Brogdon's 20 lift No. 13 Virginia past Clemson, 69-62


Brogdon's 20 lift No. 13 Virginia past Clemson, 69-62

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- In another close game for No. 13 Virginia, Malcolm Brogdon grabbed a long rebound, turned and saw Anthony Gill streaking down the court ahead of the pack, fed him and saw the senior forward deliver a crowd-pleasing dunk that gave the Cavaliers breathing room.

"My first thing I was thinking was, `What's he doing way down there?'" Brogdon said, laughing.

That laughter has been hard to come by for the Cavaliers of late. They had lost three of four before outlasting Clemson 69-62 on Tuesday night, and once again had moments where they struggled to play the rugged defense that has been their trademark under coach Tony Bennett.

Bennett said there's still work to do, but added: "We got a little closer back to how we have to play."

Brogdon did too, especially after going 4 for 17 from the field in a loss at Florida State, earning a talking to from his coach.

"He got on me a little bit about forcing some shots," Brogdon said after making 7 of 11 shots and scoring 20 points.

Gill added 12 points and had two big baskets, including the dunk, after Virginia squandered most of a 13-point lead. Devon Hall added 11 points and Isiah Wilkins had 10, the last two on another dunk with 14.7 seconds remaining and the Tigers trailing just 65-62.

After the recent struggles, Wilkins said, things felt almost normal again.

"I felt like we were playing as a team again. We were really gelling," he said. "... We just had this vibe that we were going to get it done."

The Cavaliers (14-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 52-39 after a 17-4 run with 9 minutes left, then saw the Tigers close within 55-53 with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining. But Gill scored on a putback after a miss by Brogdon, then took the long feed from Brogdon moments later for a fast-break dunk that built the margin back up to 59-53.

The Tigers (12-7, 5-2), seeking their sixth consecutive victory and fourth straight over a ranked team, got back within 62-59 on a 3-pointer by Jordan Roper and three free throws by Jaron Blossomgame with 1:36 to play, but Brogdon made two free throws with 30.7 seconds for the Cavaliers.

"With 3 minutes to go, 2 minutes to go, it's a one-possession game," Tigers coach Brad Brownell said. "We were right there. We couldn't quite get over the hump."

Clemson allowed Virginia to shoot 54.3 percent (25 of 46) and was outrebounded 32-21.

Blossomgame made four 3-pointers and scored 23 points for the Tigers and Landry Nnoko added 15

The game was tied at 35 until Brogdon scored on a driving bank shot with 16 minutes to play. The shot sparked a 17-4 run that gave Virginia a 52-39 lead and twice brought the crowd at John Paul Jones Arena to its feet.

Devon Hall scored five points in the burst and Brogdon, Mike Tobey and Wilkins each had four, with the crowd especially appreciating a one-handed dunk by Tobey off a slick feed from Wilkins that pushed the lead to 50-39.

Virginia outscored Clemson 13-8 over the last 7 minutes of the first half and led 31-28.


Virginia outscored the Tigers 15-6 from the free throw line, making 15 of 22 while the Tigers were 6 for 6. The big mystery for Virginia was London Perrantes, who came into the game having missed just 5 of 37 attempts (86.5 percent) and missed 5 of 7 on the night.


Seven-footer Tobey finished with six points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 20 minutes and displayed a little more aggressiveness around the basket than normal, especially when throwing down the dunk to give the Cavaliers a 50-39 lead.

Virginia will need more of that going forward, Bennett said.

"This is a big boy league," he said. "This isn't a tip-toe league."


Clemson: The Tigers arrived as the first ACC team to win three straight against ranked teams since Wake Forest in 2002-03. ... The Tigers were seeking their first victory in Charlottesville since the 2007-08 season.

Virginia: Perrantes leads the ACC is 3-point shooting at 56.5 percent (35 of 62) but attempted just one in the first half, and it missed. It was his only attempt from long range of the night.


Clemson hosts to Pittsburgh next Wednesday.

Virginia hosts Syracuse on Saturday.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State


Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.


Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.

After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year


After historic season, Virginia's Tony Bennett named AP Coach of the Year

SAN ANTONIO -- Virginia coach Tony Bennett isn't going to waver from his foundation, whether it's the philosophy that built the Cavaliers into a contender or the big-picture perspective that helps him handle the sting of a historically improbable loss.

Both ends of that approach are fully on display now as he is named The Associated Press men's college basketball coach of the year.

Bennett won the honor Thursday after his Cavaliers set a program single-season record for wins, dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference and reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era. Yet that wildly successful season ended abruptly in the most unexpected way: with the Cavaliers falling to UMBC to become the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed in NCAA Tournament history.

"They experienced things a lot of guys don't," Bennett said in an interview with the AP. "That kind of success? Oh my gosh. And then that kind of loss? ... But again, their body of work deserves to be celebrated.

"And then so much of what society looks at -- it begs the question -- is it just about how you do in March? Or is it about the whole thing? It's a fair debate (on) what matters. But I told them: I wouldn't trade this team for anything. Even the experiences, as hard as they are, this is part of the process."

Bennett was the runaway winner for the award, which is being presented at the Final Four. He earned 50 of 65 votes from AP Top 25 writers with ballots submitted before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

Tennessee's Rick Barnes was second with five votes after leading the Volunteers to 26 wins and an NCAA bid despite being picked to finish 13th in the 14-team Southeastern Conference. First-year Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was third with four votes.

This marks the second time Bennett has won the award, the other coming in 2007 when he was at Washington State.

In Bennett's ninth season, the Cavaliers (31-3) went from being picked to finish sixth in the ACC to winning the regular-season race by four games -- the first to win the ACC by that wide a margin since 2000. It then won the ACC Tournament to complete a 20-1 run against league opponents.


Virginia also reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time since December 1982 and stayed there the final five weeks of the regular season, the last two unanimously.

And yet, the 48-year-old coach knows much of the focus will be on how things ended: that 74-54 loss to the Retrievers while playing without ACC sixth man of the year De'Andre Hunter.

Dealing with a roster of players in pained disbelief, Bennett said he has told them that they have "an unbelievable captive audience" waiting to see how they would handle it.

"I said how you respond to this will matter to your mom and dads, to your brothers, your sisters, your friends," Bennett said. "If they see that you're not fake about it, that yeah, of course you're going to be discouraged and down after a loss like that, but that you're OK. You can live with it.

"I said: you don't know the power that that's going to have in their life and in your life."

Bennett said he appreciated other coaches offering support, which included Syracuse Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim noting: "If I could hire a coach in this country and I could get Tony Bennett, there would be nobody in second place."

He said he's still reviewing what worked and what didn't, but "certainly you don't overreact" by changing everything that had brought the Cavaliers to this point.

This is, after all, a program that has been a 1-seed three times in the past five seasons with three ACC regular-season titles.

And Bennett won't be deterred from chasing more, even if it means stumbling a few more times on the way to reaching his goals.

"You better have something beyond the opinion of man or just how you feel, because this stuff is fleeting," Bennett said.

"So that's where obviously my faith is everything to me. You hear people talk about their faith in the lord and the relationship with the people that they care about, their family and their trusted friends. Those things stand the test of time. And that's what you have to draw from. And then you move on."