Men's basketball: How Georgia Tech prepares for Virginia
Throughout the season, I'll use this space to report how ACC coaches are preparing for a Tony Bennett-coached Virginia team, considering Bennett's hire was met with questions about how his system could fit within the ACC. I recently spoke to a Pacific-10 coach who told me about the challenges of preparing for a Bennett-coached team because of the constant style in which they play. In other words, Bennett's teams don't change as much as the opponent must change to combat the style.
Interestingly, Georgia Tech Coach Paul Hewitt talked less about Bennett's defensive system and more about the offensive style that Bennett has been forced into playing because of his personnel. Here's what Hewitt said about preparing for Virginia:
"It appears out of necessity they're playing smaller," Hewitt said, noting that Virginia has played well with Sylven Landesberg at the 4 spot in the lineup. "I think that's probably to the fact that they don't have Tucker anymore and they're not as big, they don't have many options. Tony has found a way to really make them effective because they shoot the ball real well, they go to the foul line, they make their free throws, they spread the floor, and Sylven is a guy who is a dynamic scorer. He can score a lot of different ways. He's shooting the three better this year. He could always go to the basket. He's an outstanding free-throw shooter, and you put him at the power forward position, it just creates a matchup problem. A lot like the Villanova team a couple years ago, out of necessity, to play the four guards and found it's a tough matchup for people."
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