Kris’ Monday Musings – Longwood And More

Coach Tony Bennett picked up his first win at Virginia.

On Friday, college basketball season officially got rolling at Virginia. Being a basketball guy like I am, that means it was a good weekend no matter what. Since the men’s team won the opening game of the Tony Bennett era and the women’s team went 2-0 including win No. 700 for Debbie Ryan, though, it turned out to be a great weekend!

Anyway, I’ve decided every Monday to provide some random musings on the Hoos’ hoops week that was. So off we go …

It’s too bad that Debbie Ryan’s 700th win came on the road during a game that coincided with Tony Bennett’s first ever win at UVa. Congratulations to both coaches, though, for getting victories on Friday.

Sylven Landesberg came to the postgame media area Friday wearing a checkered button-up shirt underneath a striped sweater. There’s a man that knows the new rules of fashion.

Monica Wright is really, really good. Can’t have eight turnovers in a game though no matter how many you score. I bet she’ll tell you the same thing.

I’ve been talking up Chelsea Shine throughout the preseason. Two solid, blue collar efforts in two wins are exactly what I expected from someone who has prepared to take a big step up this season as a sophomore. At UMBC, 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting with 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. At home against Manhattan, 8 points on 4-of-9 shooting with 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block. Oh, she only committed two fouls in two games as well. She did it all in an average of 23.0 minutes per game. Efficient. Love it.

During Virginia’s win over Longwood, Mustapha Farrakhan caught a pass ahead of the break and threw down a two-handed dunk (it’s the feature photo of the week on the home page by the way). In his first two seasons, there hadn’t been too much of that on display from Farrakhan. That led to this exchange:

    Me: “You had a two-handed throwdown out there too. Is that Coach Mike Curtis in effect right there?”

Mustapha: “Oh yeah, I mean I’ve always been athletic, could always dunk. It was just being able to get the opportunity out there and Coach Curtis helping me with my stretching and keeping me limber so I definitely give some credit to Coach Curtis.”

Me: “I saw a YouTube video where there was a between the legs, windmill sort of dunk. Have you been holding out on us?” (laughing)

Mustapha: “Yeah, yeah. (grins while I finish the question) Yeah, a little bit. I mean hopefully you guys see it soon.”

I decided to ask Landesberg the same question. Has Mustapha Farrakhan been holding out on us?

Landesberg: “He has been holding out. I would say Mustapha and Tristan [Spurlock] are the most athletic guys on the team. Mu can get up there!”

So with that in mind, some random thoughts from the Longwood game …

It was really cool to have a pre-game buzz feeling in the arena again.

Early in the game, UVa had a bad case of “sticky ball” on offense. The ball didn’t move enough side to side to move the defense and create the space needed to operate on offense. Once the ball movement improved, the lanes opened up for drives, dump-downs, kick-outs, and more.

I love Jontel Evans . How he gained his reputation as a defender is easy to spot. I call that kind of on-ball defense “hound dogging” – that is to say a defender who can track and chase a ball-handler all over the court. Oh, and he threw several skip passes over the defense! I know that seems like a little thing but players don’t take advantage of that simple tool often enough.

Cvillehoops13 mentioned on The Good Ol’ Blog