December 31, 2013

How Tony Bennett Can Fix Things:

1) Play Brogdon at his position -- shooting guard.  Stop playing Brog at point guard.  Tony was wrong, I was wrong, Brog can't handle the 1.

2) Find a way, any way, whatever works, but find a way to fix Joe Harris.  Maybe funnel every single offensive play through him against Florida State.  Encourage him to jack up shots and even celebrate the misses.  Being unselfish is a good thing, but he has grown way too unselfish, and we really need him to be an assertive sniper.  We won't win without it.  So even if it means blowing smoke up his ass until he figures out this funk, just find a way to fix Joe Harris.

3) Settle on a starting lineup and tighten the rotation.  Here's who should be starting: Perrantes, Brogdon, Harris, Mitchell, Atkins.  Traditional lineup, with a true 1, a true 2, a true 3, a true 4, and a pogostick 4/5 big at center.  Bring Teven Jones off the bench for 8-12 minutes per game to spell Perrantes at the 1 (again, no more Brog running the point, ever).  Justin Anderson off the bench to spell both Brog and Harris (and as such, he gets starter's minutes).  The Janitor (Anthony Gill) and Tobey off the bench for scoring punch, and keep them in if they are generating points.  I like this plan because it brings the "energy" guys - Anderson, Gill, Jones - off the bench, and Tobey's ability to score can give us a boost if things start to stagnate.

4) Feed the post, feed the post, feed the post, feed the post, feed the fucking post.  Attack the rim whenever possible and feed the post.  If it's not a layup, a Joe Harris 3, or a Mike Tobey bunnyhop jumper, then it's a bad shot.

5) Actually, I take that back.  There's one more shot I want to add to the list of acceptable shots.  GIVE THE GREEN LIGHT TO LONDON PERRANTES.  Kid's a shooter, let him shoot.

6) Recommit to defense.  As in, the best packliners should play.  I know this directly contradicts what I said above (Brog at the 1 is probably our best defensive option and Justin Anderson is definitely one of our better defensive players), but we're a system-based team, Bennett is a system-based coach, and we can't win without that system taking us there.  A poster named Hoos500 on the 247 board made a great comparison: "I think we're the equivalent of GT's football team in basketball right now." To me, that's spot on.  GT doesn't win if the flexbone isn't sharp, we don't win if the packline doesn't slow the game down and force the opponent into bad, impatient shots.  Our system works, but it's not necessarily fun to watch and it can't cure all ills.  However, the system is all we really have, so we have to win with it because we'll surely lose without it.  Put the best packliners out there and totally commit to defense, embrace the fact that we have some fatal offensive flaws.  It's the only path to success this season, unless a guy like Perrantes and/or Brogdon experience mercurial in-season improvement.

7) Find a way to locate and recruit to fill our glaring missing ingredient --- a guy (or a few guys) like [2014 recruit we just barely missed out on] Nate Mason.  What I'm talking about is small, quick, CONFIDENT guards with some swagger, who know how to score.  Back off on the size and pure shooting ability of the guards and wing players, and pursue more pure athleticism, more instinctive scorers, and a bit more dribble-drive ability.  This is more of a long-term fix, I guess.


I like Tony Bennett a lot.  I don't really like watching his system on the court, but I do acknowledge that it can be extremely effective, and can help us overcome recruiting limitations that otherwise would doom us.  However, nights like last night simply cannot happen.  Yes, Tennessee went unconscious from deep, and without a few jets added to the roster, we'll struggle to score against any set defense.  But look, we can't make defense our calling card and then give up 87 points to an average team like that.  We just can't.

Every season will have its hiccups.  But that was a pretty fucking big hiccup.  It was more like a vurp.




December 30, 2013

Sheesh.

The 2-10 football season kind of fucked me up.

I really NEEDED to see the basketball team come storming out of the gate.  Being honest, I really NEEDED to see us stomp VCU on our home court.  Didn't happen, and that kind of fucked me up, too.  I fucking hate VCU.  So with that loss, apathy came calling.

Over the course of the last month or so, I've been able to crawl back to a position of caring, even despite the ugly loss to Wisconsin and the stupid loss to Green Fucking Bay.

Now, curb-stomped by Tennessee on national television.

And you know what?  This packline, grind-it-out methodical bullshit is not fun to watch.  Winning is fun to watch, even if it's ugly.  But losing while we're playing this style of basketball?

I mean, what the fuck is the point?  Why do I subject myself to this shit?

Another night, ruined.  Could've spent this time watching the next-to-last episode of Orange is the New Black.  Instead?  Fucking Virginia Basketball.  35-point loss to a barely-above-mediocre Tennessee team.  The game was never close, it was never competitive.  Bennettball let us down yet again.  Losing ugly, fucking awesome.  And by awesome, I mean awful.  And by awful, I mean...

Why the fuck do I care anymore?

Mike London is still our head football coach, and the biggest cause for celebration in basketball is when we force our opponent into shot clock violations.

*sigh*

My kingdom for something even remotely approaching competency in either of the major sports.

Bring on 2014.  2012 sucked ass.  2013, I had hope for you.  But fuck you, bitch.  You were even worse than 2012.

Bring on 2014, I guess.



December 24, 2013

A Beautiful Rant

Our friend Brendan over at from old virginia is at it again, this time with a recruiting update that segues easily into criticism of Mike London's recruiting.  DEFINITELY worth a Christmas Eve read.


Personally, I couldn't agree more with what he's saying.  OL recruiting has been criminally sub-par under London.  And though we've lured in a few studs on the DL, there's no reason we should be flirting with disaster with such a thin depth chart.

I'd like to add one more beef with London's recruiting: the quarterback position heading into the 2014 season.

So right now, we have incumbent David Watford, who can throw but isn't a passer; who is fast but isn't a runner.  He's not a QB we can win with, in my humble opinion.  Then there's Greyson Lambert, who really looks the part... until you begin to factor in the way things look when he's on the field.  Also, reports that he's struggled with confidence do very little to entice me into confidence that he'll ever be "the guy" at UVA.  (A quarterback with a fragile psyche is exactly the opposite of what we need right now.)  Then there's Matt Johns and Brendan Marshall.  Who knows how good these guys might be?  But I do know that it's pretty clear they were brought in to be career backups.  And finally, Corwin Cutler.  They say he's got the goods.  We'll see, I guess.  But I can tell you that we're doomed to failure if a true freshman wins our starting quarterback job in 2014.

Newsflash: WE NEED A FUCKING QUARTERBACK.  LIKE, RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

Are there no graduating seniors with a post-grad year of eligibility floating around out there?  Like Wisconsin with Russell Wilson?  Are there no FCS-level gunslingers we could bring in and not have to worry about them sitting out a year as per transfer rules?  Are there no JUCO kids ready to get behind center at UVA?


For all the shuffling of deck chairs on the Titanic London is doing on the recruiting trail right now, it mystifies me - nay, it INFURIATES me - that we're not kicking the tires on veteran quarterbacks who could step right in and start for us in 2014.

Lots and lots of problems are going to add up to Mike London being fired in November 2014.  Gross mismanagement of the quarterback position is chief among those problems.


Merry Christmas, everyone!

December 23, 2013

Basketball Thoughts

Hey there, Wahooze Nation - long time no talk. Many apologies, on my behalf. Don't worry though, now that my beloved Lions have derped (some might say: UVA-ed) their way out of playoff contention, the entirety of my attention and ire can be directed at our basketball team. Get hyped.

So hyped.
So, let's analysisize:

The Wahoos are almost done with their non-conference schedule, sitting at 8-3 with Norfolk State (tonight) and Tennessee (the 30th) remaining. So far, things have been up and down, as a cynical fan would expect:

-Blow out an inferior opponent? Check. (JMU)
-Lose heartbreaker at home by missing free throws after dominating the game? Check. (VCU)
-Easily win road game against name-brand mid major? Check. (Davidson)
-Beat a couple of decent teams in a no-name road tournament? Check. (SMU/Missoui St)
-Save worst offensive performance of Bennett's tenure for most important non-conference game on national TV? Check. (Badgers)
-Follow that up with another embarrassing display on the road? Checkamundo. (Badgers-lite)
-Regroup (sort of) and (sort of) handle another decent mid major in a must-win game? Check. (Purple Badgers)

8-3 is not a bad place to be, especially considering none of the losses were bad ones (unlike last year). Assuming the boys can handle (BEHOLD) the green and gold tonight, they'll make it through the non-conference slate without a disastrous loss - which was essentially the goal. Yes, it would've been nice to have either that VCU or Wisconsin game - both of which were absolutely winnable. However, neither loss, nor the Green Bay one, were too damaging to the tournament resume.

That being said, 8-3 is not as good of a spot as 10-1 or 11-0 would have been (obviously). What it truly means for the team is that the ACC results need to include that many more wins for the team to make the NCAA tournament - and to earn a seed higher than 8/9. Kendall laid out a great RPI update over on the 247 board here. (If you're unable to read it, I'm sure he wont mind posting it on the blog, it's well worth the synopsis).

Basically, unless the team loses tonight, regardless of the Tennessee game, my opinion of the conference games is that 10-8 would put the team squarely on the bubble - and probably on the wrong side of it. 11-7 would absolutely be tournament worthy team - though it might not put us in a favorable position to win more than one game.

Can the team do it? Probably, but certainly not without clearing up some of the mind-boggling issues we've seen in some of the early games: turnovers, terrible shooting, BEYOND terrible free throw shooting, and countless lapses in focus/energy. My brief thoughts towards some solutions: No more Brogdon at the 1. More Atkins all of the time. More Teven Jones spelling London. More pushing for fast break points after stops. And for the love of all that is Orange and Blue, MORE JOE HARRIS SHOOTING THE BALL.

Greatest picture ever? Or greatestest picture ever?
My gut reaction to the ACC schedule is this:

@FSU - L
WF - W
@NCSU - W
@Duke - L
FSU - W
UNC - W
VPI - W
@ND - L
@Pitt - L
BC - W
@GT - L
UMD - W
@Clemson - W
@VPI - W
ND - W
Miami - W
Cuse - L
@UMD - W

12-6. Maybe that's unreasonably optimistic, but I think the schedule is favorable. We only play Duke and Syracuse once - teams that are easily the class of the league. I'm unimpressed with most of the middle of the road teams in the league, though I think Pitt, ND, and UNC are probably in tier two, with UVA being the top of tier 3 (for now). The key will be showing well enough against the tier two and three teams, while handling our business against the bottom tier teams. Can they do it? Absolutely - and I think they will. Will I be shocked it they blow it? I'm a Lions and UVA fan. No amount of losing will shock me anymore.

Don't worry. We're in this together.


December 19, 2013

Let's Talk About the Ticker

Received this piece of anonymous feedback last week, courtesy of the GIVE A YELL feature (look to the right, just below the "Hoos House" picture):

Guys, you have the 'The Firing of Mike London' ticker up - which is great. Only problem, what if the team somehow manages to win 5 next season? Hate to say this but I believe [Craig Littlepage] will consider that 'measurable success' and extend [Mike London's] obnoxious contract. God only knows what will happen if we somehow stumble to 6 wins. :(


Great piece of feedback.  Thanks anonymous.

Okay, let's talk about the ticker.

1) I know it's a low-class move.  At times, I feel a little ashamed that I can stoop so low.  But then I quickly remember that this man (and the administration that chose him) has methodically ruined something I care very deeply about -- Virginia Football.

2) I don't know for certain because I've never met the guy and I don't know him personally, but by all accounts, Mike London is an awesome dude.  Good guy all around.  Great in the community.  Just a fantastic person.  HOWEVER, this sad realization hit me this season: as a head football coach - as our head football coach - Mike London is a clown.



3) We just followed up a 4-8 season with a 2-10 season, and we did not fire our coaching staff.  There are maybe 10-15 schools out of the 123 in the Football Bowl Subdivision who might have also kept the coach in place.  Among BCS conference schools, I'd say maybe Iowa State, Kansas, Indiana, [pre-Cutcliffe] Duke, [pre-Grobe] Wake Forest, [current] Colorado, [pre-Franklin] Vanderbilt, and Kentucky would have retained a coach performing at the level London is currently performing.  From a "competitive spirit and expectations level," we have dropped to the bottom 10% among the 64 BCS-level schools.  To me, that is completely unacceptable.  Yes, Al Groh dug this grave, but it's Mike London that dropped us the six feet down.  And it's our administration making the football decisions that is dumping the shovels of dirt on top of us.

So yeah, there's a ticker.  There's a ticker because I think Virginia Football is dead in the water until there is a change at the top.  That's Mike London being fired, but it's also a complete scorched earth dismissal of the coaching staff, and the dismissal of Jon Oliver (possibly to also include Craig Littlepage).

So circling back to the anonymous feedback, from above...

What happens if we win 5 games in 2014?  Well, I really don't think we will.  Unless a miracle - like, a real-life miracle - happens at the quarterback position, 4 wins is the ceiling for this team.  I hope I'm wrong about that, but I'm not hoping too hard --- because if we do win 6+ games and go to a bowl game, it only further delays the inevitable coaching change we're going to need if we want to find our way to stable footing and achieve any level of sustainable long-term success.

I share your concern, Anonymous.  I share it to the point where I'm trying to reconcile whether or not to buy my season tickets for the 2014 season, knowing that there will be a fucked-up duality of me wanting to see the team win vs. knowing they need to lose in order to avoid further delaying the future health of the program.

It's a shitty situation, all the way around.  I'll end up buying the tickets and being at the games to support my team and to support the kids who are out there playing football.  But enthusiasm for the overall product?  That won't be there, not after our administration made the unforgivable mistake of not cleaning house after the 2-10 disaster.



UVA football is a joke.  Our head football coach is a clown.  And keeping him after a 6-18 run across two seasons is insanity.


One last thought:  Don't worry too much about it, Anonymous.  Ticket sales for the 2014 season will lead the admin in the right direction.  Nothing short of 8+ wins [a virtual impossibility] will move the needle, and even that is probably going to be too little, too late.


Do either of Quin Blanding or Andrew Brown play quarterback?


December 10, 2013

Bitter Disappointment





I still don't have the words.

Luckily for us, two of my favorite websites DO have the words.

Take a read...


from old virginia: coaching position paper

PS -- I think Brendan and I put up our countdown clocks at about the same time on Friday morning, totally free and independent of one another.  You know what they say about great minds.  I dated the one on Wahooze for the Monday following Thanksgiving (and the 2014 Virginia Tech game) -- the date I figure to be the most likely firing day.


Streaking the Lawn: Basketball Season Not Going According to Plan... Yet



Meanwhile, here's a mini-meltdown I had on the Wahoos247 message board this weekend, after another poster suggested that "the next twelve months are win-win -- either we go bowling next season and everyone is happy or we fire London and everyone is happy."

Yeah, that's what happens at the end of the twelve months. But what about the time in between? What about right now?

I'm thinking about the spring, we'll be hearing about spring practice, who looks good, who got hurt, etc. I'm thinking about training camp in the summer, hearing how the freshmen look, how the QB battle is panning out... but it ALL feels like shifting deck chairs on the Titanic to me. It will ALL ring hollow, because this coaching staff doesn't know what in the hell it's doing, and we don't have a quarterback who can raise the game of others and elevate our play on the field.

Instead, I think we'll be noticing how badly we're getting killed in the realm of ticket sales, how we're getting massacred on the recruiting trail because of our lame duck coach, and deep down we'll consider all of the myriad ways a lost season in 2014 will set the program back even further. All of the articles put out by the non-partisan media will be unflattering at best. It's going to ultimately make us out to be the joke of a program we are. We just followed up a dismal 4-8 season with a 2-10 season, and we retained the coaching staff. Our program is a joke. There is no other narrative to be found. IT'S A COLOSSAL FUCKING JOKE.

I'm sorry, I know this is a negative post. But I'm feeling really fucking negative right now. I mean, Duke is playing in the ACC championship game today. We just wasted two golden opportunities to beat God-awful Virginia Tech teams, and instead we get serenaded by chants of "ten more years" by their scumbag fucking inbred redneck fans in our home stadium. Jamie [Oakes, the guy who runs Wahoos247] is doing yeoman's work covering recruiting, when all I want is for us to be like Wake Forest and give him the chance to cover an exciting coaching search. Jealous of Duke and Wake Forest. Duke and Wake Forest FOOTBALL! Jesus H. Christ. Wake's going to hire Pete Lembo or Dave Clawson, either guy who would be perfect for UVA, and we get to watch our mind-numbingly incompetent head coach flop around on the sideline like a dying fish for another terrible season.

Then I look for a distraction provided by our-good-but-not-yet-proving-it-at-all basketball team, who cockspasms a chance at a marquee win by playing like they're shooting the ball at a freaking apple crate against Wisconsin.

I want to just say screw it and walk away, but I can't. I'm stuck. I love Virginia football and basketball too much to just drop this hobby and take up bird-watching or stamp-collecting. It's frustrating, I'm frustrated, I'm sad, I'm angry, I'm embarrassed, and I know I'm not alone.




December 6, 2013

Friday Lynx

Yeahbuddy.


I'm still trying to process in my mind what the hell happened this season to get us to 2-10, and also how in the hell we can look the rest of the college football world in the eyes and proceed with Mike London as our head coach with a straight face.  BECAUSE IT IS A COLOSSAL FUCKING JOKE.

Virginia Football is a rotting corpse.  I stopped promising posts, but the autopsy is coming.

In the meantime, here are some juicy links.


A good, well-written, objective look at our 2013 season, from Patrick Stevens at Syracuse.com:

Jim Grobe, a good man and the best coach in Wake Forest history, stepped down on Monday.  Details from Chris Vannini at CoachingSearch.com:

I'm linking this here because I'm planning to live vicariously through Wake, as they embark on this coaching search.  We should be embarking on our own coaching search... but alas.  We get another season with Mike London trying to learn on the job and decide if a popgun pro-style offense can punch its way out of a wet paper bag.  *sigh*  (Watching Wake this season could give us a really good preview of our own coaching search a year from now.)

Speaking of a coaching search... step one is a little honest self-evaluation.  This fantastic piece from USA Today's Paul Myerberg gives you the Wake job in a nutshell.  (There are a lot of similarities between the Wake Forest job and the Virginia job, so read this article with that in mind.)

Last link for today.  Ball State's Pete Lembo is probably the candidate that makes the most sense for Wake Forest.  If you've been reading this blog, you know that we love Lembo.  If Wake smartly hires him while we continue to tug our pud with Mike London, I'm going to be sad.  This is from Wake's SB*Nation site, Blogger So Dear:



Join the countdown.  360 days 'til Mike London is fired...

December 2, 2013

Let's Talk RPI.

I'm not yet ready to discuss football. Soon, maybe. But not yet. For now, fuck football.

Okay, RPI...

Click here: Real Time RPI


After the Corpus Christi championship, we're up to #39.

Others of note:
#1 UMass (?!??!!)
#5 Syracuse
#6 Wisconsin (big game on Wednesday, boys)
#31 VCU (like it or not, we need to be pulling for them to win games)
#43 UNC
#44 Pitt
#63 Green Bay (presents a golden opportunity for a marquee road win this Saturday)
#67 Northern Iowa (another great opportunity)
#69 SMU (would be great if this ends up being a top-100 win for us)
#75 Missouri State (I wasn't impressed with them at all, but it'd be a blessing if they can stick around in the top 100)
#77 FSU
#97 Duke
#102 Clemson
#104 BC
#109 Tennessee
#111 NC State
#116 VT
#121 Wake
#135 Maryland
#163 Davidson (they aren't helping us at all)
#168 Miami
#198 Hampton
#221 GT
#209 Liberty (bad win for us)
#222 JMU (another bad win)
#224 Navy (another bad win)
#313 Norfolk State (lurks as an RPI-killer when we play them on 12/23)
#321 Notre Dame


In general, we need the ACC to stop shitting the bed in OOC play. Duke will be fine, 'Cuse will hover around the top ten, but I worry about the rest of the conference.

If some of these teams don't bubble up - and fast - we're not going to have many chances for "quality" wins. This week's ACC/BigTen Challenge is key. We need to beat Wisky, and we need the rest of the ACC to do work.

Tennessee isn't where we need them to be quite yet, but that's a top-75 team as per my own eyeball test. Green Bay and Northern Iowa both give us good RPI-helping opportunities.

None of this means a whole lot... yet... but I think it helps set the stage for where we are right now, and what we need to do to a) make the NCAAT, and b) earn a favorable seed.



Favorable Seed

November 22, 2013

WahoozeCast - November, 11th

Hey there errybody. We're back to fill your brain with our delightful discussion of all things UVA sports. Enjoy our reflection on the start of the basketball team's season, football's upcoming game at Miami, and a few other things - like how awful NC State is.

Leave comments so we can discuss!





If you have issues with the stream cutting out or restarting, just right click the rotunda-looking thing, save the mp3 file, and listen to the download.

November 19, 2013

Strength of Schedule

Apologies to my friend Andy, who sent me the following e-mail 12 days ago, before our game against UNC.  I didn't put it on the blog immediately, but here it is now.  Take a look...



So as i sit here watching Ball State destroy CM i began to think about what we are as a team (UVA). while this is incomplete in thought, i thought it might be reasonable to see what our opponents have, and are doing, and does it show any signal of explanation...

as such here is what i see as a first step; records of our opponents:

1. BYU (6-2) ranked #28 in AP; losses to UVA and Utah (4-4)

2. Oregon (8-0); # 3 in the country

3. VMI (1-8); they are ignored for this research and not counted 

4. Ball State (9-1) ranked #34 in AP; loss to North Texas (6-3) which had losses to Ohio (6-3), Tulane (6-3) and Georgia (5-3) who had losses to Vandy, Clemson (8-1) (#7)and Mizzou (#8)

5. Pitt (4-4); losses to VT (6-3), Navy (4-4), GT (6-3), FSU (8-0); #2 in the country

6. MD (5-3); losses FSU (8-0);#2 in the country, Wake (4-5), Clemson (8-1); #7 in the country

7. Duke (6-2); losses GT (6-3) and Pitt (4-4)

8. GT (6-3); losses VT (6-3), Miami (7-1); #11 in the country, and BYU (6-2) #28 in AP

9. Clemson (8-1); loss to FSU (8-0); #2 in the country

Yet to Play

10. UNC (3-5); losses to South Carolina (7-2);#12 in the country, GT (6-3), ECU (6-2), VT (6-3), Miami (7-1); #11 in the country

11. Miami (7-1); loss to FSU (8-0); #2 in the country

12. VT (6-3); losses to Duke (6-2), BC (4-4) and Alabama (8-0); #1 in the country


So what have we learned? Combined record of our direct opponents (minus VMI) = 52-16. That is a 76.5% winning percentage. Also, we will play our first opponent this year with a losing record on Saturday (UNC).


Notes:

BC losses included USC, FSU, Clemson, UNC, Navy lost to #23 Notre Dame and Duke, South Carolina lost to Georgia


Who knows if this means anything, but by record, our quality of opponent is/has been pretty high.


It's a good point and a great e-mail.  Of course, things have changed a bit in the week and a half since this was written.  But take a look.

BYU -- 7-3
Oregon -- 9-1
Pitt -- 5-5
Ball State -- 9-2
Maryland -- 6-4
Duke -- 8-2
Georgia Tech -- 6-4
Clemson -- 9-1
North Carolina -- 5-5
Miami -- 7-3
Virginia Tech -- 7-4

That's an overall record of 78-34, a 70% win percentage.  If Pitt can beat one of Syracuse or Miami, and if UNC can beat one of ODU or Duke, then all eleven of these teams will be in bowl games at the end of the season.

I am not presenting this as any sort of excuse for our absolutely horrendous performance on the football field this season... I'm just suggesting that the deck was stacked against us a little bit this season.  You might say the ACC is garbage.  You might say that, and you might be wrong.  These are good teams.  And thus, that's a tough row to hoe if you do not have at least an equally good team or some sort of an edge in the coaching / gameplanning / luck arena.

We suck.  Our football team is terrible.  But 2-8 at this point in the season is not as bad as maybe it seems.



Meanwhile, brace yourselves.  I won't give away any information that is provided behind a pay wall, but I'll tell you that I now have it on very good authority that Mike London will be back for the 2014 season.  My guess is that the $11.6 million buyout is a boulder too large to roll out of the way.  That makes even more sense when you consider the tough sledding the administration experienced in trying to raise the $13 million for the Indoor Practice Facility.  Heck, the timing of the IPF is probably creating an atmosphere in which it's impossible to fire Mike London, just based on sheer finances.

Anyway, London is going to be back.  And we can kiss Pete Lembo, Mark Hudspeth, Tim DeRuyter, and maybe Dave Clawson goodbye.  But it gives Philip Montgomery and Scott Frost another season to mature into viable candidates.

In the meantime...  I'm not yet sure how we should approach the 2014 season.  Hopefully, maybe, I'll have a post on that soon.  (No promises, it's basketball season.)


November 16, 2013

UVA 70, Davidson 57

Solid win on the road (at a neutral site, but super close to the Davidson campus, in Charlotte) over a good mid-major program.  Not sure how good this year's Davidson TEAM is (34-point loss to Duke, 4-point loss at home against Milwaukee prior to this game), but it's a really good mid-major program.  I'm bullish that this was a good win for our team at this point in the season.

Quicknotes:

-- Mike Tobey and Malcolm Brogdon led the way, with Akil Mitchell and Justin Anderson stepping up in the second half to help the Hoos pull away.

-- London Perrantes didn't shoot well (1-for-5 from the field), but sank both of his free throws and submitted a noice 5:1 assist:turnover ratio.  He got the start today, with Justin coming off the bench.  I like that look.  Four year starter at point guard?  Sign me up.

-- Free throw shooting for the entire team was improved over the VCU game.  We hit on 16-of-21 from the line, 76%.

-- We absolutely PULVERIZED the Wildcats on the boards -- 44 rebounds for the Hoos vs. 24 for Davidson.  That's going to be our path to success in a lot of games this season.  Make free throws and clean the glass.

-- Putting an APB out for Joe Harris.  Oh-fer from the field (on just 4 shots), 1-for-2 from the line, 1 point in however many minutes.  I'm not worried about this... yet.  Obviously we need him to get going soon, but it's nice to see us post a 13-point win on the road over a non-cupcake opponent with Joey Buckets being a complete non-factor.

-- Akil Mitchell had a huge second half, after a sputtery, shitty (3 turnover, 0 points) first half.  In the second, Akil a Mockingbird notched 11 points and 7 rebounds.  He came through for us to help secure this win.  Love the guy.



-- I didn't highlight it above, but I want to hit on these two stat lines:

  • Mike Tobey -- 18 points, 73% from the field, 100% from the line, 7 rebounds (5 offensive), 2 blocks.  We better enjoy this season from Toblerone, because I'm not sure we're going to see another.
  • Brog -- 17 points, 70% from the field, 100% from the line, 1-for-1 from 3, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals.  Great game.
-- Our upcoming schedule: Navy (11/19), Liberty (11/23), Hampton (11/26).  Should be three blowout wins, and ample opportunity for Joe to find his way back from the wilderness.

-- SMU on November 29th is an interesting game.  Good chance to notch a win on neutral court that could kind of help our RPI and tournament profile.

-- And then it's Wisconsin on December 4th.  Huge game.


I like how things are settling in right now.  I'll admit, I was pretty nervous about this game today.  We screwed around with Davidson for a while -- really, they stuck around in the game by knocking down 11 threes.







Good lord, it's nice to not have to even think about the football team on a Saturday.  Ssssshew.

Packlines: Triplethreat (TM pending)



Thursday was the start of the early signing period for basketball, and Tony Bennett reeled in an interesting trio of recruits.

The press release:

Virginia men’s head basketball coach Tony Bennett has announced the signings of center Jack Salt (Auckland, New Zealand/Westlake Boys High School), guard B.J. Stith (Lawrenceville, Va./Oak Hill Academy) and forward Isaiah Wilkins (Lilburn, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian School) to National Letters of Intent with the Cavaliers.

“We are certainly pleased and excited about welcoming Jack, B.J. and Isaiah into the Virginia men’s basketball family,” Bennett said. “All three of these student-athletes will bring a lot of intensity, skill, athleticism and character to our program. They are well-rounded student-athletes, who understand the worth of a degree from the University of Virginia. We are looking forward to their arrival next fall.”

The 6-10, 240-pound Salt tallied 14 points and 16 rebounds as the Westlake Boys High School Premier Team recently defended its New Zealand School Boys AA title. Salt earned all-tournament honors and earned Westlake’s Loe Family Trophy as its Most Improved Senior player. Salt earned all-tournament honors as a member of the North Harbour U17 Team, which participated in the 2013 New Zealand U17 National Championships.


Jack Salt
The 6-5, 205-pound Stith helped lead Brunswick High School to three straight Virginia High School League Division 3 State titles prior to enrolling at Oak Hill Academy for the 2013-14 season. Stith was named all-state and all-region after averaging 16 points, six rebounds and six assists per game to lead the 2013 state champion Bulldogs. Stith is ranked No. 48 on Rivals.com’s 2014 Prospect Ranking list. Stith, who was also a state champion track athlete, is the son of former Virginia star and NBA player Bryant Stith.

B.J. Stith
The 6-8, 205-pound Wilkins averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game for Greater Atlanta Christian School in 2012-13. Wilkins led Greater Christian to the Georgia AA State championship and was named the AA State Player of the Year and Region 6-AA Player of the Year. He blocked 158 shots, including a single-game school record 15. Wilkins is ranked No. 107 on Rivals.com’s 2014 Prospect Ranking list.
Isaiah Wilkins


If you're hungry for reading more about the Triplethreat hoops recruiting class, here are some choice nugs:






I've never seen any of these kids play, but 've done a lot of reading about them and I followed their recruitments closely.  Here are my thoughts on what each will bring to the Hoos during the course of their UVA careers.

B.J. Stith
Okay, so let's get this out of the way.  Bryant Stith is my favorite Cavalier ever, from any sport.  I'm a total and unabashed fanboy when it comes to all things Stith.  So imagine my giddiness when I learned that B.J. (the more talented of Bryant's two sons) had decided to matriculate at the University of Virginia.


Stith has some point guard skills, but is more of a true shooting guard or wing.  I'd say his game sounds very similar to that of Malcolm Brogdon, with maybe a bit more lateral mobility (and thus, defensive potential earlier in his career), but a little less physicality.  Stith's perimeter shot is still developing, but his mid-range game is already there.  That hearkens back to the thing I liked best about K.T. Harrell before he turned yellow and ran away to Auburn -- mastery of the lost art of the mid-range jumper.

At UVA, B.J. will likely be a part of the rotation as a freshman, maybe spelling Brog at the 2 and helping to fill minutes at the 3 when Justin Anderson / Evan Nolte aren't on the floor.  I think Stith will play, and play quite a bit.  Brog's senior season is B.J.'s sophomore season, so I'm expecting Stith to start at the 2 as a junior and senior at UVA... and hopefully do all of the things that his dad did for the Hoos 25 years ago.


Isaiah Wilkins
It's important to note that Isaiah DOES NOT possess any DNA from The Human Highlight Film.  However, having 'Nique around to advise him and help him develop his skills can only have helped Isaiah get to this point, and to eventually realize his full potential.


And what is that potential?  Well, as a 6-8 pogo stick 4, the temptation is to make comparisons between Wilkins and Akil Mitchell.  I actually think the two are fairly different players.  It sounds to me that Isaiah has more of a an appetite for the "finesse" parts of the game -- passing from the high post, pick and pop skills, work as a point forward or a stretch-4.  With that 7-foot wingspan, he's a good rebounder and shot-blocker, but maybe those parts of his game could still use a bit of refinement.  It's hard to say what kind of a shooter Wilkins is at this point, but there's no doubt that he's willing, and there's no doubt that that's part of the package Bennett was intrigued with in this kid.

If Mike Tobey sticks around for his junior season, Wilkins will slot in as the 4th man in the frontcourt rotation as a true freshman, where he can get acclimated to the packline and the college game without a whole lot of pressure to perform.  If Tobey leaves, we're going to need some quality minutes out of Wilkins from jump street.  For his UVA career, I'd expect to see Isaiah Wilkins develop quickly (like Akil) and begin challenging for starter's minutes as a sophomore.


Jack Salt
“Rugged, tough player with good upside.”
“He’s raw. He’s a hard-playing competitive big guy.”

Jack Salt is a project big.  Those tend to pan out for Tony Bennett, and if he can do for Jack Salt what he did for Jerome Meyinsse, then we'll be in business.

But the healthy approach here is to expect nothing from Salt until we start seeing something.

"Salt will, funny enough, need some seasoning."  Good one, Whitey.

Salt probably won't play much his first couple of seasons at UVA.  After that, we'll see what we have.




November 14, 2013

Packlines: Confidence from the Line



Okay, so I haven't posted anything about the loss to VCU because in the dancing shadows cast by the dumpster fire that is our football program, I really fucking needed to see the basketball team win this game against a team and coach I have come to absolutely loathe.

Of course, it didn't happen.  Fuck it.  Misery is all you get to have when you're a UVA fan.

And you know, I think my VCU hatred might be misplaced.  Sure, Shaka Smart pissed me off with THESE comments... but, he wasn't really wrong.

Furthermore - and brace yourself, because it is going to hurt you as a Hoofan to read this - I'm just jealous of VCU basketball right now.  They've been to the Final Four recently, and they play a style of ball that I much prefer watching over the slow-it-down-at-all-costs Bennettball.  The Rams are hot, they're cool, there's a real buzz around that program.  That's all it is.  I want to see Virginia in the Final Four, and I want to see us pressing and creating havoc and running the floor and scoring and nailing clutch 3s and talking smoke and balling out and kicking ass.  That's all I want.  That's all I've ever wanted.  I want us to be a winning, relevant, buzz-worthy program.

But I'm okay with Bennettball.  I've learned to embrace it.  Hell, I've even learned to love it.  And deep down I know that it's the key to better and more sustained success, so I'm being smart about that, too.  It's just that patience is getting to be in short supply with me right now.  A win over VCU would have been manna from heaven for me.




Anyway...


We lost Tuesday night's game because of free throw shooting.  Specifically, because of breathtakingly SHITTY free throw shooting.

Every single one of the players on our team are good free throw shooters. There is no good reason for Tuesday night's performance from the line.

Joe Harris -- career 75% (though he has suffered through some truly horrific misses)

Akil Mitchell -- 69% last season (up from 51% as a freshman and soph)

Darion Atkins -- 59% (okay, so he's not that good from the line)

Anthony Gill -- 65% as a frosh at South Carolina (not great, but not terrible)

Brog -- 80%

Tobey -- 79%

Justin Anderson -- 76%

Teven Jones -- 81%

Nolte -- 79%

London Perrantes -- 88% in high school, 80% this season


Free throw shooting IS NOT a weakness of this team.  In fact, coming into the season, I thought it'd be a real strength of the team.  I also thought it'd be a reason we beat VCU.  And it would have been, if we hadn't fallen apart and shot 56% (including 43% in the second half).  Joe Harris missing both of his at the 3:58 mark when we were up by 4 is the reason we lost this game, in my humble opinion.  We need more clutch shooting from our senior captain, especially from the line.

Anyway.  It'll improve.  And we're going to be very, very good.  We just can't put the toothpaste back in the tube in the VCU game.  And letting that one slip away really hurts... because I really, really wanted us to beat those fucking shitmouths.


Three other quick basketball notes:

1) (Stole this one from my friend Joe.)  I wish Mike Tobey had gotten back in the game at the end on Tuesday night.  He's a real difference-maker.

2) London Perrantes (per-on-TEES) is legit.  He's legit, and he needs to start, and he needs to play big minutes.  The only potential rub is the displaced playing time for Brogdon, who would probably spell Joe/Justin and displace Evan Nolte's minutes.  Nolte is a guy I do not want to see us lose to transfer over a lack of playing time.  6-foot-8 guys who can shoot like him are really fucking hard to find.  And (see also: Will Sherrill) the true stretch-4 is a huge weapon in Bennett's offense.  Nolte as a junior and senior will be a key cog for this team.  Like, a 3-4 win difference-maker, I'd imagine.

3) Justin Anderson seems to be back to trying to do too much.  Calm down, man.  Calm down, and let it flow.  You'll be good.  You'll be GREAT!  Just calm the fuck down.


November 12, 2013

Hoos = Bungles

A couple of gems I produced on the 24/7 message board this week, and thought them worthy to share on Wahooze...



I am a die-hard Cincinnati Bengals fan. In the late 90s, when the losing was at its worst for the Bungles, the entire franchise was run like a country club. Players didn't care, it was all a laissez-faire attitude.

I'm not suggesting that's what it's like for UVA football right now... but the product on the field is eerily similar. And watching our guys with big smiles on their faces as they doled out daps to the Tarholes on Saturday after the game made me feel sick to my stomach.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


If you're losing a lot, you tend to default to the easiest coping mechanism: acceptance. And the players accepting losing is way worse that the spread of apathy among the fanbase. It's like rot in the foundation. It was the same thing with the Bengals from 1991 to 2002.

What Virginia needs is someone to roll in here and start putting a foot up some asses. Our roster has talent, but I'm not convinced it has heart. And for whatever reasons, our current coaching staff has been totally unable to install any grit or determination in this group. As a team, we play like a bunch of candyasses (see also: Oregon, Clemson, UNC), and even when we start games on the right foot, we get punched one time and our glass jaw shatters (see also: Ball State, Duke).

We saw a lot of that ever-important, fleeting, elusive grit and chutzpah in 2011... where the hell did it all go? Did Mike London lose his touch? Or was it just lucky coincidence during that one outlying season of success?

I wish I knew the answer. But it doesn't matter now, because now the only reasonable path back is to blow up the whole damn thing and start from scratch.

I believe in our players, and I believe in our recruits. We just need the right staff to help them all reach their potential as football players and as a team.



November 11, 2013

Silver Lining

This football season has been an unmitigated disaster. There are huge and evident holes in the roster, there has been a huge rash of injuries, and it seems that once we go down in a game, it is pretty much over with. And with 2 games remaining, that is unacceptable for us as fans to stand for. But that point has already been made and beaten to death on this blog and many other outlets. And that constant rhetoric is covering up what is, given the circumstances, an amazing performance this season by one of my personal favorite players.


Kevin Parks is having a great season. Through 10 games this season KP is second to only Andre Williams at BC (who is having an insane season) and Duke Johnson at Miami (who is out for the season) in rushing yards with 796. We stated before the season that it KP would most likely be the key to the offense and would challenge for a 1000 yard season. Well half of that looks like it could happen. Parks has two games remaining to add 204 yards. While that seems daunting facing Miami and Virginia Tech, KP has racked up 4 100 yard games this season. KP is also tied for second  in the ACC with 10 rushing TDs trailing only Andre Williams (remember that insane season?)


Williams is clearly the runaway winner for 1st team all ACC at running back. But if Parks can rack up two good games to end the season there is a very real chance he could end up as the second team all ACC back. Consider the sheer dysfunction of almost every aspect of the offense this season, from inconsistent playcalling and lack of identity, to constantly changing receivers, inconsistent QB play, and a makeshift offensive line that is constantly playing musical chairs, this is an incredible season. KP deserves a ton of praise for what he's been able to put together for this season, and while wins look unlikely given the performance we've seen in past games, rooting for KP to get to 1000 yards is the one thing that can keep all of us interested in what has been a completely lost season.


There is a chance Greyson Lambert steps in and starts the final two games of the season, and if that happens, expect a ton of work for KP. But that's a conversation for a different post.



November 7, 2013

WahoozeCast - November, 6th

Hello again, friends of Wahooze.

We're back this week to with our EXTENSIVE 2013-2014 BASKETBALL PREVIEW. Get excited, if you're a fan of long rambling discussion because this is easily our LONGEST episode EVER. We're going to break down the men's basketball roster with player previews for all the returning and new scholarship players. Have a look here if you want to following along with stats/bio from the roster.

Things get a little weird at one point. You'll enjoy it, I promise


As always, leave comments! And pardon our amateurish sound quality. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW.


November 3, 2013

Right?

59-10, right?  That's what it ended up being?  Didn't notice, I was too busy enjoying my Saturday.

October 31, 2013

The List, Part II



Okay, obviously, you need to read Part I before you read the sequel.  So go do that, m'kay?

You're back?  Okay, great.  Below are some more names I'd like to submit for your consideration as potential replacements for Mike London as Virginia's head coach.

A few of the guys you suggested didn't make the cut.  Why?  I either didn't find them appetizing (example: Bob Diaco) or I didn't find them realistic (example: Mark Richt).

Anyway, here's the list.  It's pretty long, so find a comfortable seat and settle in.

Louisiana-Lafayette HC Mark Hudspeth
Huddy registered a blip on my radar when I went to work compiling the first List, but he didn't quite make the cut.  Well, that was a mistake.  He won pretty big in seven years at South Alabama, and is now taking Lafayette to heights never before experienced by that program.  In fact, that dramatic two-year transformation of the Ragin' Cajuns program is what should endear UVA fans to Hudspeth.  He has the exact big picture blueprint we need to elevate this program from the abyss, quickly and completely.  The problem is, he's a Deep South guy, already on many SEC athletic directors' speed dial.  Could Virginia swoop in and pry him away from that region before an SEC school snaps him up?

I dream of a day when our players have a reason to
dump Gatorade on their head coach.


Bowling Green HC Dave Clawson
Clawson spent three years as the head coach of the Richmond Spiders, laying the winning foundation for the team that Mike London took to the FCS national championship in 2008.  Clawson left U of R to become the offensive coordinator at Tennessee, and then to become the head coach at Bowling Green.  He's elevated the Eagles into a perennial bowl team in the MAC, and he runs a very flexible, versatile, opportunistic offensive system. Clawson describes his coaching style as one that utilizes the available talent to maximize success.  His philosophy focuses on getting individual playmakers more touches rather than sticking to a rigidly-defined system.  His offenses have displayed components of the Pro-Style, Spread, and Power Running attacks.  Also, here's a great piece from SI.com's Pete Thamel: Bowling Green's Dave Clawson and the Art of Program Building

London won with his recruits at Richmond.
Is it time for Clawson to return the favor?


Washington DC Justin Wilcox
I think this Q-n-A from the SB*Nation Cal site does this potential candidate justice better than I can.


I like that he's a cerebral guy, I like that he has the Boise State blueprint, but I dislike his roots in the Pacific Northwest.


Tulane HC Curtis Johnson
Good recruiter, good developer of talent.  He kicked ass as wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints, developing Marques Colston from a raw 7th round tight end into an all-pro wide receiver.  He also worked miracles with Lance Moore, and cultivated Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem into dangerous downfield threats.  In his first season at Tulane, the downtrodden Green Wave went 2-10.  But here in his second season, they are 6-2 and quickly making a name for themselves.  Johnson's star is on the rise, he actively WANTS to coach in college, and he brings intimate knowledge of Sean Payton's offensive system.  He's really, really green, but I think he's an interesting potential option.



ECU HC Ruffin McNeil
ECU is his alma mater, so I'm not sure he'd leave there to come to UVA (how sad is that?).  But if he would, he'd bring his acumen on the defensive side of the ball, and a willingness to go Air Raid after working under Mike Leach for a decade.  I think this one is probably a non-starter, but it's worthy of the list as I think it's at least an option that merits consideration.

Former Nevada HC Chris Ault
He's old (66) and retired to some cushy consultant job with the Kansas City Chiefs.  But as the architect of the Pistol Offense, he would bring some innovation to the mix here at UVA.  Plus, he's respected enough in the coaching community to be able to attract some good assistants... maybe even a young firebrand OC to be his heir apparent at Virginia.  Maybe we only get a few years out of him, but he could set this train back on its rails, while installing the Pistol and building a new and sorely-needed offensive identity for the Hoos.

SMU HC June Jones
Another oldie (60) but goodie, June Jones has been working and winning and biding his time, waiting patiently for a BCS conference opportunity... that has sadly never come.  Well, better late than never.  Picture the Run and Shoot in Charlottesville, and try to suppress a smile.  I dare you.  And before you say "Run and Shoot is a gimmick offense, it'd never work here," please remember THIS SEASON Hawaii put together, and please remember the Houston Oilers' success in the early 90s.  In 14 seasons as a college head coach, June Jones has posted losing seasons in just two of those seasons -- his first season at SMU and his second season at Hawaii.  The man runs a system that is highly entertaining, he has won everywhere he's coached, and has been waiting for an opportunity to coach a BCS conference program for the better part of two decades.  I think he'd run through walls to succeed here.



Texas HC Mack Brown
Will he get fired at Texas?  Maybe, maybe not.  But if he does, he's be the exact kind of proven program architect and battle-hardened CEO-type that Virginia needs to rebuild its flagging program.  This hire would feel a bit slimy, and I'm not sure UVA would be willing to make this move (or pay Brown's salary), but it's at least somewhat within the ballpark of realism, and it's interesting as hell to consider.

Towson HC Rob Ambrose
He might be the top [realistic] candidate at UConn, so I think we'd be stooping to conquer if we made this hire -- our job opportunity is better than his credentials should merit.  However, Ambrose played a big role in bringing the Huskies up from 1-AA to 1-A and into the Big East and eventually to a BCS bowl game.  Once he took the Towson job, it took him two years to completely turn around a moribund program.  A lot of people view him as the top coach at the FCS level right now.

Liberty HC Turner Gill
I'll admit, he's on here more for name recognition than for a rich history of recent success.  He sucked at Kansas, and is so far just so-so at Liberty.  But he won at Buffalo from 2006 to 2009, and it's impossible to win at Buffalo.  There's coaching ability in there somewhere.  But we can't really hire a dude that got shitcanned at Kansas, can we?

Soon-to-be-Fired Tampa Bay Buccaneers HC Greg Schiano
I don't buy him as a realistic candidate for UVA -- he's just too much of a dick.  And hiring overt assholes just isn't UVA's style after Al Groh and Dave Leitao crapped out and Jon Oliver has run our football program into the dirt.  But hey, he won at Rutgers, which to me seems next to impossible, and once upon a time he was a really hot name in the college coaching community.  Enough Virginia fans are bringing up his name that I think he's worth noting on this list.



USC Interim HC Ed Orgeron
Coach O has a reputation for scumbaggery, and he flamed out quickly in his only shot as a head coach -- 2005 thru 2007 at Ole Miss (he went a dismal 10-25, which is even worse than what Mike London is doing at Virginia right now).  Still... I have just a simple hunch, nothing but a gut feeling... that Orgeron is ready to succeed as a head coach.  It's not a fit at UVA, but I do think he's an intriguing potential option if we wanted to go a bit outside the box.

Middle Tennessee HC Rick Stockstill
You won't find a more "meh" option.  He's a fine coach, nothing special.  Seven seasons at MTSU, he posted a winning record in four of those... and that's a tough place at which to win.  He recently turned down offers from ECU and Memphis, so you know what level of coaching candidate he is.  UVA can - and should - do a bit better than this.  But if he's our next coach, I feel confident we'd at least be able to approach sustainable success on the 6- or 7-win plateau.  In other words, Stockstill is a relatively safe option.  High floor, low ceiling.



Navy HC Ken Niumatalolo
Triple option, anyone?  Pierce hates that offensive system and dismisses it as a "gimmick," but it is an offensive system.  In other words, it's better than whatever nihilistic mickeymouse bullshit pro-style crap we've been trying to run since Bill Musgrave left.  Meanwhile, Virginia did pretty well with the last coach she hired from the Naval Academy!  But in all honesty, I think Niumatalolo would be out of his depth in this job, and I don't see life as the second triple option team in the ACC being particularly viable or fun.  Moving along...

Wyoming HC Dave Christensen
He's not winning big at Wyoming, and got in trouble for verbally assaulting Troy Calhoun last year, but I won't dismiss the 19 years he spent working under Gary Pinkel.  Pinkel (and Christensen) run an awesome version of the no-huddle spread offense, exactly the kind of thing I want at UVA.  But yeah... no way we'd hire this dude.






I'm plucking the next three names from the following piece:
Which NFL assistant would make best college coach?
Seattle Seahawks DC Dan Quinn
"He's a player's coach. He's a grinder, he's tough and he relates well to his guys. He knows how to utilize the strengths of his players, and he has the presence of a head coach."
Chicago Bears DC Mel Tucker
"He has a lot of experience in both pro and college football. He's been around some very good coaching staffs at both levels. He's young enough to have the energy you need to rebuild a college program, and he has enough experience to know what to do. Everyone I know that has worked with him has nothing but great things to say about him."
San Francisco 49ers OC Greg Roman
"He has the Stanford model, and he knows how to work quarterbacks. He is a very bright offensive mind, and he's done a great job developing (Colin) Kaepernick. He's a leader, he can recruit and he's an underrated play-caller."




And finally, here are a few other FCS guys that I think could be decent out-of-left-field options.  They've earned a shot at a lower-level FBS school, which... painfully... Virginia might now be considered.

North Dakota State HC Craig Bohl
He's kicking ass at NDSU, and has won the last two FCS championships.  Through sheer winning, he'll kick down the door to the FBS soon enough.



Sam Houston State HC Willie Fritz
He went 97-47 in 13 years at Central Missouri, and is now 31-9 at Sam Houston State.  He's another big-time winner who has to be knocking on the door of the FBS.

Eastern Washington HC Beau Baldwin
He's ugly as sin, and as a Pacific Northwest guy through and through, he's only ever coached in Washington.  Still, he's a pretty impressive dude with the reputation as a program-builder.


That's 21 names.  Add those to the 16 I originally put forward, and we have a robust 37-coach list of candidates.


Thoughts?


October 28, 2013

Fun Debate...

...yesterday's "How to Feel" post triggered.

I'd like to tap into that spirit of conversation and ask for more comments on a few topics.

1) What about you?  Are YOU going to the Clemson game?  Why or why not?

2) Do you think there's still hope that Mike London can turn it around at UVA?

3) If you're in the "Fire London" camp, what would it take for him to win you back?

4) If you're in the "Keep London" camp, when does your patience and understanding end?

5) In a general sense of the word, what does it mean for Virginia Football to be successful?  How close or far away are we from being successful?

6) What can we - as fans - really do to communicate our dissatisfaction over the product on the field, beyond refusing to buy tickets and attend games?  To what end are you willing to go in order to communicate your own dissatisfaction?

7) Let's say we do in fact finish at 2-10, yet London is retained due to the size of of the buyout.  What does the 2014 season look like?

Go ahead, guys!  Fire up those comments and let 'em rip!  I'll cull out the more interesting thoughts for a full-length blog post.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!  And thanks as always for visiting the blog!

October 27, 2013

How to Feel

I need you to tell me how to feel. If we stumble into wins down the stretch it gives the athletic department reason to keep London, but I know we need to change things, but I don't want to root for us to lose. Help?


We received this beaut via the anonymous feedback form this past week, and I'd like to address it now.

How should you feel?  You should feel numb.  Apathy is the only answer, it's the only logical fan response to the product being put on the field.

That is unless, of course, you have some power to change things.  If you're a big money donor, demand a change.

When you're at the game, don't overthink things.  Just hope for a win, and root as hard as you can muster.  The kids deserve your support, I guess.  But when the inevitable loss comes home to roost, just shrug it off.  Because for the overall health and long-term success of Virginia Football, losses today might mean wins tomorrow... if these losses help expedite the changes that need to be made.

Personally, I am skipping the Clemson game.  I just can't bring myself to sink a whole day into getting my ass out there to lay witness to them destroying us by 50 points on our home field.  I hope my empty seat helps to send some sort of a message, but I'm not holding my breath.

At the end of the day, fans are customers.  Don't let them play you as a sucker by taking your money and giving you a substandard product.  The kids deserve your support, but the program and administration most certainly does not.


Virginia : College :: Cleveland : NFL






You are a Factory of Sadness.







October 25, 2013

Friday Morning Pu Pu Platter

I love a good pu pu platter.  You've got your fucking egg rolls on there.
Spare ribs.  Fucking chicken wings.  Beef teriyaki.  Various meat skewers.
Fucking fried wontons and crab rangoon.  Skrimps.  And that tiny little hibachi.


My good friend Becca was at the hoops scrimmage yesterday afternoon.  A few takeaways (not all of them good):
  • Top three players of the scrimmage: Brog, Darion Atkins, and Evan Nolte.
  • Akil Mitchell looks like a man. Fully built, fully stacked.
  • Anthony Gill has skill, but he seems a little bit weak down in the post.
  • Nolte has put things together and plays really smooth, with a great shooting stroke.
  • Atkins might be a forgotten man by fans, but he'll be a huge factor for the team this season.
  • Nolte and Mike Tobey are both a lot bigger.
  • Devon Hall and London Perrantes both look really green, as you'd expect true freshmen point guards to look.
  • As such, expect Malcolm Brogdon to start at the point.
  • Teven Jones seems improved, and should see plenty of PT, especially when we go small with Brog at the 2.
  • Justin Anderson is explosive, but still seems a bit raw from a skills standpoint.
  • Given his size and skill level, there might be real concern that Mike Tobey could leave early for the NBA. (Spencer Hawes is a pretty good comparison, and he left Washington early.)


Anyway, in five minutes of discussion this morning, we were able to re-slice the 200 minute pie for this season.  Here are our rough expectations for how the playing time will be distributed:

Starters
Malcolm Brogdon -- 28 mpg (not all at the point)
Joe Harris -- 30 mpg (can take more breaks with Nolte more prepared to play)
Justin Anderson -- 25 mpg
Akil Mitchell -- 28 mpg
Mike Tobey -- 20 mpg (might only be able to handle 15-18, but he'll play as much as his endurance will allow)

Rotation
Darion Atkins -- 18 mpg (don't sleep on Darion)
Evan Nolte -- 15 mpg (ready to step up this season)
Anthony Gill -- 12 mpg
Teven Jones -- 12 mpg
Devon Hall / London Perrantes -- splitting 12 mpg (expect to see them minimized as the season moves along)


Meanwhile, a popular NC State site uses various maths to deduct that...

Interesting.

I remain terrified that this team will not be able to handle the weight of expectations.  But the squad is freaking loaded and we have a world class coaching staff, so I won't be bashful with those expectations.  Can't wait to see the JPJ rocking this winter.  I bet our fanbase does a lot to repair the damage football season has done to its reputation.


Ugh.  Speaking of (*groan*) football...

I don't have much to say today, other than if we end up going with a defensive-minded head coach to replace Mike London (like maybe Tim DeRuyter, Pat Narduzzi, or D.J. Durkin), I would like to submit a name for consideration for our Offensive Coordinator position: Rhett Lashlee.





There are three offensive architects that I admire more than anyone in college football right now: Art Briles, Mike Leach, and Gus Malzahn.  I linked articles pertaining to Briles and Leach this week and two weeks ago.  Go check those out if you'd like to dive into some fun Xs and Os.

Meanwhile, here's a bunch of good articles about Malzahn. Weekend reading for the wannabe-knowledgeable Hoofan.


If you're not on the bandwagon that a bold new offensive identity for Virginia Football is the absolute key to awakening this sleeping giant... then you are not on the same page as me.  If you think the Stanford model of power football is the way to go... then you're just not paying attention.

I couldn't be more jealous of Baylor, Washington State, and Auburn right now.  And I couldn't be more desperate to see UVA bring in an offensive system like one of those in order to have us start pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps.

Meanwhile, I'll be in Scott Stadium tomorrow to watch us beat our heads against a wall trying to run this popgun pro-style bullshit that we employ.  But I'll close my eyes and envision a no-huddle hurry-up misdirection razzle-dazzle Air Raid offense, and I'll feel inspired to wait for a fun future for Virginia Football that may never come.  Offensive creativity is the magic elixir.  We as fans just have to be vocal enough in pining for it.