Cavaliers Report: Can UVa win five conference games?


Cavaliers Report: Can UVa win five conference games?

Check back every Wednesday for the Cavaliers Report to get all the biggest Virginia headlines for each week, a recap of last week's game and a look ahead at next week's contest.

Virginia 1-3, (0-0) in the ACC

In the news

Tight end transfer: Highly touted tight end Chris Clark will transfer from UCLA. Ranked as a four-star player by Rivals, Clark was offered a scholarship by Virginia during his original recruitment and an initial report from Tom VanHaaren of ESPN has Virginia among four schools he is now considering. Syracuse may also be on that list now as reports he will make an official visit there on Oct. 4.

Convincing Clark to come to Virginia may be a tough sell given how little the position seems to be utilized in Steve Fairchild's offense. Through four games, Evan Butts and Charlie Hopkins have combined for nine catches for the Cavaliers. That's already more than half of how many receptions tight ends had last season for Virginia as Zachary Swanson and Rob Burns hauled in 16.

Still, the fact that Virginia was included among the four schools Clark was considering must mean there is at least a chance.

Steve Spurrier on Greyson Lambert: Leave it to the ol' ball coach to give you a good quote. Steve Spurrier is under some fire for the state of the South Carolina football program and one criticism he has faced is that he is not recruiting highly rated quarterbacks. Spurrier had this to say in response:

Lambert torched the Gamecocks with a record-setting performance in which he completed 24 of 25 passes for 330 yards. He may not have been a five-star recruit, but Lambert was a respectable three-star quarterback coming out of high school and received scholarship offers from Alabama, Georgia and even South Carolina before originally committing to Virginia.

RELATED: Hokies' star corner out for season with torn meniscus

Kerny named ACC Legend: Former Virginia defensive end Patrick Kerney was named Tuesday to the ACC's Class of 2015 Legends.

Kerney played at Virginia from 1995-98 and also played lacrosse for the Cavaliers for two years. He led the ACC in sacks with 15 in 1998 and tied the school record for sacks in a single-season set by Chris Slade in 1992. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.

Kerney and the other legends will be honored during the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 5.

Last week's game: 56-14 loss to Boise State

See the 5 takeaways from this game here.

There's not much you can say about this game, the Cavaliers were just destroyed from start to finish in their worst game at home since getting blown out 59-10 by Clemson in 2013. Some fans had this game circled for Virginia's yearly big September win, but Boise State is not the type of program to overlook anyone as is evidenced by their many years of success.

The Cavaliers were down 17-0 before you could blink. They managed only 40 yards on the ground and gave up 447 yards of offense against a team playing a true freshman in his first start. Even if Boise State was the better team coming in, after keeping things close with Notre Dame there was hope Virginia could once again elevate their play at home in a night game. This matchup, however, was far less competitive than many were expecting. That does not bode well as UVa prepares to enter conference play.

This week: Bye week

Virginia has the week off which is either a good thing because it allows more time to recover from Friday's shellacking or a bad thing because it allows the loss to fester. With no opponent to preview, let's take stock of how Virginia looks at this point in the season.

With an early schedule against UCLA, Notre Dame and Boise State, it's not surprising to see the Cavaliers sitting at 1-3. What's concerning is not so much that they lost to three better teams, but the way they lost. The narrow lose to Notre Dame, though heart-breaking, was a performance the Cavaliers could build on. Instead, they had a very inconsistent performance in a narrow win over William & Mary and looked completely out-matched by Boise State.

This team's strength was thought to be its defense, but that has not been the case at this point. The Cavaliers are still feeling the loss of Max Valles, Eli Harold and Henry Coley as defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta's aggressive style has not been able to affect true freshman quarterbacks Josh Rosen or Brett Rypien. Virginia is currently ranked 101st in total defense and have not forced a single turnover yet in four games.

The picture seems a bit less bleak offensively not because the Cavaliers are faring much better statistically on that side of the ball (ranked 108th in total offense), but because Fairchild is seemingly adapting better than he has in the past.

Fairchild likes to run the ball between the tackles and in the past has done so to the team's detriment, continuing to dial up run after run even when Virginia was losing the battle in the trenches. This season, the team has been airing out the ball more. Though this may be strictly out of necessity -- Virginia's offensive line is not going to beat teams like UCLA or Notre Dame -- this provides the offense something to build on going forward. Canaan Severin has been by far the Cavaliers' best player this season, the offense needs to continue to find ways to get him the ball.

The schedule may not be as brutal going forward, but Virginia did little in their non-conference slate to suggest they can win five games in the ACC and finally break their bowl drought.

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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."