TB and depth

I said it in april and I say it now. TB dont know how tu coach a team with depth. The grassroots community are looking. He even put Jabrii in the game. The guys up here say he wasnt ready. So what made him ready now? He was just pulling for straws. All J Willy do is yell. I never see him draw up plays. He is not a head coach. We try tu keep everyone happy and it back fires. We will win but not go far. Teans know great three point shooting kills the packline. And when the packline isnt wirking. You know what we do. Stay in the packline. We make no schematic changes.

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Not sure where this comment is coming from. I went back and looked at minutes per player, starting with the 2013/2014 team. If you go with a cut-off of at least around 10 minutes a game, with only 2 or 3 DNPs when available, Tony was playing 9 players and sometimes 10 on predominately top 10 teams, which I would define as successfully coaching his depth. It was only the last two years that he played 8 or less. Now if you want to use Hamilton at FSU as the yardstick, where he’s playing 10+ players for long stretches every game, I would agree that Tony does not coach that way. What’s different about this years team and the ones from 2014 thru 2018, though, is that we seem to have an abundance of skilled players who are new to significant game time under Tony (Shedrick, Hauser, Murphy, McKoy, Beekman, and Jabri) and that is showing, particularly defensively. I’m still thinking there’s a good chance that our coaches wil pull this together over the next couple of games though.


my guess, from the bottom of a bottle


I agree with @TUGARD. I’m not sure how @unknown is factoring in his average minutes. Probably not accounting for foul trouble, mop-up duty, injuries or DNPs if he’s looking at MPG.

Consistently, Tony has had 4-5 starters that he relies on with 3 rotation players. In past years, we’ve either RS players (Hall / Hunter / Huff) or players have transferred out to clear room.

If we are recruiting players of similar (high) talent levels then we need to find a way to coach like Ham. Or we need to go back to our roots and accept that may mean not everyone is fed OR we won’t attract certain types of recruits.

Starters = LP, Brogdon, JA, Atkins Gill
Rotation = Tobey, Shayok, Nolte (started during JA’s injury)

Starters = LP, Brogdon, Wilkins, Gill , Shayok
Rotation = Hall, Tobey. Thompson

Starters = LP, Hall, Shayok, Wilkins, Salt
Rotation = Thompson, Guy/Jerome, Reuter/Diakite (Nichols suspension year)

Starters = Guy, Hall, Jerome, Wilkins, Salt
Rotation = Nigel, Hunter, Diakite

Starters = Guy, Jerome, Clark, Hunter, Salt (then Diakite)
Rotation = Diakite (then Salt), Key, Huff

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What a train wreck of a post. Honestly I know because you typed it, it must be a thorough bashing of Tony Bennett, but this was illegible.

It baffles me that you’re a UVA fan. You can’t stand our style, can’t stand the way we recruit, can’t stand Tony’s offensive system, can’t stand the way he prioritizes defense. Wouldn’t it just be more fun to cheer on a team that has “boogie”?

Put down the bottle and maybe consider it for a minute


The 15/16 team Dev started. They really settled in when they found the big 3 (LP, MB, Gill) with Dev and Zay was the best starting lineup.

That 2015-6 team played 8-9 guys (9 played at least 10 minutes at Duke in a 1–pt loss). The 2016-7 team also played a bunch of guys. Aside from losing Nichols and all the chaos that created, that was the year we were introducing talented freshmen Guy and Jerome (and a little bit of Diakite) along with guys already in the program. Shayok and Thompson surely saw the writing on the wall and transferred after that season.

It’s normal for most coaches to settle on 7-8 guys in the season home stretch. The early season is for figuring things out and then going with your best for the tourney run. Guys on the bench can get better and play the next year or transfer out. Duke often plays 7 guys with 4/5 star guys on the bench. It doesn’t seem to hurt their program in recruiting.

I don’t think basic recruiting strategy changes for us or anyone else - find the best players who fit your program’s profile and want to join the program. Then coach ‘em up. Our profile is for team play and hearty defense. We’ve proven we can showcase offensive skill and win a championship. Any kids or parents who are all about stats and immediate playing time without having to earn it, I’m happy to have them go elsewhere and not even signal any interest at all. Why waste time on poison pills like that?


Jerome, I do not drink. I am a big time UVA fan. I boost UVA up for Jamal Robibsin and Gary Forbes. Because I disagree with certain things doesn’t mean I dislike UVA. Even the past players complained about our style and limitations. Im just sharing my truth. I believe we are tu talented tu have offensive droughts and I truly believe our defense take away our legs on offense. This team doesnt have the ppayers tu play the packline like we are use tu. So lets find something that will fit their skillset. Sam is not going tu defend the perimeter better. Huff cant hedge out that far. These are my thoughts. I hope im wrong.


For minutes per game, I’m using sports-reference.com for college basketball . Here’s the link for UVA for this season so far, if interested: 2020-21 Virginia Cavaliers Men 's Roster and Stats | College Basketball at Sports-Reference.com. It’s a favorite go to site for me because it’s chocked full of stats and you can page from year-to-year and team-to-team to compare. Like the vast majority of stat sites, it counts mpg per actual game a player plays in, so DNPs can throw things off. That’s why I didn’t consider a player if he had more than 3 DNPs. To be fair, the cumulative stats don’t distinguish a DNP from a player being unavailable due to injury, illness, or suspension, so I had to mine my memory on a couple of players who were marginal. Mop-up time usually doesn’t matter as Tony plays his non-rotational players and walk-ons for those minutes. Injuries and foul trouble are impossible to discern from the stats and are irrelevant to me anyway-- the coaches still have to coach all the players on the floor regardless of why they are in the game.

I suspect that we have a different definition of “rotation” player. I would include any player who played close to 25% or more of the available game minutes during the season (i.e., around 10 minutes a game). In 2014, that was 9 players. In 2015, I would add Devon Hall and Wilkins to your list. In 2016, Evan Nolte. In 2017, you seem to be melding players together and using Nichols’ dismissal as the basis for claiming it still fits within your 5 starters plus 3 rotation players argument. I have no quarrel with your list for 2018 and 2019 as I acknowledged in my original post that for the last two full seasons, Tony has really shortened his bench. Anyway, I’ll stick with my original post that the claim Tony can’t coach a deep bench is without merit. Also, I’ll acknowledge that so far this season, it’s been a struggle with a deep and inexperienced bench in a pandemic year-- same goes for UNC, Duke, and Kentucky, all coached by HOFs.


I don’t quite get what the argument is about. Is the contention that we’re not playing enough players? As the season has gone on so far, I think it’s become apparent that there isn’t a ton of quality depth. Quality being the key word. There are several guys that can step in if need be without hurting the cause, but not necessarily help enough to take time away from others.


I used to make fun of Syracuse for only going 6-7 man deep. But I sorta get it now in that you keep consistency and dont have much drop off with frequent subbing. However you are screwed with lack of versatility in skillset unless you recruit only versatile players (when was the last time cuse had a solid pure point guard) and foul trouble with a bench that might not be ready to play because of lack of experience because of the 6-7 man rotation.

I think the argument is that the team is struggling this season because Tony is not a very good coach when he tries to play a lot of players. But others can correct me if I’m wrong about what they are trying to say. I personally don’t think that’s a flaw for Tony, and there are other reasons for the poor play so far, particularly lack of game time experience in Tony’s system.


Yeah, to be honest, I’m having a tough time articulating. In general, my point is that our rotations have been schizophrenic and inconsistent. However, this team is talented individually across the board and it’s perplexing that we can’t establish good play with what we have.

Years past have had 5-7 core players. It’s probably a red herring that rotation-size was the difference and probably more-so system-fit and talent.

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I don’t really understand the argument either if someone thinks we’re playing too many or too few guys. It’s too early to say if Bennett is taking the right approach or not with this particular team. He’s figured out most every other year how to make do with what he’s got. I don’t think we’ve ever had this many new components (3 freshmen, 1 RS freshman, and two transfers) to blend in before. Add in the lack of training, practices, and games due to COVID and I’m not sure what else anyone can expect. I can’t imagine abandoning the one thing that has been the program’s identity - defense and pack line. Duke went zone a few years back because those guys were so bad at defending, but it was bizarre and didn’t make them any better.

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Geninune question, what did other programs (such as Gonzaga and Baylor) do so well in the off-season that UVA didn’t? I imagine most of these guys went home in the spring, and worked on their game with their individual trainers. Got back this summer and started workouts on grounds at some point.

I think it would be interesting to know what hurdles UVA dealt with that others did not. But I also think the bigger issue is that the individual talent on the roster is not complimentary. It seems that their are some issues attributable to the disruptive off-season, but I think Tu and others are pointing toward the issue at hand, which is the staff struggling with a rotation and not really having guys differentiating themselves.

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Fair question. Honestly, I think many, many teams are looking pretty ragged. The Zags primary players have been in the program a while, which helps a lot. Suggs appears to be one of those freakish freshmen whose understanding of the game is just advanced. For the Hoos, I think there are a handful of things that make it appear worse at the moment:

  1. A complicated defensive system (when running properly) that requires help awareness.
  2. So many new guys to involve who don’t know the defense. After 6 games it’s not unrealistic to have these issues.
  3. We’re spoiled. Our defense has been so solid for so long - with returning players passing down the wisdom - that it’s strange to see it not performing well. And this is still a relative thing because it’s the 11th ranked defense in KenPom. But against the teams that play efficiently, we have not looked good.

They entered the season with only 2 guys that have played more than one season in the system. Clark and Huff. Casey and Tomas played last year. Kody hasn’t played much this year because of injury or depth reasons. Everybody else is basically new to playing time here. They are playing around with some new offenses. They are different because there is more offensive skill and less defensive ability so far. Probably more talent but less experience. I think we know who the top 9 guys are plus may see some Caffaro occasionally like when we play UNC. I would rather have more talent that needs developing than less talent that is more of a finished product both this year and for the future. I would like us to play better and watching the Gonzaga game wasn’t fun but I am still in awe of what TB did last year. Thought it was his best coaching job. I am going to be patient and am optimistic that we will be happy with the end product both this year and in the future.

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Depth vs. quality depth is a good question. It’s like in football, if you play 2 QBs, it means you have none. In this case, seems like finding the right combination(s) is the challenge, and TB probably doesn’t want to compromise the non-negotiables which makes it tough. At some point we’ll see the right answer.

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The issue is, when TB has mire toys tu play around with. He doesn’t know which toy should play and have rational reasons for playing with that toy. He is constantly worried about the toys in the chest and have a problem meshing all the toys together

When he have 7 or 8 toys he dont have tu worry about the toy chest. So it make it easier for him tu make decisions and his options are already thin. He dont have tu explain why this toy is not in the game. Look at every deep team we had. What yr did we excel.

Toy chest haha I get what you’re saying now. Yeah he definitely tries to find that solid 7-8 and tries different things getting there. Sometimes it never really happens. Settled on Casey yesterday, we’ll see if that sticks. The other experiment right now involves whether to play Kadin more or the small lineup with McKoy.