'Hoos Prepare for Final Non-Conference Games

By: Lindsay Joy Email
By: Lindsay Joy Email

The Virginia men's basketball team is using a two week break to prepare for their final three non-conference games of the season. The Cavaliers are also trying to fix the mistakes that led to back-to-back losses to Wisconsin and Green Bay.

"I guess it's a reality check," head coach Tony Bennett says of the Cavaliers' two recent losses. "Not that we thought we were better than any of these teams, of course not, but you realize if you're not really right, you're in trouble in college basketball."

In the loss at home to Wisconsin, UVa struggled offensively, scoring 38 points and making just 11 field goals. In the loss on the road at Green Bay, the Cavaliers gave up 75 points, the most they have allowed an opponent to score this season.

"I don't think we've put together a complete 40 minute game," Bennett said Monday. "I think we've played really well in stretches. Even against Wisconsin defensively we were terrific, really struggled offensively, partly due to their defense. Against Green Bay, we ran some pretty good offensive but had some breakdowns that cost us on the defensive end.

"We've really got to be focused and committed to doing it right, executing well. Because 30 minutes of basketball, 20 minutes, or a good defensive performance but not a good offensive performance or vice versa will not get it done against the competition that we'll play, really, from here on out."

The 'Hoos will be back on the floor on Saturday when they host Northern Iowa at John Paul Jones Arena. The Panthers are 5-5 this season but are coming off a win at home over VCU.

As the Cavaliers prepare to face UNI, Bennett says he's considering making adjustments to everything from his team's offense and defense, to its lineups.

"It's a time if you're going to experiment a little bit. Whether it's a different lineup, a wrinkle in your offense or something in your defense. You just try to really self-evaluate. I've watched a lot of film from last year, this year during this time and just tried to find things that will hopefully make us more effective."

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