The word is out about on the national level about the Virginia men's basketball team.
The Cavaliers have been headline news on websites and highlight shows since beating Syracuse on Saturday, and coach Tony Bennett has been making the rounds on national radio shows, talking about his team's rise to ACC regular season champs.
But Bennett believes his team has found the right approach through the course of its current 13-game winning streak. And as a result, he's confident the Cavaliers won't get swept up in all this added attention.
"If you respect the game, and you respect your opponent, I think that's all you need to worry about. And playing," Bennett said Tuesday. "To sit there in front of them, and stand there and warn them, "Hey, don't read your press clippings.""
"Just respect the game, respect your opponent, work to get better. And I think that's where we're at."
The Cavaliers are currently 25-5, and ranked No. 5 in the country in both national polls, entering Sunday's regular season finale at Maryland. UVa pulled away in the second half to beat the Terrapins 61-53 in Charlottesville on February 10, for the eighth of the team's 13 consecutive wins.
Bennett said the Cavaliers will spend this week off prior to their final trip to College Park putting in plenty of work in the practice gym.
"I think that's the key, when you have a bye week, or these longer breaks. Will you use it to improve," he explained. "Whether that's physically, mentally. Skill development. But getting to work, and fine-tuning those areas that sometimes, when you're playing every two or three days, you can't take as much time on specialized things."
Bennett said Tuesday that he wouldn't given any of his players additional rest, or alter the gameplan against the Terps with the ACC Tournament looming next week.
"They are playing in a certain way, and they should just continue it," Bennett said. "It's taken a while to get there, and now the challenge is to do it at the highest level with that kind of respect."
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