Brendan From Ye Olde Times Virginia answers questions here on a fairly periodic basis. UVA's premiere sports blogger loves UVA sports including Tech's big 3: baseball, basketball, and football. Our mutual love for Tech's big 3 sports makes question and answer sessions all but impossible to pass up every quarter or so. If you would like to read the exchange, click the jump.FTRS: What the Heck are they putting in the water in Charlottesville? This appears to be the season of the Turnaround. How excited are Wahoo fans about their surging football and hoops teams (bowl game notwithstanding)?
Brendan: On a scale of 1 to awesome, this is the shit. Craig Littlepage appears to have the magic touch when it comes to hiring coaches. People are pretty into this. We represented very well in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl. However, there's still a little trepidation; call it "once-bitten" syndrome. Don't get me wrong - we're very, very, very happy to have Mike London and Tony Bennett, but even so, there's talk of steps backwards next year due to key departures (Mike Scott in hoops and the almost the whole secondary and D-line in football.) But I think it comes down to this: we remember the early 2000s, in which the basketball team was looking good under Pete Gillen and there was a ton of excitement for football under newly-hired Al Groh. It didn't last. We all think these coaches have more staying power and are building more sustainable success than Gillen and Groh did, but you can never be completely sure.
Brendan: Usually when Scott is on the bench, Akil Mitchell is playing his position, and Mitchell is quite possibly the most athletic guy on the team. There isn't a big dropoff on defense. Mitchell's offense is a work in progress, though; obviously there'd be a massive gap between Scott and almost anyone else. Mitchell's offense comes and goes and relies somewhat on putbacks. He's still learning how to take advantage of his athleticism with the ball in his hands. Without Scott, the offense is 95% in the hands of the guards unless Assane Sene is able to take advantage of a mismatch.FTRS: UVA has started 4 guys in every game. Who will be the fifth starter against Tech? Why hasn't a fifth starter been pegged down for UVA yet after 16 games?
Brendan: Well, really, it has; Sammy Zeglinski has started 11 of the 14 games he's played (he missed the first two with an ankle thing.) The only other player to start a game beside the usual starting four plus Zeglinski (which is basically a full-time starting five and probably won't change all season) is KT Harrell, who left the program.FTRS: What are UVA's postseason goals for the 2011-2012 basketball season?
Brendan: I don't know what the team has in mind, but there are two things I'd like to see: make the NCAAs with at least a six seed, and win on Friday in the ACCT. Did you know that UVA hasn't made the ACC semifinals since 1995? For a school that likes to see itself as an integral part of ACC basketball, that's pretty embarrassing. We'd like to forget that. 2007 would've been a great year to break that streak, but we got in the way of NC State, who decided they would go to the championship game as a 10 seed. That sucked. 2000-2001 was my first season as a UVA fan, which means I've never seen us play on the weekend. Lame. This is our best chance to break that awful streak since '07, and having a team that plays such impressive defense means we're more upset-proof than in the past.FTRS: Are the Cavaliers prepared to play in Atlanta? Who wins? Score?
Brendan: After watching them go blow-for-blow with Duke in Cameron, I don't think the Hoos are going to be afraid of any road gym. I must admit to being awfully confident. With the usual caveat that the score prediction isn't final til I do my game preview, I'll say UVA 65, GT 52.Thanks goes out to Brendan. Tech meets #15 UVA on Thursday at 8:00PM.