NCAA

Cavaliers Report: Moving on from Mike London

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Cavaliers Report: Moving on from Mike London

Virginia 4-8, (3-5) in the ACC

Replacing Mike London: After six seasons as the head coach of the Cavaliers, Mike London resigned on Sunday. London was universally loved by his players and was a very good recruiter, but that never translated to on field success as Virginia went only 27-46 during his tenure. He led the Cavaliers to only one bowl appearance in 2011 and went 0-6 against in-state rival Virginia Tech. That's just not good enough for a Power 5 program.

Though London was given an extension at the end of last season, his fate was really sealed when the 2014 team failed to reach a bowl. That was the best team he had since 2011. With the loss of players like running backs Kevin Parks and Khalek Shepherd and their three best pass rushers from last season Max Valles, Henry Coley and Eli Harold, it was hard to see how this team could have a better season than last year's squad. If that was the expectation, London did not stand a chance.

Here are some potential candidates who could replace London.

The Virginia job offers coaches a Power 5 job in a winnable division, but it also carries certain challenges that other jobs do not. There is a certain standard to which coaches are expected to adhere to when it comes to academics and discipline. If Virginia could find a coach to win eight games every year while graduating most of its players and without any major disciplinary or NCAA issues, I think most Cavalier fans would accept that. That makes the job a little different from others. Finding a new coach, therefore, is about finding the right fit, not just the best candidate available.

According to one report, Mark Richt is set to interview for the job. If athletics director Craig Littlepage can get Richt, that wouldn't be a home run, it would be a grand slam.

Not only was Richt a great coach at Georgia, but the strict discipline with which he ran the program would fall in line with the type of coach UVa is looking for. He was run out of town for winning 9 games a year and dismissing players with discipline issues. That made him persona non grata in the SEC, it would make him the perfect fit at UVa.

The problem for Virginia is that Richt is arguably the best coach on the market and there will be a lot of schools trying to get him. Just how UVa stacks up comparatively to those other programs in Richt's eyes remains to be seen.

In the news

Four Virginia players named to 2015 All-ACC teams: Linebacker Micah Kiser and safety Quin Blanding were named to the first team defense in the All-ACC team selections released on Monday. Both players led the conference in tackles with 117 and 115 respectively. In addition, receiver Canaan Severin was named to the second team offense and running back Taquan Mizzell was named to the third team offense. Ross Burbank, David Dean and Nicholas Conte were named as honorable mentions.

Canady to Senior Bowl: Cornerback Maurice Canady has accepted an invitation to play in this year's Senior Bowl. He had 39 tackles on the season and six pass breakups. He also had a punt return for a touchdown.

RELATED: Maryland Search: Richt says 'about five' schools reached out

Last week's game: 23-20 loss to Virginia Tech

Read the recap of this game here.

The Hoos and Hokies traded punches in a back-and-forth battle, but once again Virginia fell just short of reclaiming the Commonwealth Cup. The first half of this game was hard to watch as both teams were held out of the end zone, but the game broke open in the second half with both teams trading touchdowns. After taking a 23-20 lead late, Virginia Tech sealed the deal when Matt Johns was hit on a throw and intercepted by Chuck Clark.

This game was Virginia's for the taking, but every time the Cavaliers tried to take control, Virginia Tech was able to answer right back. Up 6-3 late in the first half, a failed fake punt gave Virginia Tech the ball in UVa territory and set up the tying field goal. When Albert Reid finally broke free for a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, the Hokies answered back with a 71-yard catch and run by Ryan Malleck. A touchdown grab by Canaan Severin was matched by an Isaiah Ford touchdown on the next drive.

After shutting the Virginia Tech offense down all game long, Virginia suddenly couldn't hang on to take control of the game.

Season review

Offensive MVP: Taquan Mizzell

The offense became completely dependent on Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell in the latter half of the season as he was called upon to establish both the rush and pass attack. Not only did he lead the team in rushing yards, he also led in receptions. The plan going into the season was for T.J. Thorpe to spread the field and allow more room for Canaan Severin. That didn't work. An early-season injury kept Thorpe out the first three games and when he did return, he still was not able to draw away defenders as mush as hoped. Instead, the team began using short passes to Mizzell to try to open up deeper passes. The team's offensive struggles are more of a reflection on the team's lack of weapons than on Mizzell.

Defensive MVP: Michah Kiser

With the loss of their three best pass rushers from last season, someone needed to step up in the pass rush and Micah Kiser did. He led the team with 7.5 sacks on the season. He also led the conference in tackles with 117. In a season in which Virginia struggled to generate any turnovers at all, Kiser also had a forced fumble against a North Carolina team that was very good at protecting the football.

Best win: 42-34 win over Duke

The Syracuse win was thrilling, but considering how bad Syracuse is, its hard to put that win as the team's best of the year. The win over Duke was the most complete game of the season. A late surge by the Blue Devils made it close, but for three quarters the Cavaliers dominated against a pretty good Duke team.

Worst loss: 34-27 loss to Notre Dame

Unfortunately there's no shortage of candidates for this one. The Boise State loss was a complete beat down by a team that didn't turn out to be as good as the Boise State teams of the past, but there was nothing more deflating than the way Virginia lost to Notre Dame. Just ask this guy. A coach and a program in desperate need of a signature win came tantalizingly against the Irish. No one in Charlottesville would have cared that it came against Notre Dame's backup quarterback. Instead, it didn't come at all as Will Fuller got behind the defense for a late touchdown to steal it away from the Hoos.

Coach prediction: Mike Sanford

It's hard to see Virginia somehow managing to snag the best coach on the market in Richt, especially with the Miami job open. Virginia would be a much better fit than Miami, but a call from one's alma mater can be hard to ignore. Besides Richt, Sanford looks to be the best fit and, considering he was born in Virginia, I think there could be some interest. I also believe, however, that Sanford has higher aspirations and as the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame, there's no need to reach for a job like UVa if he doesn't want it. He can afford to wait for the right job to come along. If he's not interested, then we are looking at someone like Greg Schiano who would beg a solid hire even if he's an unpopular one. If Mack Brown emerges as a serious candidate, then things have really gone bad in the coaching search, but I don't expect them to get that far or that desperate.

MORE VIRGINIA NEWS: Virginia knocks off Ohio State 64-58

Old Dominion stuns No. 25 Syracuse, pulls off Carrier Dome upset

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Old Dominion stuns No. 25 Syracuse, pulls off Carrier Dome upset

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- B.J. Stith felt it necessary to apologize to his Old Dominion teammates at halftime Saturday after going scoreless and committing five turnovers against Syracuse.

"I made up my mind I couldn't let my guys down," Stith said. "I took full responsibility. No points, five turnovers. I said, `Look, I apologize for how I played in the first half. I'm going to step it up in the second half. Let's do it.' That's exactly what we did and didn't look back."

No apologies were needed after the game.

Stith scored all of his 18 points in the second half on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 at the foul line, and Old Dominion rallied to stun No. 25 Syracuse 68-62.

It was Old Dominion's first win over a ranked team since beating VCU 73-67 in 2014 and the Monarchs' first road win over a ranked team since defeating Georgetown in 2006.

"Number one, (Stith) was self-aware because he was right," Old Dominion coach Jeff Jones said. "In the second half, he wasn't trying to do his own thing. He stayed within the game plan. He got a couple of baskets and a couple of assists, found other guys and played stronger."

Xavier Green had 15 points and Marquis Godwin added 11 for the Monarchs (8-3), who trailed by 13 points late in the first half and by 11 early in the second before rallying for their sixth straight victory.

"What this game showed is that we can play with, if not better, than any team in the country on any given day," Stith said. "To come here into the (Carrier) Dome is a big-time win."

Said Jones: "I don't know what it will do for the program, but it's a certainly good win for our basketball team. Syracuse is a good team. A top 25 team. Doing it in this Carrier Dome. This program is a storied program."

After Elijah Hughes made a 3-pointer to put the Orange (7-3) ahead 39-28, Old Dominion went on a 13-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Goodwin that tied it at 41 with 10:19 remaining.

"We made a couple of adjustments (in the second half) but it was more about the players' mentality, playing with toughness and being strong with the ball," Jones said. "We stuck to the script a little bit better. We got the ball in some, it was hard to do, but we got it into the high post and were able to manufacture some baskets from there."

Syracuse pulled back ahead and led 50-46, but a jumper by Godwin and a 3-pointer by Ahmad Carter put the Monarchs on top again. Syracuse went ahead 53-51 with 4:15 to go, but that was the Orange's last lead of the game.

Three foul shots by Stith and five straight points by Green extended the Monarchs to a 59-53 margin with under three minutes to go. Six points by Stith down the stretch sealed the upset.

Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 23 points on just 5-of-14 shooting. Hughes had 15. Oshae Brissett had just nine, going 3 of 11 from the field.

Syracuse shot just 33 percent from the field for the game and 8 of 22 from 3-point range.

For the Orange, the offensive struggles were familiar. But something new was added against the Monarchs: missed opportunities at the foul line. Syracuse missed 12 of 34 free throws.

"We're not making anything," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We missed so many key shots. Playing at home, you have to make those shots. You can't miss 12 free throws."

Syracuse closed on a 12-3 run to take a 33-23 halftime lead. Battle, who scored 13 in the first 20 minutes, accounted for eight straight points during the run.

"We have to focus on every free throw," Brissett said. "We're a good free-throw shooting team, but we just haven't been able to find it the last two games."

BIG PICTURE

Old Dominion: The Monarchs are flying high. Six straight wins and a huge comeback at the Carrier Dome give Old Dominion momentum heading into its matchup with in-state rival Richmond.

Syracuse: Frank Howard isn't himself and Syracuse won't go far if its point guard doesn't contribute.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Syracuse centers Paschal Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe accounted for zero points and seven rebounds.

GREEN WITH ENVY

ODU's Green entered the game hitting 38 percent from 3-point range. He was 3-of-4 Saturday.

DESPERATE TIMES

Syracuse will be desperate for a win over No. 14 Buffalo on Tuesday. A defeat would damage the Orange's NCAA Tournament chances.

UP NEXT

Old Dominion travels to Richmond Wednesday.

Syracuse hosts Buffalo on Tuesday.

MORE NCAA NEWS:

Oral Roberts at Richmond College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Oral Roberts at Richmond College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Winners of two straight, Richmond plays host to Oral Roberts to try and get a third consecutive victory.

The Golden Eagles, on the other hand, have lost three in a row and will be looking to get back to winning ways when they visit the Robins Center in Richmond, Va. on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

Oral Roberts at Richmond How to Watch

What: Oral Roberts Golden Eagles at Richmond Spiders
Where: Robins Center, Richmond, Va.
When: 4 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

Oral Roberts at Richmond Preview

Conference: Summit League (Oral Roberts), A-10 (Richmond)
Record: 3-9 (Oral Roberts), 4-5 (Richmond)
Last Game: 80-64 loss at Missouri 12/7 (Oral Roberts), 82-47 win vs. Coppin State, 12/5 (Richmond)
Leading Scorers: Emmanuel Nzekwesi, 15.1 ppg (Oral Roberts), Grant Golden, 19.9 ppg (Richmond)