Virginia Men’s Basketball is in the midst of preseason practice ahead of the 2013-2014 season and head coach Tony Bennett is looking for his deep team to play a rugged, active, and physical style on both ends of the court. In his first press conference of the fall, Bennett highlighted team goals and singled out areas where he wants improvement. When asked about his message to the team this season, he said, “I tell them, you gotta be a blue collar team. It might not be the prettiest team but they’re gonna have to be physical and rugged. Bennett continued, “We’re not gonna be anything but physical on the glass and hopefully getting to the line more. Those are two areas where we struggled last year.” In part Virginia has been lacking on the offensive glass due to it’s focus on transition defense. However the return of Malcolm Brogdon and the addition of Anthony Gill should up the Cavaliers’ free throw total. Both players display the ability to attack the rim. Brogdon returns from a medical red-shirt year, and Anthony Gill will see the court for the first time as a Cavalier after sitting out last season due to transferring. In reference to what Gill brings to the table, Bennett said, “He’s one of the more aggressive and physical forwards in drawing fouls. I think he’ll get to the free throw line…[and] he brings that ruggedness that is a threat when he has the ball.” Virginia opens its season on Nov. 8 at home against in-state foe JMU.
Tony Bennett preaches physical play for upcoming season