Talent Level

How does a coaching staff allow a program to go from a national championship to only one player ( in top 100) to where its at now? We have a serious lack of talent on our team. The program has fallen drastically. Will the new NIL rule leave us at the bottom/ mid tier of ACC?

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Really good question. One that no one will dare ask Bennett. Imagine if we had not won that NC. Wonder what the narrative would be?


Dang. This is a level of panic that’s hard to imagine….but I guess I will bite. The answer to this question has been discussed over and over for a while now on this board. Simply put: there have been recruiting misses. We have had some “top 100” talent; they’re no longer on the roster because they couldn’t get it done.
Tony has a top 10 class coming in next year, and to HGN’s recent recruiting post - we are in a good place to pick up another high level talent.

We’re a bad team this year y’all. We lost 85% of our scoring from last year’s team; literally three NBA talents. This year is a patch job and we’re trying to make the most of it. Truly a rebuilding year; lots of big brand programs have years like it.


I think part of the reason is spending so much time on guys like keels and quinerly and then losing out on guys in the 75-100 range. Also Morsell and Jabri not paning out didn’t help either. Morsell really screwed us.we haven’t had a true starting shooting guard since kyle guy. Next years class gives me hope though.


Good lord. There’s overreacting and then there’s this. It’s a rebuilding year, simple as that. Happens


Let’s also add context. We won the ACC last year. We have our best recruiting class since 2016. We are 4-3 in the ACC despite this being a true rebuilding year. We still have Tony Bennett.

So my apologies if I came at you @nashville but that last sentence is just wild to me. We will never be a consistently bottom tier team under TB and to even suggest it is pretty wild


If Trey Murphy played slightly worse last year and ended up staying this wouldn’t even be a conversation


Agree with most on this thread. There was no “let” that led us to this point. It’s the same formula most programs fit in. Even the Dukes and UKs of the world bring in loaded classes that dont max potential.

Casey not working out hurt big time. Murphy working out too well hurt big time. Jabri definitely hurt as well. Despite all that. This is the first season in 6 7 years where Virginia hasn’t been relevant in the ACC mix?

I don’t think there needs to be finger pointing and alarm sounding just yet


All of us saw this year coming. When you don’t get your priority targets in 17-18 and 21, your top recruit in 19 was a misevaluation and your highest rated 20 commit didn’t live up to billing, you’ll have a down season. Everyone has down seasons, even blue bloods Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Villanova and Kansas.

We have 7 main contributors plus 3 sometimes guys. 2/7 are transfers, 3/7 came from the lowly 18 class, 1 was the top target in 20 and 1 was the second highest recruit in 19.

It’s OK, we’ll recover and be a lot better the next 3 years.


Bigger question in my mind is what does the rotation look like next year if Gardner and Kihei come back?

We’ll be definitely better with a full year of experience with his group, and Taine/Carson already pushing to take a spot in the rotation.

Does Igor make a push next year, or does Traudt slide in and displace him in the queue?

Either way, it’s hard to see how we won’t be better next year - and it’s the first time we’ve been able to really say that in a while. LETSGOOO

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Think the talent level appears somewhat lower due to injuries/illness. Caffaro is a year behind due to nagging injuries - it’s clear the game is starting to slow down for him, just wish it had been at this point last year when that occurred. Shed has been limited to due illness last year and Kody has had illness last year and a knee injury this year. But I can see why CTB isn’t worried about another big in this cycle. Shed may be a defensive star with elite shot blocking, but his rebounding and offense have a ways to go. Caffaro is a nice change up as a back up and can be a great piece. Kody lacks strength and lateral mobility, but hopefully is showing some confidence and can contribute (although I’d rather Taine and Igor get his minutes depending upon the match up).

The other comment is that Gardner will struggle at the high major level. He’s too short to play the 4 (and not enough of a leaper to compensate), he’s not quick enough or enough of a real outside threat at the 3 or small ball 4. Not sure that he’s a very valuable piece going forward into next year as I have a hard time seeing a path for him to evolve his game so that he fits well with the newcomers next year. He may have a few games here and there where his stats are eye-popping, but he struggles in games with teams that have another quality 4. Hope I’m wrong, but…


Shew. That’s a relief.


Ahh, not enough of a leaper either. Damn autocorrect.

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I think it’s okay to criticize the roster construction and talent evaluation.To a degree, Tony’s flaw is commitment to effort, discipline and dedication. It’s going to come at the expense of giving talent the opportunity to play now.

I’d be interested in how much we’re realistically willing to let Kihei and Kody take their 5th year. And to some degree Gardner. We can’t run back the same lineup flaws three years in a row and expect a different ceiling.

I’m also interested in the bigs situation. Is there a sunk cost fallacy going on here? I think Kadin has a long way to go to be a starter on a Top 15 team but his presence prevents us from bringing in another talented big (i.e. would we have had a shot at Kessler?).


Don’t think Kadin was the issue for Kessler (who wants to be 3/4). I think the problem with Kessler was Traudt, because if Kessler wasn’t one and done after the transfer (and there is no reason to think he’s anywhere near that good), then you are trading 1 year of Kessler in 2022-23 against 3-4 for Traudt. I pick Traudt at the cost of Kessler this year. Also, don’t think Kadin has quite as far to go as you - he’s light years ahead of Jay (defensively) and is at least the equivalent of Akil and Darion at the same stage.


Walker is playing the 5 at Auburn. Just wanted to take more threes and not play behind Bacot. Wouldn’t have prohibited Traudt from coming - very different roles. Walker was just an example anyway.

But the point is you need to construct a roster with more certainties. With transfer rules, injuries / illnesses, and NBA paths, you can’t construct a roster with this many question marks or known deficiencies. Take a few sure things / impacts and stash away a couple projects.

Next year may be fun to see the young kids (if they make it off the bench) but the results in the standings will likely be worse than this year.

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The difference is I truly believe Pearl lied about what Walker would play, don’t think Tony did.

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I hate the “Coach X lied, Tony told the truth” trope.

Sorry, but Kessler had no dreams of playing the 4 at Auburn. Unless you believe Bruce Pearl told him he would start there over Jabari Smith, future #1 pick.

I mean if you believe Tony told Kessler “You’re not going to be allowed to shoot threes in our system and we can’t guarantee the start over Kadin. But we really want you to come here and work hard” and that’s somehow a good thing, then that’s equally nuts.

Anyway off topic at this point. If I recall we weren’t even in the picture for his transfer. My main point being we should recruit talent for now. And we have several misses and holes to fill.


Jayden has had a rough few games. He distorts the way we play so much that he really has to pay off on the offensive end, and he hasn’t been recently. Playing a severely undersized and not terribly athletic 1 and a severely undersized and ground bound 4 really REALLY distort the way we play. Just from a size, athleticism, physicality perspective, Reece, Armaan, and Kadin are all pretty credible at the 1, 2, 5, but two of them are playing out of position.

To me, I think the story of this roster is still more poor construction than low talent level. We have an AAC first teamer and three top 100 guys (Reece, Kadin, Taine). That’s not too shabby from a talent perspective. It’s not the makings of a top 25 team, but it’s probably a lower level tourney team.

As to why the talent is lower (the theme of this thread), it’s recruiting misses, and recruiting mis-evaluations, and early entry (and that’s singular, just Trey — Ty was gone from summer of 2018, after that Nike camp, Kyle was the only surprise, and the statute of limitations for blaming anything on this roster on that is way over). Plus the Covid recruiting year and no sit out rule “moved Tony’s cheese”, as they say.


Winning a National Championship with multiple future NBA Players can and usually more than not have this effect on a program. We all talk about the talented championship roster in one hand, in the other we seem to forget that main roster play in the NBA today.

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