VirginiaSports.com provided a news release with the year’s final Director’s Cup standings on Wednesday. Read it here. The Cavaliers came home 15th among Division I schools.
The top 15 finish is UVa’s fifth in the last six years. This marks the 19th straight year the Hoos have been ranked in the top 30 of the Cup competition. Virginia is one of just 13 schools to rank in the top 30 of the final standings in each year of the program’s existence.
“There were many bright spots included in our 15th-place finish in the 2011-2012 Directors’ Cup, including a national championship in rowing, a national runner-up finish in men’s tennis and the second consecutive fourth-place finish by the women’s golf team at the NCAA Championships,” Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage said in a news release. “We’ve come to expect postseason success in the soccer, lacrosse, swimming and baseball programs, but it was great to have football playing in a New Year’s Eve bowl game and men’s basketball playing in the NCAA Tournament again. Our department’s consistency is impressive in that we’ve achieved success across most of our sports. When I look at the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, it is clear that the success of every sport matters. We’ll continue our efforts to achieve broad-based success in all sports.”
Make sure to check out the full news release for an excellent breakdown of the year’s highlights for UVa.
Hoo-Tube Video Of The Day
The Afternoon Break includes a daily video. Today’s pick features Sean Singletary, one of the last Hoos to be selected in the NBA Draft. Singletary was chosen by the Sacramento Kings in the 2008 NBA Draft. Virginia forward Mike Scott hopes to join the list of draftees in the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday. In the meantime, here’s a video of Singletary’s UVa highlights courtesy of YouTube user hoostw.
I posted an EDGE article Wednesday with Wahoo basketball player Cornel Parker. A couple of quotes didn’t make the article so I thought I’d share them here.
Parker on UVa’s Jontel Evans: “I liked him in high school [too as a great defender], but I think he’s a better football player. I think he could play on Sundays if he played football.”
Parker on his professional hoops career: “I signed with Golden State and stayed there for two months and then I went overseas [to] Turkey, France, and Japan. The best experience was probably Japan. The other places I really didn’t care too much for. They’re nice places. … Like I tell my friends, overseas is not for everybody. There are some good countries, but it’s still not the same as being home. You may practice in a cold arena or barn or something. It’s not like college or professional getting treated wise in some places. It’s just a big difference I think.”
Heather Dinich over at ESPN.com posted a schedule analysis article for Virginia’s upcoming football season late last week. Her conclusion? “Virginia is going to have to win on the road if it’s going to be a factor in the Coastal Division race, let alone get to a bowl game again.” That makes sense, though most division title winners and bowl game qualifiers have to win on the road to get there.
The meat of the article is broken down into categories. Gut-check time: at Virginia Tech. Trap game: Louisiana Tech. Snoozer: Richmond. Defining stretch: Nov. 10-Nov. 24 (Miami, North Carolina, at Virginia Tech). Make sure to click on the above link to see the thoughts behind those nuggets.
The Afternoon Break includes a daily video. Today’s pick features Roger Mason Jr., one of the last Hoos to be selected in the NBA Draft. Mason was chosen by the Chicago Bulls in the 2002 NBA Draft. Virginia forward Mike Scott hopes to join the list of draftees in the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday. In the meantime, here’s a fans’ tribute video for Mason.
The EDGE subscriber board has two great threads going on the football program. This one is about linebacker recruiting, while this one is about the 2013 recruiting class. One of the best assets for EDGE subscribers is the conversations found on the EDGE board – subscribe today to join the discussion!
Coach Jimbo Fisher finished his second season with the Florida State Seminoles by leading them to a win over Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl (18-14). Prior to the bowl kickoff, Fisher’s contract was extended to 2016 and he hopes to lead his Seminoles to more victories over the coming seasons.
Florida State ended its 2011 season 5-3 in the ACC and 9-4 overall – that’s not terrible but there is always room for improvement. The three ACC losses were to eventual ACC Champion Clemson (35-30), Wake Forest (35-30), and finally Virginia, who snuck by the Seminoles 14-13 for the win. Big 12 foe Oklahoma proved to be the first loss of the season 23-13. The Seminoles’ best run of the season came in the middle when they took five ACC wins against Duke (41-16), Maryland (41-16), North Carolina State (34-0), Boston College (38-7) and Miami (23-19). After the heartbreaking loss to Virginia, Florida State came back and defeated the Gators in the last game of the season (21-7). Finally, the Noles ended their season with the aforementioned Champs Sports Bowl win over the Irish.
The 2012 season brings new teams to FSU’s schedule as Murray State and Savannah State will replace Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern for the Seminoles first two games. Oklahoma will be replaced with South Florida and instead of the Virginia Cavaliers, the Seminoles will play the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Also for 2012, the Seminoles expect to gain some depth created from their 2011 freshmen. Many of the redshirted freshmen are stepping up and could prove to be important players to the Noles. Punter Cason Beatty and Kelvin Benjamin also look to start their college football careers. Fullback Eric Beverly is not expected to make a huge impact but will be used as depth on the bench. Lamarcus Brutus is also looking at a depth position on the bench at safety. Ruben Carter is ready to play for the offensive line after a year on the sidelines; Jacob Carter will add depth to the quarterback position. Derrick Mitchell and Giorgio Newberry will be looking for snaps as defensive tackles. Mario Pender came in halfway through the 2011 season and will have much experience under his belt as a running back. Keelin Smith, similar to Pender, played a bit in 2011 and hopes to help out as much as possible at cornerback. Tery Pettis is a redshirt rookie looking to play offensively, while Nile Lawrence-Stample will look to do the same defensively.
April 14 marked the Seminoles’ Spring Game (Garnet vs. Gold), where the Garnet defeated Gold 35-20. Trickett led the Garnet team to its win over Gold with 173 passing yards and 2 TDs on 12-of-23 passing. Wide receiver Rashad Gholston took two passes in for touchdowns. Another one of Trickett’s passes found Greg Dent, who ran 75 yards for a touchdown. For the Gold, Manuel went 28 for 51 and 255 yards; Manuel had 2 touchdowns and 2 turnovers. Freshman Kelvin Benjamin caught four passes for 46 yards.
On the defensive side, linebacker Telvin Smith had 8 tackles for the Gold team, while Keelin Smith followed up with 7 tackles. Additionally for the Garnet, senior Cornellius Carradine had 7 stops. “We’ve got a good foundation built. Now it just matters what we do between now and the first ball game,” Coach Fisher said after the game.
Florida State opens its season against Murray State on Sept. 1. FSU opens ACC play with Wake Forrest on Sept. 15, followed by Clemson on the 22nd. Other ACC games include North Carolina (Oct. 8), Boston College (Oct. 13), Miami (Oct. 20), Duke (Oct. 27), Virginia Tech (Nov. 8 ) and Maryland (Nov. 17).
The NBA Draft is closing in and Mike Scott, Virginia’s star forward, is looking forward to Thursday’s event. And why not? Recent reports and mock drafts from NBA analysts have indicated that Scott’s stock is on the rise. CNNSI, for example, named Scott a sleeper to watch while ESPN’s Chad Ford reportedly sees Scott as a first round possibility.
Scott said on a teleconference with reporters Monday afternoon that he sees himself with the ability of a first round pick.
“I think it matters and it doesn’t. Of course, it matters [because of] that guaranteed contract and it shows the respect that you have from a team that tells you you’re up there with the top 30 players in the draft,” he said. “I would just be grateful for my name to be called, whether it’s first or second round. But I know I deserve to be in the first round, but we’ll see.”
Scott, of course, helped lead Virginia back to the NCAA Tournament this season with a stellar senior campaign. He averaged 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds en route to first-team All-ACC honors. After shooting 56.3% from the field and 80.8% from the free throw line, Scott finished second in the ACC’s Player of the Year voting.
Those shooting skills – especially as a dead-eye mid-range shooter – are what’s propelled Scott into a possible NBA Draft pick. It’s a specialized weapon that NBA teams love at the forward position because it creates spacing on the floor for the offense. The flipside, of course, is whether Scott can defend well enough in that same space on the other end of the floor. He’ll likely have to take on power forwards in the mid-post and low-post areas or try to guard quicker players at small forward on the perimeter.
Scott acknowledged that he’s been working on the perimeter portion of his game and that there is a lot of work to be done in that department. Besides, he says, his natural spot is at power forward.
“I think I have a lot more room to grow [with my perimeter skills], especially defensively [with] guarding somebody smaller and quicker than me. But I honestly think my bread and butter is at the 4. I can do some 3 stuff and be a mismatch,” he said.
The other main questions for Scott as an NBA prospect revolve around his age – at 23, he’s likely one of the oldest players to be picked in this year’s draft – and his ankle injury. Remember, Scott missed the majority of what would have been his senior season after having surgery on his left ankle. Scott said he doesn’t think his age will be a factor and that the NBA teams looked at the ankle thoroughly.
“The last day of the combine they had an evaluation where they check your past injuries and current injuries and see your durability with nagging injuries. Every team poked and probed and stretched my ankle that day and asked if it hurt. I told them I played the whole year last year and practiced every day and my ankle hasn’t bothered me,” said Scott, who added that he had some X-Rays and MRIs taken on the ankle by teams.
Read more quotes from the teleconference from The Daily Progress’ Whitey Reid’s blog here. Tune in to watch the NBA Draft on Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN or ESPN3.
Hoo-Tube Video Of The Day
The Afternoon Break includes a daily video. Today’s pick features the latest workout video to surface with Mike Scott. Thanks to poster PHoo1 for discovering it. It’s courtesy of CityLeagueHoopsTV and SlamOnline.com.
There are several good threads on the men’s basketball board about Cavalier standout Mike Scott. Read them here, here, and here.
On the football board, there are some good conversations going too. This one is on which Mike London recruits have a shot at being an All-American or ACC Player of the Year. This thread is about recruiting rankings.
There are a couple of good baseball threads on Sean Doolittle, who is now pitching with the Oakland A’s – as this thread mentions, he’s posted 17 strikeouts in 8.2 innings of work. Impressive. The other thread work checking out is on “Ninja” Keith Werman, who has started his minor league career.
Lacrosse fans, check out some all-star results in this thread.
This portion of the break looks at TheSabre.com’s favorite Twitter retweet of the day. Follow @thesabre.
Today’s retweet is from Damon Dillman, the sports director at our media partners over at CBS 19 and the Charlottesville NewsPlex (follow him @DamonDillman). It keeps the Mike Scott theme of the day going!
ESPN’s @chadfordinsider has bumped @mikescott up no No. 33 on his NBA draft prospects list. Says he make sneak into late 1st round on Thurs.
In the most recent edition of The Afternoon Break, we shared an this ESPN.com article that quoted ACC commissioner John Swofford on the future of a Division I football playoff system. The BCS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick have since reached an agreement on a new four-team playoff format. The proposal must be adopated by the BCS presidential oversight committee, which meets June 26 in Washington, D.C., in order to go into effect for the 2014 season.
“Sources told ESPN.com that under the recommended model, four participating teams would be selected by a committee, which would consider certain criteria such as conference championships and strength of schedule.
The two national semifinal games would be played within the existing BCS bowl games (Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar) on a rotating basis, with the host sites being predetermined before each season. The national championship game would be offered to the highest bidding city.”
The Afternoon Break includes a daily video. Today’s pick features soccer star Claudio Reyna, who helped lead UVa to three straight NCAA Championships in 1991, 1992, and 1993. A three-time first-team All-American after posting 21 goals and 22 assists in his Virginia career, Reyna and fellow Wahoo Tony were elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Read more about it here and take a look at this Reyna tribute video from his days with the New York Red Bulls.
Long-time – and by long-time, we’re talking 29 years with the Hoos! – UVa media relations guru Rich Murrary is retiring today. There are several must-read links out there. First up, there’s this blog post from co-worker Vincent Briedis. Also check out two blog posts from the Daily Press’ David Teel (click here) and The Daily Progress’ Whitey Reid (click here). There’s also this men’s basketball message board thread where you can share any thoughts you have for the incomparable Mr. Murray!
ACC commissioner John Swofford believes that the BCS conferences are close to a compromise on a playoff system for Division I college football, according this ESPN.com article. Swofford told ESPN that FBS commissioners and Notre Dame had made “considerable progress” on the topic.
In April, the same group agreed to move toward a four-team playoff. How to choose qualifying teams and other details like the sites of the three games are being discussed now. The biggest sticking point is who gets into the playoffs, of course. The SEC wants the highest ranking teams in the games while other conferences like the ACC and other conferences prefer to have some emphasis placed on teams that win their conferences. That’s where the magic word compromise comes in.
“In terms of the selection process, we’d be comfortable with a compromise, and I think there’s going to have to be a compromise on it,” Swofford told ESPN.com. “I think you can mix those two (selection proposals) and come out with something that’s sensible and that people can agree on.”
“I think winning a conference championship should matter,” Swofford added. “It doesn’t have to be the end-all, be-all, but I think it should matter. It keeps the focus on winning a conference championship during the regular season.”
Again, you can read the full ESPN.com article here. There could be a proposal as early as next week for the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee.
Hoo-Tube Video Of The Day
The Afternoon Break includes a daily video. Today’s pick features soccer star Tony Meola, who played for the University of Virginia in 1988 and 1989. He was a first-team All-American both years and won the 1988 Hermann Trophy. Meola also lettered for Virginia’s baseball team. Meola and fellow Wahoo Claudio Reyna were elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Read more about it here and take a look at Meola’s induction in the video below. We’ll feature a Reyna tribute video in the next Afternoon Break.
EDGE subscribers, we’re seeking feedback on our content in this thread. Let us know what you think! We’ll have a free boards thread asking for feedback in the near future too.
Poster gldwrth keeps cranking out good posts like this one on multi-dimensional basketball players. Also on the men’s basketball board, Axtun made a great post about the ACC next season in this thread-starter.
The Duke Blue Devils won a total of three games in their 2011 season, a disappointing outcome to say the least. They were second from the bottom among ACC teams, barely beating out Maryland. Duke’s overall record was 3-9 and 1-7 in the ACC.
Duke started its 2011 season barely losing to Richmond (21-23) and then being greatly defeated by Stanford (14-44). The Blue Devils then turned it around and won straight three games against Boston College (20-19), Tulane (48-27), and Florida International (31-27). The Blue Devils then faced the bulk of their ACC schedule. The Devils fell to Florida State (16-41), barely to Wake Forest (23-24), Virginia Tech (10-14), Miami (14-49), Virginia (21-31), Georgia Tech (31-38) and North Carolina (21-37). A painful season for the Blue Devils indeed.
After five seasons with Duke, coach David Cutcliffe will be looking for an improvement in this 2012 season. The bad news? The Blue Devils dropped Boston College and Tulane from their schedule, meaning two of their wins from 2011 are not on the docket. Duke picked up ACC powerhouse Clemson, Memphis (C-USA) and North Carolina Central (MEAC).
Redshirting freshmen is part of the plan at Duke.For 2012, the Devils signed 20 freshmen and redshirts may be in the future for most of them this year. Starting Blue Devils guard David Harding talked about his own redshirting experience: “It’s important to be given that year to get bigger because in the trenches, the size difference between high school and college is a lot different. Getting that time to get in the weight room and put on weight … and also time to understand the playbook. It is something that’s really beneficial.”
I pulled out a couple of interesting quotes from those articles below.
UVa senior guard Jontel Evans on the incoming freshmen: “I see a lot of great things in all of them. The ones that really surprised me the most, I would say, are Justin [Anderson] and Mike Tobey. Mike Tobey moves really well for his size, and once he gets some muscle on, I feel like he’s going to be a beast.”
Virginia women’s coach Joanne Boyle on the incoming freshmen: “With [Ariana Moorer] graduating and China [Crosby] coming back but being hurt, we needed more ballhandlers. All three of them [Raeshaun Gaffney, Faith Randolph, and Jaryn Garner] kind of bring that dynamic. They’re all combo guards. All three are very good athletes and have a lot of energy.”
Hoo-Tube Video Of The Day
The Afternoon Break includes a daily video. As noted in the retweet below, the United States Field Hockey team – featuring UVa’s Paige Selenski and Michelle Vittese – is headed to Charlottesville for practices and an exhibition game against Argentina. The USA defeated Argentina 4-2 in the Pan American Games final. Highlights from that match are today’s video pick with Selenski (first goal) and Vittese (fourth goal) contributing one goal each.
The football board features this thread where Maryland’s Josh Wilson poked some fun at Virginia’s Chase Minnifield in Redskins camp. There’s also this thread on Cavalier Chris Long and this article from St. Louis.
Virginia has started construction on its indoor practice facility. This thread is talking about that and this site is tracking the progress.
This portion of the break looks at TheSabre.com’s favorite Twitter retweet of the day. Follow @thesabre.
Today’s retweet is from Michelle Vittese (follow her @MichelleVitt55). Vittese, a Virginia field hockey player, is a member of the United States Olympic field hockey team, which is practicing in Charlottesville this weekend for the upcoming Olympics. Read more here about Vittese, UVa teammate Paige Selenski, and the USA team’s time in Charlottesville. Here’s an article from Team USA with Vittese.
@MichelleVitt55: Driving to Charlottesville ! Ready to get this party startedddddd #GoUSA
The ACC Champion Clemson Tigers could not have asked for a better conference season in 2011. The Tigers defeated Virginia Tech in the championship game to claim the ACC title they hadn’t held since 1991. Their overall record stood at 10-4 and 6-2 in the ACC, taking their only ACC losses from Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.
Even with two league losses, Clemson had the beginnings of a perfect season by winning eight games in a row. The Tigers came out of the starting gate fast and didn’t look back as they hammered Troy (43-19), Wofford (35-27), Auburn (38-24), Florida State (35-30), Virginia Tech (23-3), Boston College (36-14), Maryland (56-45) and finally North Carolina (59-38). The perfect start ended when the Tigers were stung by the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech knocked Clemson down, 31-17.
The Tigers’ 2012 schedule has dropped Troy, Wofford, and North Carolina and picked up Ball State, Furman and Duke. These small changes within the schedule do not include N.C. State and South Carolina, two teams that defeated Clemson a season ago. Arguably two of their toughest opponents again this season, those games fall at the end of the schedule. A good idea or a bad one? Does Coach Swinney have a plan this time to keep the steam in the team, and insure it doesn’t sputter toward the end of the season again? The answers may come from the defense where new Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables steps into the light at Clemson after being at Oklahoma for 13 years. The D, after all, is what struggled so mightily in that bowl game.