The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Starting to Buy into Coach Leitao

After tonight's 71-51 victory over Miami, UVA has won 4 out of its last 5 in ACC play, and could have won the 5th but blew a 5 point lead to Florida State with under two minutes to go. I didn't see the development early on in the year, but I'm convinced that Leitao is a spectacular coach. He has almost nothing to work with (besides spectacular point guard Sean Singletary, that is, who went for 29 tonight) and he has turned this team into a defensive juggernaut. Don't look now, but UVA is tied with one other team for second in the ACC standings 6 games into the conference season. Now I'm not optimistic that it will last, but Leitao has already exceeded expectations. In the last two weeks, I've become a fan of this man and his scrappy well-coached team. Such a dichotomy from Gillen.


Blogger great state said...

I saw the Cavs go into Cassell and beat the Hokies a couple weeks back. I was really impressed with the offensive movement that Leitao has the team running. I will be interested to see how the freshman center (who played real well against Hansbrough from UNC) develops. The inside game is their weakest point.

On the outside, though, I think you're shortchanging J.R. Reynolds - he can shoot the ball. Also, Cain is one of those players that all teams need - someone who will scrap and get rebounds and can put the ball in the hoop a little bit.

Overall, the Cavs remind me of the hokies last year - they hang around in games and have been able to really gain a lot of confidence due to some good wins.

8:30 AM

Anonymous Chad said...

I had the chance to go to the game last night, and I share your sentiments. They play hard and they execute...with the best point guard in the ACC, a decent SG, and a cast of thousands.

I'm not going to get excited about Leitao just yet, though (but I gotta admit he's done a good job so far). If you will recall, Pete Gillen did a similar thing in his first season, taking a team with a bunch of walk-ons and battling every single night. They won twice as many games as anyone could expect.

We all know how that turned out.

So I'm going to be cautious. Cautiously optimistic, but cautious.

8:57 AM

Blogger D&E Bell said...

I agree and I'm excited, but let's not forget how Gillen started his tenure... it was very similar. He came in and got his guys to play aggressive and over-achieved -- for the first year or two.

Once expectations rose, he could never meet them. Let's hope this will be different.

1:05 PM


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