AP

Tony Bennett signs a seven-year deal with Virginia

1 Comment

Tony Bennett has signed a new, seven-year deal with the University of Virginia, keeping him on the sidelines through the 2020-2021 season, the school announced on Tuesday.

Bennett’s base salary and supplemental compensation will bumped up to $1.9 million.

Virginia won both the ACC regular season and tournament titles while earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Bennett was also named ACC Coach of the Year.

“I’m thankful for receiving this new contract,” Bennett said in a statement. “I love coaching at the University of Virginia and living in Charlottesville where the community has been wonderful to my family. I feel we are building something special here and this commitment by the University is another great step towards ensuring we continue to compete at a high level.”

In five seasons in Charlottesville, Bennett has compiled a 106-60 record. This past season, he led the Cavaliers to their first 30-win season since 1981-1982 and the team’s first Sweet 16 berth in 19 years.

“We are pleased with Coach Bennett’s commitment to the University of Virginia,” Director of Athletics Chris Littlepage added. “Tony believes in the goals of the athletics department and the mission of the University. The vision he had for our program when he accepted the head coaching position is developing according to his plan. It will be exciting to watch the development of our players and the program in the coming years.”

Virginia’s success looks to roll over into the 2014-2015 season. Despite losing Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell, the majority of the rotation is back headlined by Justin Anderson, Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill and London Perrantes. The Cavaliers will not only be viewed as a preseason contender in the ACC, but also be considered a top-10 team nationally.

Bennett took over the program in 2009 following three seasons at Washington State.

VIDEO: Duke’s Grayson Allen beats No. 7 Virginia at the buzzer

Leave a comment

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia sparks come-from-behind win over No. 13 Louisville

Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia (32) goes up for a shot over Boston College’s Idy Diallo (4) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
(AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
Leave a comment

Demetrius Jackson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half and Steve Vasturia scored 15 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes as Notre Dame landed a 71-66 win over No. 13 Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish trailed by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Vasturia’s hot shooting combined with Notre Dame holding Louisville to just 15 points in the final 15 minutes made all the difference.

The Fighting Irish are not as good as they were last season, but they are built in a similar mold. Jackson, as we expected, as become one of the nation’s most dynamic point guards, impossible to slow-down in isolation and ball-screen actions. Steve Vasturia emerging as a legitimate secondary option offensively and Zach Auguste is one of the nation’s most underrated big men and one of the most dangerous as the roll-man in ball-screens.

Combine all of that with a handful of shooters creating space and Bonzie Colson’s emergence as a force on the offensive glass, and Mike Brey once again has one of the nation’s most lethal offensive attacks.

Where they struggle is on the defensive end of the floor, which is what makes the end of Saturday’s win so meaningful. The Irish entered the day ranked 232nd in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric, which more or less means they’re as good as a bad mid-major program at keeping their opponents from scoring.

But they don’t have to be great to be able to win games.

They have to be good enough and they have to get important stops.

That’s precisely what happened on Saturday.

Whether or not that actually becomes a trend for this group will be something to monitor — it happened for Duke during last year’s NCAA tournament — but the bottom-line is this: Notre Dame does something better than just about anyone else in college basketball, and that’s score the ball.

On the nights they are able to gets some stops, they are going to be able to win some games. In the last eight days, they’ve proven that, beating North Carolina, Clemson on the road and Louisville.

And that makes them dangerous in March.