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Virginia basketball: With big men in foul trouble, Tony Bennett goes bigger

Wednesday night's win over North Carolina State was not the first time Virginia encountered foul trouble among its already limited group of front-court players. Except for one of the first times this season, Coach Tony Bennett's response was different.

Both Jerome Meyinsse and Will Sherrill picked up their fourth fouls before the 10-minute mark of the second half. Those two join Mike Scott as the regular front-court players in Virginia's rotation. When this foul trouble has previously occurred, Bennett has responded by playing a smaller lineup and moving Sylven Landesberg to the 4 spot.

On Wednesday, Bennett inserted Assane Sene, a promising 7-foot sophomore center who has experienced a diminished role in Bennett's rotation.

"They had two bigs on the floor, and I was matching up with them on the glass in case we needed our trap," Bennett said. "We can do it at times with Sylven, but it is a little harder. I thought Assane did a good job against North Carolina in limited minutes with his size, and I thought that was the decision to make. We were obviously in foul trouble with our bigs and I felt comfortable going big. We needed to match up that way.”

Sene played nine plays and grabbed two rebounds, although he was disruptive as N.C. State tried to drive into the lane and gather rebounds. If Sene can provide Virginia reliable minutes, the Cavaliers' prospects for the postseason will only improve.

By Zach Berman  |  February 4, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
 
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Next: Eric Prisbell on Virginia's NCAA tournament chances

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