Tony Bennett discusses incoming freshman, team's health and John Wooden
- Virginia men's basketball coach Tony Bennett is expecting all six of his incoming freshman to arrive in Charlottesville for summer courses this weekend. The players will go to class and be able to work out with strength and conditioning coach Mike Curtis.
"It'll be nice to get the whole team back and just get them here and get them acclimated," Bennett said. "I think this helps. Just about every college basketball program brings their incoming players in and their returning players in, whether it's for a six-week period, an eight-week period over the summer. That'll be good. Especially when you have a large incoming class and that's what we have. So, I think this will help with the adjustment period."
- There are no new issues with health for the returning players. Sammy Zeglinski continues to recover from a hip procedure, but Bennett said Zeglinski is feeling well.
"It's probably driving him crazy because he feels great, but he's probably not allowed to do a whole lot at this stage," Bennett said. "He'll gradually progress. But everybody else is good to go."
- Bennett met the late John Wooden when Bennett coached at Washington State. Wooden used to sit by the UCLA bench and opposing coaches needed to walk past by the UCLA bench.
"I would shake his hand and say, 'Hey, my father said hello,' " said Bennett, whose father had spoken with Wooden a few times.
Bennett grew up emulating former UCLA guard Gail Goodrich, who played under Wooden, and Bennett continues to respect Wooden's reputation of character and diligence. When asked if Wooden's 10 national championships can be accomplished again by a single coach, Bennett said, "probably not."
"I have the experience of walking into Pauley Pavilion with your team the night before you play, standing there in practice and when it's empty and walk in, you tell your team to pause for a moment and just look around and look around at those banners," Bennett said. "It's like being at the Boston Garden and you're looking at the world championship banners. I remember that. But looking there at how consecutive they were over his time span, it's impressive. Just to look at them again and again and again."
June 10, 2010; 3:27 PM ET
| Tags: Tony Bennett, Virginia basketball
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