start of Dave Leitao's career at Virginia was similar to his previous stop
at DePaul. A first season that resulted in an NIT bid, followed by a
20+ win second season that resulted in a second round NCAA Tournament loss.
Virginia fans are hoping that this year's team can break out of the
mold and surpass the return NIT trip the Blue Demons took in Leitao's third
year. With star guard Sean Singletary back, its certainly possible the
Cavaliers could be dancing for a second straight season:
CHN) Based on what you saw last year, what’s the biggest improvement
your team needs to be successful and get to the next level?
“We’ve got to continue to get better defensively. We’ve made defense a
staple of our program and I thought we were pretty good at it, but I think
there’s always room for improvement. I think particularly our younger guys
need to get better that way.”
CHN) Are you settled with your starting lineup? Expect any particular
battles for the open spots?
“No, we are not settled on a starting lineup. As a matter of fact, after
Sean Singletary I would imagine that every position is open. There are a
number of battles that are ongoing and will be ongoing to determine what
will be our starting lineup.”
CHN) It might be hard to pick one, but who is the most talented player
you’ve ever coached?
“You’re right, it’s hard to pick out one. I’ve answered that question before
two ways. The most talented individual is probably Ray Allen. But for one
season, the best season a guy’s ever had was Donyell Marshall his junior
year. He had a phenomenal year.”
CHN) Talk about one or two guys who stand out as being underrated
contributors to your team’s success.
“Tunji Soroye stands out because he’s quiet and he does a lot of things that
help a team win that don’t go in the box score. Another guy who’s probably
underrated is Adrian Joseph. He’s been stable for us and he’s made a lot of
CHN) What do you think will be the hardest game on this year’s schedule?
“I think they’ll all be pretty difficult. We’ve got 16 difficult ACC games
to play plus the conference tournament, but I think all of the games are
CHN) Realistically, what should UVA fans and media expect from your team
“Realistically, a team that gets better week by week. We’re not necessarily
starting over again, but we’ve got some holes we’ve got to fill. From an
expectation standpoint, we’re going to get better and we’ll work our tails
off every night.”
Preview & Awards