Hoos Ready To ‘Heat Up’ As Practice Starts

Sammy Zeglinski and other UVa defenders will need to play strong on-ball defense in Coach Tony Bennett’s system.

As the official start of basketball season arrives at the end of this week with full practices, the new Virginia coaching staff gets the chance to start the full-fledged system-building process with the 2008-09 men’s basketball team. One phrase that Tony Bennett uses frequently in describing his defensive style has already has crept into the Cavalier lexicon: heating up the ball.

The meaning is simple. Whoever is guarding the player with the ball, needs to apply enough pressure to occupy and challenge the dribbler without easily getting beat off the bounce. The idea is to create a tough environment for the ballhandler to play through and to force decisions under duress.