UVA Cavaliers

As we get ready to play our last game of a miserable season I find myself wondering if hiring Sanchez and implementing the UVA system is the path we want to be on. Then I looked at where UVA is. They are #2 in the nation, and about to be a #1 seed in the Big Dance for the second year in a row. Bennett is one game away from winning his fourth regular season ACC Championship in 10 seasons–think about how difficult is if you are not Duke or UNC-CH. At 246–88, Bennett has the best winning percentage of any coach in UVA history, and he has done that after inheriting a program coming off a losing season from one of the worst coaches in their history–Dave Leitao. Bennett’s first two years at UVA were 15-16 and 16-15, then the turn-around really took hold.

Sanchez may not be Bennett, but after a dozen years under him I hope he learned something. I am anxious to start winning, and he looks like he is putting it together. Fingers crossed.


I am stuck at how few point Virginia gives up. 54.1 point per game. This philosophy seems to really work and defense travels well. Add a few more contributing players and we have ourselves a team.

We currently give up 68.3 PPG. But we score just over 60. A little more defense and a little more offence = wins. With our opponents this is very achievable and quickly. We are not far off.

Seeing plays like the short run we went on with about 10 left in the UTEP game should help kids buy in. Great defense led to easy offense.


UVA took Syracuse apart last night in the second half. They looked like the most prepared team I have seen against their zone. Of course , shooting about 75% from 3 point range helped too. I think our future is bright. Just have to give it a couple of years.

I think Sanchez will end up paying off. It won’t be flashy or high scoring but I think we’re going to start winning games again. I’ve seen several flashes of success this season that did not hinge on JD. Add a couple more talented young guys and add another year of experience to our current team and we’re going places. It’s not like its that difficult to be good in CUSA.

The most impressive thing to me is UVA has done this without having a top recruiting class every year. To me that is the biggest thing with the system. if Bennett can win the ACC while being out-recruited talent wise with this system.then this is a sustainable going forward system for us.


Sanchez to Bennett may be the same as Lutz to Watkins. Ya never know. :smiley:


I know we did not win often this year, but the difference from the past few years is impressive with the hustle, defense, and style of play. Players are held accountable and Sanchez has no issues pulling anyone out for not hustling or playing defense. We played most of the year with 4 freshman, two soph, 2 seniors, and at times two walkons. I am not sure if we had a full team of these guys at any point this year and were still competitive for most of our games. We had a few blow-outs, but we lost several by 4-5 points. I think we will lose some transfers, but I like the future more than over the past several years.


For the most part I agree Sanchez just had to limit the offseason turnover that has plagued this program over the past 6-7 years. The reason the UVA system works is the players stay all four years know the system inside and out and actually develop their games from Freshman to Senior seasons. Other than JD we have had our best players for 1-2 years and then have a ton of roster turnover.

I’m hopeful that Sanchez can get his recruits to buy in to the 4 year process and develop but the continual losing only helps spread the transfer epidemic.

Has Bennett had any other assistant leave for HC jobs where theyimplemented the Bennett-like system and had success?

Change always gives hope during period of losing. Doesn’t always mean change actually works out to be for the better. How we do in 2020-2021 should tell us a lot about if Sanchez can get us back to where I hope we can be, which is top 75 and competing for ncaa tournament births.

Some will say it can happen sooner butI think it’s a slow road. In terms of team rankings, if we can improve by 50 teams year over year it would look like the below…

2019-2020 #250
2020-2021 #200
2021-2022 #150
2022-2023 #100

The 2022-2023 year would be this upcoming freshman’s classes senior year so I could see a bigger jump if they pan out. If we aren’t even approaching top 100 by then, id say Sanchez should be on the hot seat the next following couple years. At that point it’s how long do we give Sanchez to make the jump to top 75 land. As of now it would be nice being a top 125 team after being a 300 team for so long. But at some point we’ll get greedy and demand better.

We’ll see.

Ritchie McKay has Liberty at 26-6 this year.

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Two comments: Look at their schedule, and they have Jesus on their side. No way to lose.

Yes, their schedule is easy. But yes, they’re also 66th in KenPom’s adjusted Efficiency Margin (adjusted means it accounts for strength of schedule). Their average KenPom rating under previous coach was 281st with a peak of 231st. McKay was actually the Liberty coach from 2007-09, but left to join Bennett’s staff, it seems like he has learned a lot.

In conference play this year, the numbers tell a story of improvement from last year’s squad which I believe is remarkable considering the roster limitations (already thin on scholarship players, and twice limited to just 6 by injuries). Last year’s Pythagorean win expectation through 18 games was 2.23 wins and through 16 games that expectation is 3.92 wins.

Limiting roster turnover will be the biggest challenge for Sanchez, as a system coach having institutional knowledge among players will be important.

But next year there be a large group of players the played a season under the system, another group that practiced in the system for a year, and a nice recruiting class.

We were also dealt a poor hand with the Conference USA regular season schedule, in 5 games against Tier 1 teams, 3 were at home, 2 were on the road. Against Tier 3 opponents, 2 were on the road, 1 was at home. Long story short, our home court advantage was “wasted” on games that were further out of reach. That dynamic should reverse itself next year, but C-USA is always in flux.

Can we hire him?

Jesus? Nah. We can’t afford that Liberty buyout clause.

Looks like the move from the Big South to the A-Sun paid off for McKay. Finally gets a team to a first place finish in 17 seasons as a head coach.