Is Virginia Basketball Bringing Back Almost Their Entire Slate A Good Thing?

In June of 1971, the English rock band World Well being Group She launched a single known as “By no means Be Fooled Once more”. Within the aftermath of the turbulent Sixties, lead singer Roger Daltrey lamented the failures of the Revolution, calling Pete Townsend’s guitar finale: “Meet the brand new boss, just like the outdated one.”

Unsure if Tony Bennett is a fan of punk rock (and a Googling of “Tony Bennett music” would not assist). However, if that is the case, he can borrow a line from Daltrey when he presents this Virginia Cavaliers Cheerleaders at John Paul Jones Area throughout the blue and white brawl subsequent fall: Meet the brand new crew, just like the outdated one.

Virginia is bringing again 87.8% of its minutes from final season, the fifth highest within the NCAA and the most important among the many high groups, per Bart Turvik. This whole consists of the complete beginning 5 from Keihe Clark, Reese Beckman, Arman Franklin, Jayden Gardner and Caden Shedrick, together with nice reserve man Francisco Cavaro and younger winger Tyne Murray. All in all, Hoos returned seven of the highest eight, with one exception being Kody Stattmann, who lately signed a contract with NBL’s Brisbane Bullets.

For higher or for worse, this yr’s roster is sort of indistinguishable from final yr’s whereas in courtroom. One wonderful means to consider the dimensions of this 87.8% quantity: There are 200 minutes for gamers to fill a daily school basketball sport (5 gamers on the ground x 40 minutes per participant). Assuming everybody on the crew performs precisely the identical variety of minutes they performed final season – admittedly a false assumption, however pretty much as good as the sector quantity – 176 of these minutes have already been stuffed, with solely 24 minutes left (12.2%). For 4 new incoming college students and one skilled switch.

The excellent news about this wealth of expertise at Virginia Record? Which means subsequent season’s squad might be superb. Bart Turvik’s pre-season drop, who had ranked Virginia 67th early final season and served as a canary within the coalmine for a disappointing season, ranked Hoos because the seventeenth finest within the NCAA this yr.

Tony Bennett’s groups profit from some continuity. The package deal streak is a troublesome scheme to choose up, and three of the eight returnees (Gardner, Franklin and Murray) final yr had their first season within the system. They are going to be extra superior at this finish of the ground this yr. The strict engine blocker offense takes a while to get used to taking part in. Particularly, Indiana transferman Armand Franklin appeared to have discovered his footing swinging from the set up screens within the remaining few contests of final season.

The numbers match an eye fixed check on Tony’s groups that take some time to weed out, too. Up to now 10 seasons, Virginia has ranked within the Prime 75 of the KenPom Record Continuity Scale solely twice: 2015-16, Virginia’s second-best crew, and 2018-19, Bennett’s tenure finest crew.

You’ll be loopy to place a pencil within the 2022-23 roster alongside these two groups, however the historical past of continuity of the roster resulting in good Virginia basketball is plain. On the very least, this crew ought to be capable of keep away from early-season stumbles like this yr’s losses to the Navy and James Madison, and it is best to not sweat on Sunday set.

One benefit of Virginia’s return for basically each significant participant from final season is that it offers a stable thought of ​​what the ‘Hoos’ will appear like this yr. There have been a bunch of fine gamers on final yr’s crew, and I am assured that with one other season underneath their belt, this roster will surpass final season’s efficiency, compete within the ACC, and earn a spot on the NCAA Match.

However by elevating the ground, Virginia could also be limiting its future ceiling.

Sure, this crew is nice. Are they a great nationwide title? Apart from the miracle, no. Are candy sixteen good? CanAnd the If some issues break their means. There’s nothing inherently unsuitable with constructing a crew that may win proper now – in reality, that is in a coach’s job description. Nonetheless, by relying so closely on seasoned gamers, Virginia dangers having a great crew now on the expense of an excellent crew later – an excellent crew constructed totally on the arrival of this yr’s upcoming recruiting class.

The 2022 class for ‘Hoos’ is the undisputed finest for the reason that 2016 class that gained the Nationwide Championship. The crew will herald 4 potential squad builders, every with a excessive ceiling: Isaac McNeely, Isaac Traudt, Leon Bond and Ryan Dunn.

Sadly for these gamers, the competitors for enjoying time might be stiff. Bear in mind, there are solely 24 minutes left on this listing — and a big portion of it should go to graduating Ben Vander Place, a high crew who joined ‘Hoos’ this low season after 4 years in Ohio (and gained one NCAA event. UVA). A bit purple shirt would possibly assist, however there is not any means round the truth that there will not be many alternatives for Virginia’s hiring class to see the ground in significant minutes.

Tony Bennett’s reluctance to present younger gamers growth minutes has already price Virginia a good variety of younger gamers – Justin McCoy, Jabri Abdel Rahim, Carson McCorkel and Igor Milic Jr. have all left the crew previously two seasons after failing to get even 10. minutes per sport. of taking part in time within the convention. Though the jury continues to be out, significantly on Milicic, none of those transfers have confirmed significantly expensive to Virginia.

This yr, although, that will not be the case. Dropping any of the 4 incoming recruits to the following gate out of the season can be a nightmare state of affairs for Virginia, and the crew has created an surroundings wherein this will occur by protecting a number of well-established gamers in locations that the freshmen might need occupied.