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UVa Search Update

Here's the latest we could find on Virginia's search for a new coach: they
are apparently still pursuing Tubby Smith, at least until he absolutely,
positively, says no.

Certainly it is curious that he has apparently not yet told Virginia no, and
that would make a lot of what's happened (or not happened) so far make

For instance, Dave Leitao is a guy whose reputation has soared in recent
years. Normally, he almost precisely fits the profile of an ACC
hire: young, very successful at a school a step or two down from the ACC's
level. Think Bobby Cremins, Jim Valvano, Paul Hewitt, Bill Foster (both of
them), Lefty Driesell, Terry Holland, and Carl Tacy.

To be sure, sometimes it backfires. Bob Staack was a huge flop at Wake,
for instance, Steve Robinson didn't pan out at FSU, and Les Robinson never quite
turned the corner at State, though in his defense, he had some big problems to
deal with, which held Herb Sendek back for several years as well.

Still, the pattern holds. Other than Frank McGuire, Roy Williams, Gary
Williams, and Leonard Hamilton and whoever we're forgetting, the ACC hasn't
hired a lot of established, big-time coaches. So getting Tubby would be a
coup and maybe worth waiting for.

The risk, though, is that you wait for the Hamlet of Lexington for four or
five weeks, and that blows up in your face, and then you have to start over
after Leitao decides he doesn't like waiting much less being second choice, and
then you have to do your Dave Odom pick, and your fans are ready to run you out
of town. And really, after that length of time, after laboring mightily and
bringing forth a mouse, it would be hard to blame them for being upset. We're
guessing they could have hired Odom pretty quickly had they wanted to.
He's no doubt figured out that being a state university in South Carolina
doesn't come with the same advantages it does in North Carolina, and as bad as
it was competing against Duke, UNC, and the rest, dealing with Kentucky, a
program which basically wins the conference every year and has no meaningful
regular competition...well, at least at Winston-Salem, you're in the same

You have to admire Virginia's discipline, though. We won't know how it
ends up until it is over, but still, keeping it this under wraps is impressive.

And for what it's worth, the stories linked below both sort of quietly
suggest that maybe, just maybe, Virginia still has a shot at Smith.

If that is true, and they pull it off, the whole thing makes perfect

If they get Leitao, that's a backup choice with a lot of potential.

If they have to start over again, though, Craig Littlepage is in for some
serious abuse.