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More On Bennett To UVa

A lot of people will tell you a lot of things about former Duke A.D. Tom Butters, but what no one denies is that the man knew how to spot talent.  He hired three hall-of-fame coaches at Duke:  Gail Goestenkors, Steve Spurrier, and Mike Krzyzewski.  That's pretty impressive (we're not sure, but we're guessing he also hired former lacrosse coach Mike Pressler, and he's one of the best in his sport, too).

Hiring Krzyzewski took some nerve, because he was young, unproven, came from Army, and with a losing record (9-17) at that.

The rest is pretty well-known:  Coach K blew up after a game with UNC, decrying a double standard, and Butter extended his contract despite a lack of visible progress.

Again, a gutty move.

So we can see why if some people are calling Tony Bennett a young Krzyzewski why Virginia A.D. Craig Littlepage might buy into that.  But is it accurate?

Well, perhaps the best answer is:  too early to tell.

There's no question that Bennett, who learned the pack-line defense from his father, Dick Bennett, is a superb defensive coach.  The defense is pretty different from Duke's though, and the comparison doesn't make much sense when you think about it.

In the pack-line defense, one guy gets primary coverage of the ball, with the other four coming up to help and then packing in

It's sort of an answer to the Princeton offense: both are designed to neutralize superior physical talent.

Unfortunately, neither is really fun to watch unless you're pretty serious about the game.  For the average fan, it might be kind of dull.  One might even call it Sendekian.

In Duke's case, Krzyzewski early on analogized defense to an out-of-control car, and that's a terrific way to put it because an out-of-control car scares the crap out of anyone near by.  You can't possibly know where it's going to go or who it'll hurt next.

So how will Bennett turn out? Our guess is that his players will talk about how they're pleased with his discipline and consistency, but that it'll take awhile to adapt to the system.  If it stays in the 40s and 50s, it may take the fans a good bit longer.

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