Revisiting Key Questions, Part II

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The Virginia men’s basketball team is mired in an eight-game losing streak, the program’s longest skid since 1997-98, Jeff Jones ‘ last season at the helm. Needless to say, UVa isn’t exceeding expectations. But what about other key questions? The Sabre continues to revisit its 10 key questions from the preseason with Part II today.

The Hoos have lost 8 straight games.

5. Can The Cavs Exceed Expectations?

The gist: The media picked Virginia to finish 12th in the ACC in the preseason, leaving UVa with nowhere to go but up.

As mentioned above, the Cavaliers aren’t climbing any mountains in 2008-09 and it looks like the pundits nailed the team’s fate. Virginia is currently in 11th place in the conference standings at 1-8, holding off only Georgia Tech at 1-9. Sitting in slots 8 to 10 are Maryland (4-5), Miami (4-6), and N.C. State (3-6).

The Sabre theorized that the Hoos could stay out of the cellar simply because the teams near the bottom of the league also had plenty of flaws. Of course, the theory relied on a key premise: that a young, inexperienced team would get better as the season moved along. So far, that’s not happening. Since defeating Georgia Tech back in December, Virginia appears to be getting worse. Shooting success has declined, rebounding has slowed, and the defense has been inconsistent and frequently bad – to the point that coach Dave Leitao scrapped his preferred man-to-man scheme to play a lot of zone for a long stretch.

The only hope for the Cavs to exceed expectations (avoid 12th place) at this point is for the team to take full advantage of the final three weeks since 5 home games dot the schedule. Even then, they will have succeeded only in bucking the media’s picks, not in raising hope for the program’s future.

4. Who Will Lead The Rebounding Charge?

The gist: The Cavaliers’ leading rebounder moved on for the second straight year, leaving a void on the boards.

The Sabre picked Mike Scott to lead the way on the glass this season since he finished just