and the system are starting to make more sense to him …
“Every time I’m on the floor, I’m just trying to post up like we do with all the stuff we do in practice because I want to get better. I don’t want to just be a defender, I want to get better. At the same time, I want to help my team defensive-wise and help myself offensive wise because my team is going to need any points that I can be scoring.”
You’re a senior captain, what have you tried to do in that role during this losing streak?
“Just try to keep everybody together. During a losing streak, it’s easy to point fingers and blame people for our lack of success but I just try to pass the message that we have to stay together through good times and bad times. We can’t blame each other. We win as a team and lose as a team.”
Long-time EDGE member Mikeysurf made a post on the EDGE message board that many fellow Sabre-ites thought should be added to the blog where additional people could read it. I agree that it is one of those perspective posts that fans should remember during the men’s basketball program’s rebuilding efforts. Here it is …
Subject: Folks, we are on our 4th head coach in 20 years …
Posted by: Mikeysurf on Mon Mar 1 2010 1:11:59 PM
Message: And since ’95, our footprint of success on a national landscape has been virtually non-existent, much less in our own league.
Bennett was hired with the understanding that he was going to come in and reconstruct the basketball program. It is not so difficult to see that after nearly a full season, the foundation Bennett thought he could build upon is so badly flawed, a further demolition is likely required.
This is not a miracle, flip the switch job to turn UVa basketball around and ensure success is sustainable for the future. We’ve seen “flash” successful seasons under both Gillen and Leitao. Big deal! The goal Bennett came on grounds with had to do with changing the culture of our basketball program and establishing the necessary discipline and structure to build a winner for the long term.
It means he had to find out what kind of character existed on his team. If the players had the “means” to meet the standard he sought and could do so within the system he wanted to install. Well, after nearly a full season, we have seen countless players unwilling or unable to meet the benchmark Bennett seeks. And quite frankly, none of those players are the type to construct a basketball foundation around. Furthermore, it is easy to see there are divided loyalties among the players and Bennett needs to “purge” those who can’t see it his way.
Despite the fact Bennett hasn’t been here a full year, the “Debbie Doubters” continue to grow within the fan base. Can we simply accept the fact that Spurlock was not his guy and for whatever reason, the kid is unable or unwilling to “get it” to Bennett’s liking. We hired Bennett, not Spurlock.
I’ve seen countless coaches over the years take away a freshman’s game, break him down, and then give him parts of his game back in subsequent years, as long as it was within the team system. The goal is always what is best for the program/team system. If Spurlock can embrace that approach, great! If not, move on!!
UVa has been playing basketball for 105 years. Until the Barry Parkhill-led ’71-’72 team had a magical season, we had NEVER been to a postseason tournament. It took one of the most unexpected and euphoric ACC Tournament three-day runs in ’76 before we ever won the ACC and achieved an NCAA Tournament bid. Our only ACC Tournament Championship.
I find it interesting that the coach who led us to our only ACC Tournament Championship, first NCAA Tournament, and only Final Four appearances, seems to be more ridiculed for his inability to win a national title, by many in our fan base, than what he contributed to this school in giving us our only decade-plus of men’s
basketball achievement in school history. Think about that one for a while and then align it to today.
Since Terry Holland’s departure, three coaches have been shown the door. Now, after less than one season, Bennett is being criticized up and down by so many. Especially when he is using the players of a coach who had the shortest tenure of any UVa coach in over 40 years.
Bennett must be given the chance to rebuild this program block by block. For whatever reason, the last people to figure out how bad our basketball talent level is and the dysfunctional culture Bennett inherited seem to be UVa fans. I’m fine allowing Bennett to take five years, if necessary, to finally get our program on the proper footing. It may take him that long to finally get this train wreck that was created over the past 15 years turned around.
What I can tell you is, if fans push out a quality young coach like Bennett, who is roundly respected by so many within the coaching fraternity, with some of these senseless assertions or out of whack expectations, I can assure you our reputation as a basketball coaching “burial ground” will be solidified for a generation or more. Forget about micro-analyzing his every move and decision, he must get comfortable with his players and adjusted to ACC like any young coach. We invested in that learning curve. Let the guy rebuild the program over the next few years and then judge him on a more finished product.