Ralph Sampson is a definite reminder of Virginia basketball glory. If Tony Bennett's start as basketball coach is any indication, Bennett might help lead the Wahoos to some more glory. Something Virginia have yearned for in a good while.
Virginia was picked next-to-last in the ACC preseason ratings. The Wahoos have surprised the so called experts with a 5-5 (through Feb. 16) league mark and a 14-9 overall record.
Bennett has brought his signature defensive style to the ACC and the players have responded. There have been some bumps in the road (including lately), but fans are excited about Virginia basketball again.
Bennett preaches team, team and more team. He learned from his father Dick and Wisconsin Bo Ryan that you can become successful with a group of hard-working players even without stars.
Sylven Landersberg is a very good player and a go-to guy and might be considered the star. However, you probably won't hear that from Bennett. I think he enjoys coaching teams without stars.
I like Bennett's style. He talks about players serving each other and being humble. One of his players even mentioned the word humility one day. When was the last time you heard that from a college basketball player?
Virginia has an excellent chance to make a postseason tournament. The building blocks are definitely in place.
Howver, it's too early to know if Bennett and Virgina can compete against the Dukes and North Carolinas consistently in the ACC. But under Bennett, if Virginia does arrive there, it will be as a team.
What do you think of Bennett's chance for success with the Wahoos?