Virginia's 2-4 record doesn't dampen Mike London's optimism
Virginia may have lost three straight games by double digit margins. The Cavaliers may rank No. 11 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring offense and No. 9 in the league in scoring defense. First-year Coach Mike London's squad may have been booed at times on their home field during Saturday's 34-point loss to North Carolina.
But London said Monday that none of that has caused him to be less optimistic about his team and where he believes it is headed.
"I knew that it was going to be a challenge," London said. "We beat the teams we were supposed to beat, and we lost to BCS-caliber teams that have guys that are pretty good athletes. So what you see is your need to recruit, whether it's speed or recruit height or recruit playmakers. You have an opportunity to see that, and really, really, hone in on that ...
"Now the question is to win some games and show people that we can be competitive and keep young men interested in Virginia, seeing themselves out there being able to play. That is part of the process of building a program and starting over."
A handful of Virginia recruits were on hand to view Saturday's loss to North Carolina. They saw a stadium that -- by the end of the night -- was mostly barren, with the notable exception of the Tar Heels fans that remained and began chanting loudly chanting in support of their team.
London said the feedback he has gotten is that recruits see Virginia as a place abundant in opportunities -- to play, to make an impact and to help change the program's direction.
"I'm very optimistic," London said. "I know that the record doesn't reflect that, as far as watching me be optimistic. I'm optimistic about the future of our program. The young players that are here, I'm not going to play any young players for the sake of playing them right now. If a guy hasn't already played, barring any injury to someone, I think that development is critical and crucial, and we're going to continue to recruit hard."
The Cavaliers' two wins this season have come against 1-AA opponents, and their performance in three of four losses revealed a number of deficiencies on both sides of the ball. On Saturday, Virginia will host an Eastern Michigan program that just won its first game since 2008. Might this be a chance for the Cavaliers to get some wrinkles ironed out?
"I look at this as an opportunity to play well and win a game," London said. "We need to win a game. We need to, after a while -- like I said before, you lose a game and it's a long week of answering questions. Think about what you could have done better. The guys going to class and having, you know, just kind of go through all of that.
"The only way you take care of a lot of that is playing well and giving them a chance to win a game. So that is first and foremost our process and our mind-set going into this particular game."
| October 18, 2010; 5:26 PM ET
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