Cavaliers’ Conditioning Paying Dividends

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Sylven Landesberg and the Hoos pulled away down the stretch and made free throws to seal the win.

Mike Ingalls, or Boardhost if you prefer, made a keen observation Wednesday night after the Hoos’ win against the Yellow Jackets. He noted that in the big wins over UAB, N.C. State and Georgia Tech, Virginia’s players seemed to be fresher down the stretch than the other team and in better condition than last season. I suspect Mike Curtis, head strength and conditioning coach for the Virginia men’s basketball program, would smile if he heard that conversation.

Bennett said he thought his team outlasted Georgia Tech in what was a physical game.

“That’s a good team and we outlasted them, which I was proud of,” Bennett said. “Seeing Jerome [Meyinsse] bang, Mike [Scott] and guys getting on the floor. We said before the game, at home it’s a must: you have to win the ‘X-factor’, you have to win the hustle game. Guys did that and we got a good lift from our bench and took care of the ball and made our free throws. Those are good things.”

Guard Sammy Zeglinski noticed that the Cavaliers’ shooters were getting more space when running off screens in the second half.

“I think they kind of got tired in the second half. Their big men weren’t hedging as much and we were able to take advantage of that,” Zeglinski said. “I thought we just kind of wore them down as the game went on. We knew we weren’t going to win the game in one half and that we had to play the game for 40 minutes. … We just wanted to stay to our gameplan and tire them out on the defensive end. Our defense is really what tired them out and on offense, we just executed coming off screens the whole game and wore them down.”

It’s not surprising that Curtis is getting those types of results. Blending his education background with NBA and college work experience, he said during the preseason that he focuses on improving basketball