Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: CavsJournal and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 7:19 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Assane Sene providing Virginia solid interior defense in larger role

By Steve Yanda

With just less than 18 minutes remaining Tuesday night, Radford guard Gorkem Sonmez drove to the basket and had his shot swatted away by junior center Assane Sene. The Highlanders recovered the ball, but guard Evan Faulkner's shot one second later also was blocked by Sene.

Again, Radford retained the ball, but with the shot clock winding down Sonmez launched a three-pointer that was stuffed by senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan. One Highlanders possession; three Virginia blocks.

With an offense that shot 27.7 percent from the field, defensive stands such as that one were how the Cavaliers held on for a 54-44 win. Virginia tallied eight steals and seven blocks on the night, which helped the Cavaliers force 19 Radford turnovers.

Sene -- whose responsibilities and playing time have increased since senior forward Will Sherrill went down with a right leg injury Nov. 29 at Minnesota -- continues to turn in solid defensive performances. He registered six defensive rebounds, three blocks and one steal Tuesday night.

"That's the type of aggressiveness we need from Assane," Farrakhan said.

After tallying two blocks in Virginia's first six games of the season, Sene has recorded six in the past three contests since Sherrill's injury. In that time, Virginia has pulled off wins at then-No. 15 Minnesota, at Virginia Tech and against Radford.

Certainly, Sene has not been the sole spark behind the Cavaliers' three-game winning streak, but his defensive effort -- especially in Sherrill's absence -- has bolstered Virginia significantly.

Sene's offensive struggles with catching passes and getting off good shots continued against Radford. Sene missed all four of his shots from the field and both of his free throw attempts. But if he can continue to provide Virginia with a solid defensive presence in the post, that should be good enough for the Cavaliers until Sherrill returns to the court in a few weeks.

"He's helped us in our last three games, certainly on the defensive end, every time," Coach Tony Bennett said. "Showing on ball screens. If there's a breakdown, cleaning it up. Just being a good help defender. He was good (Tuesday). I didn't think the rest of us were very good with our help defense. He had a hard time offensively, but we've just got to keep working at it."

By Steve Yanda  | December 8, 2010; 7:19 AM ET
Categories:  Men's Basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Virginia 54, Radford 44: Three up, three down
Next: How the Virginia-Oregon game came about

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company