Clark is back

Actually, the last ten game split was 5-5, however the degree of difficulty was far greater in the last ten contests than the first ten. The first ten games of the year featured contests with Navy, Radford, Houston, Coppin State, Georgia, Providence, Lehigh, Iowa, Pittsburgh, & James Madison. The last ten were at VT, at Miami, Duke, FSU, two with Louisville, UNC, Mississippi State, North Texas, and St Boniventure. To my way of thinking, there is a significant difference between those two. Going 5-5 to end the year seems a much greater accomplishment than going 6-4 to start it. To me, it shows the team improved.

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The second Louisville game and UNC were ACCT games. The last three were obviously NIT games. None count towards the regular season record. Which was, again, evenly split at 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. You can see that as improvement because the schedule got harder if you’d like. I saw an undersized team that played to its level of competition throughout the year. A brief spike in play occurred in the 3rd quartile of ACC play before a return to the level we saw the rest of the year. If that had sustained itself I would agree with your improvement point. But hard to be exited about growth with the difficulty scoring we showed in the ACCT and NIT. Especially when the defensive side might be even more limiting heading into next year.

Either way the returnees face the same size issue heading into next year that will not get fixed simply by having more time together: Kihei is tiny, Armaan is a small 3, and Jayden is a small 4. We will only see a noticeable jump defensively if we can put out lineups which don’t rely on all 3 playing against noticeably bigger players at the same time. And obviously the overall team improvement is capped without significant defensive improvement. The only way we see significant improvement is if some new players take away significant minutes from the 6 returners.

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Yep and then 3-2 in the post season - same exact % as the rest of the season.
Barely beating a terrible Louisville team and getting embarrassed by the Heels… then barely beating 2 NIT teams before losing at home in a choke last minute possession game.
For some reason people think we got better at the end of the season. We didn’t.

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Personally, I think we were an undertalented team with mismatched parts that Coach Bennett and staff willed into a not bad team

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Banchero had his worst games when being guarded by Black or Gardner… Gardner’s defense wasn’t bad at the end of the season…

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I forgot who posted the original idea that Kihei wants to be a coach and he’s staying mostly as a coach in training. I have no inside information but it’s one explanation that fits the facts as have been reported:

Kihei didn’t enter the transfer portal even though he could have easily gotten a role on a team close to home.

It was consistently reported for some time he was returning even though there was no announcement. The explanation that he was waiting to hear about LG reclass doesn’t fit with HGN saying they knew for many weeks that the LG reclass wasn’t happening.

Despite knowing he would return, CTB continued to recruit point guards in the transfer portal

Immediately after Reneau commits to IU, Kihei announces he’s back

I can see Clark considering his next step after college and realizing that one of his better options is to be a coach. He’s certainly had examples with Chase and Zay in the program.

I can see Tony thinking it would be great to have Kihei in a Zay role as GA for the new guys and, if and only if there was an available roster spot, use his COVID year playing as a backup PG.

It’s just a theory, but it can explain how they knew he was back but why he didn’t announce.

The acid test is how much playing time Kihei receives.

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The coach idea is a good one, but any scenario that has Kihei playing fewer than 20 mins / game has ~0% chance of happening. We will go into the season with 2 trusted ballhandlers - Reece and Kihei. Maybe Isaac will show combo capability also, but it’s unlikely that it will be pg quality. Simply put, Kihei will play somewhere between 20 and 35 mins/game because we will need him to.

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I agree, but I might have phrased it a bit differently. I think that’s good thing. In that respect, I am a “glass half full” kinda guy. Among other things, in November and December, Virginia lost three times to teams which didn’t play in the post season (Navy, JMU, & Clemson). Two of those losses were at home. They had to go to overtime against a bad Pitt team. At home. After January 1st, all the losses were to teams invited to post season play with the exception of one (N. C. State), and it was a road game. In the meantime, Virginia beat Miami twice, Duke in Durham, & VT, They lost to FSU on a fluke buzzer beater. Contrary to what some may claim, Virginia did improve over the course of the year. And, while it may have been a down year when compared with some of Coach Bennett’s others, it was still a good year. There are a lot of programs that could only wish to have accomplished what UVa did last year.

There is reason for optimism about 2023, too. Virginia returns five starters (six actually), and they have an excellent recruiting classes matriculating this summer. I anticipate continued improvement among the returnees. I think that there is reason to believe that the staff will have more options WRT to substitution patterns. I imagine the rotation will go deeper than the seven it did last season. I believe that there is more than a reasonable chance Virginia will earn a double bye in next year’s ACCT. Things are good.

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I mean I generally agree, but I think the main issue is that while he got better as an on-ball defender, he’s never gonna provide much rim protection as a result of being undersized for a 4

I believe Kehei plays less than 20 miles anyway. I’ll call it just a hunch but i have my own theory as to how it plays out.Getting Mcneil will help or Isaac M comes in more ready to go than we anticipated

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I believe Kehei plays less than 20 miles anyway. I’ll call it just a hunch but i have my own theory as to how it plays out.Getting Mcneil will help or Isaac M comes in more ready to go than we anticipated

I’m clueless on this issue. I can see the validity of both sides of the argument. Hopefully, for the first time in three years, Coach Bennett will have some viable options in the back court. Whether he chooses to exercise all of them is a bit of an unknown. While I don’t believe McNeil’s commitment is a reasonable expectation, both Murray and McKneely on the bench offer potential substitution minutes. The really intriguing unknown, to me anyway, is how ready Bond will be. I don’t think that his offensive skills will get him on the court early, but, if his defense is as good as it has been suggested, then he may find some minutes. Especially when Clark is over-matched. We all live in hope!

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Yea im hoping Bond don’t redshirt. He’s going to be a defensive nightmare for the rest of the ACC.
IMO

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The *only kind of player that we should be looking at should be an ATHLETIC 3/4 or 4/3 player that can take it out to the perimeter, or a an ATHLETIC and experienced wing who can play at the 3 offensively or defensively. Otherwise let the players develop.

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Traudt was a 6-1 guard as a freshman and a wing as a sophomore… and he’s bouncy and can shoot

Hoping this becomes a reality again … multiple great athletes defending together.

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I closed because this topic could become too controversial