Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sylven Landesberg Gone From Virginia For Good

Anybody following the Virginia situation knew that Sylven Landesberg was never going to play against for them after being suspended for the latter part of this past season, and now it's official that he will leave to go play professionally. Landesberg was clearly the best player on the team, and his loss will be felt, but next year was always going to be a rebuilding season for Tony Bennett.

Landesberg isn't the only player gone. Other players on the roster ths past season who have left the program either mutually or because they were kicked out are Tristan Spurlock, Jamil Tucker and Calvin Baker. The loss of all of these players was a big part of Virginia's slide toward the end of the season - not that they were ever good enough to seriously compete for the NCAA Tournament, but they could have finished better.

But Virginia knew when they hired Tony Bennett that it was going to be a big clean-up job. His system requires a certain type of player, and Virginia doesn't have any of those. It's going to be another couple of years before Virginia again seriously competes for postseason play. But Virginia fans should not despair quite yet. I do think Bennett was a great hire, and he'll have this program turned around. In my opinion he's one of the five best 40-and-under head coaches. They have a good 2010 recruiting class coming in (more on that in my 2010-11 ACC preview, which will be coming in the next couple of weeks), and I expect another one in 2011. Virginia fans will just need to be patient until Bennett can refill the cupboard.

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