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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Not a UVA fan, but it seems hard to me to make that claim. He brought in Sam Hauser and Justin McKoy for last season and then former Indiana G Arman Franklin and former ECU F Jayden Gardner for this season. Gardner is a two-time all conference player in the American Athletic Conference. That's between a mid-major and high-major in terms of a conference. Considering how Bennett doesn't go deep into his rotations and rarely plays freshmen, adding two starter-level transfers a high-major and just-below-high-major team seems pretty good to me.
    I have not taken a long look at all the transfers coming into the ACC next season, but I have to think Gardner and Franklin will be among the top five transfers in the league. Both guys were double-digit scorers in very good leagues. I fully expect each of them to be double-digit scorers in the ACC as well. Heck, you could probably argue that Virginia is the best team in the ACC at bringing in transfers (Louisville is also up there and Notre Dame seems to do well in this category too).
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    Do the experts on this Board feel that Bennett's system negatively affected his ability to get transfers in the recent free for all market of college basketball free agency? I'd especially be interested in hearing from the Wahoo posters.
    Folks with better basketball knowledge than I have already posted. But since none are specifically UVA fans, and I pride myself on my customer service and awful brevity, I'll chip in a couple points.

    UVA fans, like everywhere else, are kind of a mixed bag. But it wasn't that long ago UVA's collective basketball aspiration was to be NC State, and a lot of UVA fans are still so used to wandering in the wilderness they haven't really figured out the details of what this means. For example, recruiting. When Duke landed Keels, a resounding cry went up of "We won a natty and we *still* can't recruit!!!" The subtext being now that UVA had won the big one, surely we'd start landing 5* players regularly, because the barrier to recruiting had been UVA being bad. Now that UVA was officially good, surely they'd start rolling in, right?

    Obviously, this is ridiculous. The difference between UVA and the recruiting Blue Bloods of the world wasn't winning a championship, or even winning a lot of regular season games, it was *everything*. How the roster is structured, the cadence of recruiting composition, the administration and athletic donors and to a lesser extent the community's expectations that put really varied and nuanced kinds of pressure on the coaches, things like how well the coach recruits, how pleasant they are to play for (Detroit Mercy. Yikes), and their offense/defensive philosophies, etc etc. Winning is a factor in that, but its only one factor and probably not even the single biggest one. As an example, Tony Bennett's predecessor, Dave Leitao (who kind of sucked as a coach and a person), recruited just as many McDonald's All-Americans in his 4 very mediocre years running UVA as Bennett has in 12 (1 each, Kyle Guy for Bennett and Sylvan Landesberg for Leitao, who Bennett promptly suspended from the team because he didn't go to class).

    My point, and I do have one, is that UVA's attractiveness as a transfer destination has bounced around a lot. Bennett's systems are... unique, and for the first several years while he was still working out the kinks, getting the team to buy in, and filling the roster with the right players, UVA did very little transfer recruiting. Finding someone who was good enough to be worth tying up a scholarship for a year while also being a pretzel-shaped peg to fit through that really idiosyncratic hole was a tall order. But over time, Bennett has done well enough that, yes, he's still stylistically odd, but everyone is aware and they know *how* his systems are odd. Plus, he and his staff have gotten better at teaching his concepts and making them accessible than they used to. So players *know* Bennett is looking for pretzel-shaped pegs, and the hole they have to fit through is a little more flexible than it used to be.

    So, to answer your question, I think Bennett's system was initially a huge minus, on average. But that's an oversimplification, because really it was that 95% of players would say "HELL, no" and 5% of players would be like "FINALLY, someone gets me!" and there wasn't a ton of in-between. Today its expanded a bit like I mentioned, but its still probably like 70% of players having absolutely zero interest, 15% willing to consider it (but are probably "No's"), and 15% are totally on-board. Which really comes through in UVA's recruiting. UVA these days offers scholarships to *very* few players. The process is less "Lets recruit a bunch of good players and hope we get some" and more "First lets figure out which four players can play AND we think will be interested in what we do, then lets talk to them". So Bennett zeros in quickly on the ~2 kids for each slot he's interested in, and it either ends with them being "on-board" and committing quickly, or it turns out they were really just "willing to consider it". In which case the recruitment drags out and UVA invariably loses to someone else several months later (which is what happened with both Coleman and Keels). Bennett's hit% on the kids he zeroes in on is actually really good, he probably gets, I dunno, 2/3 of them?

    Sorry, that, um, ran a little long. Hopefully it answered the question.

    TL; DR - For most kids, Bennett's system is a huge minus, but a small (and slowly growing) number of kids actually consider it a plus. Specifically this season, Franklin and Gardner were *the* two players Bennett wanted out of the transfer madhouse (with Philandrous Fleming Jr, best name ever, 1b behind Franklin) and he got them.

    Edit - One interesting note is that some UVA fans gnash their teeth and rend their clothes when UVA loses a recruiting battle to Duke (especially one from Virginia). But the reality is that UVA will almost always lose those battles, like with Keels. Partially because Duke is a recruiting juggernaut, and partially because by the time Duke got involved with Keels, UVA had already taken its best swing and failed to close the deal. UVA was technically still in the running for Keels to the end, but that's mostly because it doesn't take a ton of work to stay in those things (and UVA doesn't extend many scholarship offers. Not counting transfers, I'm guessing UVA offered 8-ish, high single digits, scholarships to kids in 2021. And for 2022 they're around 3. So, its not that much work to keep them going). Really, UVA had been at best a long-shot after Keels didn't commit back in the Fall of 2019.
    Last edited by ElliottHoo; 05-18-2021 at 11:42 AM.

  3. #23
    Elliot's post above me is a really good one and explains some of the nuances behind UVA's recruiting. I'll add that I think UVA has done pretty well recruiting the transfer market. UVA has landed some impact transfers that have allowed them to maintain a level of consistency since the departure of the 2016 class. However, I think UVA has had to rely on the transfer market recently because UVA has whiffed on a lot of HS recruits or the ones that we did land did not work out and transferred out. The 2016 class was an absolute home run in so many ways but the recruiting classes since have been mediocre and UVA has had to rely on 1-2 year transfers to fill the holes. However, it's really hard to learn/master the pack line defense in 1-2 years. I'm not sure the current recruiting model is a sustainable model for UVA to make continued deep runs in the NCAA tournament. UVA has also focused more heavily on recruiting international players (see 2021 commits) and seeking transfers from mid-major stars or guys from other major programs who buy in to team defense. UVA will continue to target 4-star players in the 40-80 range but there is increasing competition for those players from better branded programs.

    I don't expect UVA to win any recruiting battle against Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, or UNC. I think UVA can be competitive against the rest of the field but UVA has some additional challenges (pace, style, academics) that a lot of the other programs don't. In the end, Bennett is UVA's best asset and he can win a lot of games with less talented rosters than a lot of other coaches. But you still need pros to win championships and it's hard to recruit pros to UVA.
    Last edited by jhmoss1812; 05-18-2021 at 01:10 PM.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by jhmoss1812 View Post
    Elliot's post above me is a really good one and explains some of the nuances behind UVA's recruiting. I'll add that I think UVA has done pretty well recruiting the transfer market. UVA has landed some impact transfers that have allowed them to maintain a level of consistency since the departure of the 2016 class. However, I think UVA has had to rely on the transfer market recently because UVA has whiffed on a lot of HS recruits or the ones that we did land did not work out and transferred out. The 2016 class was an absolute home run in so many ways but the recruiting classes since have been mediocre and UVA has had to rely on 1-2 year transfers to fill the holes. However, it's really hard to learn/master the pack line defense in 1-2 years. I'm not sure the current recruiting model is a sustainable model for UVA to make continued deep runs in the NCAA tournament. UVA has also focused more heavily on recruiting international players (see 2021 commits) and seeking transfers from mid-major stars or guys from other major programs who buy in to team defense. UVA will continue to target 4-star players in the 40-80 range but there is increasing competition for those players from better branded programs.

    I don't expect UVA to win any recruiting battle against Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, or UNC. I think UVA can be competitive against the rest of the field but UVA has some additional challenges (pace, style, academics) that a lot of the other programs don't. In the end, Bennett is UVA's best asset and he can win a lot of games with less talented rosters than a lot of other coaches. But you still need pros to win championships and it's hard to recruit pros to UVA.
    Coming from a Duke alum and fan, do we still believe Duke, GaT or UVA really turn down 5-star players that meet minimum NCAA requirements??

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    The debate about the best transfers into the ACC has been moved to the Transfer thread: https://forums.dukebasketballreport...ason-Transfers
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

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