Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Basketball Woes Continue For Cavaliers

Usually Virginia Basketball disappointments come in March, not September. However, news that junior swingman Gary Forbes will be leaving the team for good because of academic ineligibility is just that. Forbes is the ninth player to transfer from Virginia since 1998. Obviously the Pete Gillen regime has not ended quite yet, very much to the dismay of new coach Dave Leitao.

With Forbes gone, the pressure now places itself squarely upon sophomore forward Adrian Joseph to fill his shoes. Joseph showed some promise last year scoring 19 points in the Cavaliers ACC home opener against Wake Forest. However, injuries slowed down his progress and he ended his freshman year as a spectator on the bench. This year, if he can stay healthy, Joseph will be a big factor if the Cavaliers are to have any success.

The pressure also remains for junior J.R. Reynolds. His first two years have been solid and yet not at the level some experts might have predicted when he first signed with Virginia two years ago. His performance in the ACC tournament to the end the year though was one for the recordbooks. His career-high 32-point performance against Miami gave fans the hope they needed that Reynolds could become a key contributor for the Hoos this upcoming season.

Coach Dave Leitao now has his hands full, two starters gone (three if you count Jason Clark's starts early in the season before the academic bug bit him too) and their best bench player returning to his home. Not to mention, the Cavaliers play in the toughest basketball conference ever conceived by man. Perhaps his only solace is that expectations will not plague his program this year. Not even the biggest Wahoo fan could expect much from the boys of the hardwood this season. Hopefully, Leitao can use this extra scholarship spot and bring in some of his own talent and craft the Cavaliers into an actual ACC force instead of an ACC cellar dweller.

At least, maybe we can look forward to the day where people will be begging to come to Virginia basketball instead of fleeing to get out of it.


Post a Comment

<< Home