CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - After playing four games in eleven days, and upsetting No. 5 Florida State, the UVa men’s basketball team was due for a much-needed rest, but the time off can also kill the momentum from a big win.
“You find the balance between getting them as ready as you can physically, but giving them rest, and being refreshed," says head coach Tony Bennett. "We’re halfway through the ACC season. But we did play well in that last one, so sometimes it’s like, 'Hey, let’s get another one in there, but that’s just the way it broke.”
Virginia will host Clemson on Wednesday night.
The Tigers are led by Aamir Simms.
The senior is a Palmyra-native, who played at Blue Ridge.
He was recruited by UVa, but did not receive an offer.
“He’s really developed, and he’s a good young man, too,” says Bennett. “I know in recruiting him, and watching him. He’s a versatile player. He plays the Five a lot for them. He can step out and shoot the three. He’s probably 6-foot-7, somewhere in there, and can also put it on the floor. He’s really, statistically having a good year, and does a lot of things, and is a match-up issue, but has just gotten better and better as the years have progressed.”
Simms played with Cavaliers’ senior Mamadi Diakite at Blue Ridge.
The former teammates were having a lot of fun together at ACC Media Days in the fall.
Bennett tells all his players, the best way to get bragging rights, is win the game.
“It can’t be into a personal war, or trying to get the one-up,” says Bennett. "It’s got to be about, ‘Let’s try to get the victory,’ and then you can talk to him after. Or he’s going to talk to you. One way or the other, but you can’t get into those battles. You can have fun, of course, and be light-hearted, and battle that way, however it plays out, but I’m sure Mamadi and Aamir, they’ll want that one for those reasons.”
Virginia and Clemson face off on Wednesday at seven o’clock at JPJ.