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College Notebook: Remember Dave Leitao?

After earlier accepting a contract extension through the 2013-14 season, DePaul coach Dave Leitao faced an uncertain future Wednesday as he took the Blue Demons (4-13) into a Big East tournament meeting with Providence on Wednesday night in New York.

Remember Dave Leitao?.

Leitao was the head coach at Virginia for four seasons, 2005-2009, and compiled a 65-60 record. In his last season, Virginia lost 13 of its final 16 games.

In his last game, the Cavaliers were 76-63 losers to Boston College in the ACC Tournament. My abiding memory was of running into then-UVa  associate athletic director Jon Oliver.

The impression with which I was left by Oliver was that Leitao's chances of keeping the job would be dependent on his willingness to make changes to his coaching staff.

In his conversation with me, Oliver indicated that his preference would be for Leitao to make changes in the coaching staff, specifically bringing in an assistant who previously had been a head coach.

As it was, Leitao remained loyal to his coaching staff. which included Bill Courtney, Drew Diener and Steve Seymour. That didn't last much longer.

On hand the next year was new coach Tony Bennett and a staff of Ritchie McKay, Jason Williford and Ron Sanchez. McKay and Sanchez later took head-coaching positions at Liberty and Charlotte, respectively. McKay has taken the Flames to three consecutive Atlantic Sum championships.

IT WILL BE INTERESTING to see where VMI scoring leader Greg Parham winds up after he entering the NCAA Transfer Portal. Parham is making that move after averaging 18.4 points this season for the Keydets (13-12).

Parham, a 6-foot-4 guard from Monacan High School outside Richmond, was not rated among the top 21 prospects in Virginia by 247Sports in 2018, but he had better numbers after three years in college than almost any of the in-state players recruited ahead of him.

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College Notebook: Virginia Wasn't Alone In Its COVID Fears

Virginia wasn't alone in its fears upon learning of a positive COVID test coming out of  the UVa camp on the eve of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

"It was a really tough couple of hours when I saw that Virginia tested positive and we played them less than 24 hours before that," said Syracuse senior Marek Dolezaj following a 72-69 last-second loss to UVa at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

"It was a really hard season and it can get to anyone -- Kansas, Duke, Virginia. There could be more teams. So, we're just happy that we were all negative and now we're trying to keep ourselves safe."

AS SPECULATED in last week's column, former Virginia men's basketball Dave Leitao did not survive a second tour as the head coach at DePaul.

Leitao was 63-60 in four seasons at UVa prior to his dismissal following a 10-18 season in 2008-2009.

As Virginia filled that vacancy with Tony Bennett, Leitao returned to DePaul, where a three-year 58-34 record between 2002-2005 had landed him the Virginia job.

In his return to DePaul, Leitao was 69-112 overall and 21-84 in Big East play and a four-year extension negotiated last spring couldn't help him. 

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Dave Fulton


Didn't realize Trey Wertz was son of Langston Wertz. Langston does a terrific job covering high school athletics in the Charlotte ... Read More
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 17:47

College Notebook: Recruiting, The Portal and More

You had to wonder why more ACC men's basketball programs didn't jump after Jay Heath before he signed with Boston College out of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C.

There should be more action now with word that Heath has entered the transfer portal.

Heath, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, averaged a team-leading 14.5 points and had a team-high 42 made 3-pointers for the Eagles, who finished 4-16 and ended the season without six-year head coach Jim Christian.

The Eagles completed the season with Christian assistant Scott Spinelli at the helm and ultimately selected Earl Grant as their new head coach.

Grant, most recently the head coach at the College of Charleston, was an assistant at Winthrop and Wichita State . He has an ACC background after years as an assistant at Clemson.

One of his coaching mentors was Gregg Marshall, who resigned under pressure as Wichita State head coach prior to the 2020-21 season.

After eight straight seasons of 20 wins or more, Wichita State finished 16-6 under Isaac Brown, who was promoted to interim coach following Marshall's resignation and later elevated to head coach.

The Portal and More

Playing time wasn't an issue for Au'Diese Toney, the University of Pittsburgh junior who entered the NCAA Transfer portal earlier this week.

Toney, a 6-6 swingman out of Huntsville, Ala., averaged a team-high 34.9 minutes per game for the Panthers and led the team in scoring with 14.4 points per game.

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Dave Fulton


I don't suspect any of these various folks floating around the transfer portals have put much emphasis on getting an education.... Read More
Thursday, 25 March 2021 12:20
Dave Scarangella

I don't think you can paint ev...

There are probably some just looking for more playing time and don't care as much about school. But I know the 6-9 young man from ... Read More
Thursday, 25 March 2021 12:28

Former Coach Dave Odom Not A Fan Of The Transfer Portal

In his 22 seasons as a college basketball head coach and another eight years as assistant at Virginia during its 1980's successes, Dave Odom has a wealth of knowledge that is hard to surpass.

He doesn't force his opinions on anybody, although he doesn't find the current climate particularly healthy.

Take the transfer portal, a list of players who are marketing themselves -- or have been advised to market themselves -- for another school.

"I am violently in opposition to the idea because I think it breeds and teaches our young people that being disloyal and unappreciative is acceptable," said Odom, a former Wake Forest head coach who makes his home in Winston-Salem, NC

"I do not believe that we, as adults who have trod the path, need to be teaching that lesson. Coaches who say we need to be more lenient in what these kids want -- whether it's one time or two or whatever it turns out to be -- they fear they'll be shut out recruiting-wise."

In the past week, Virginia lost two of its underclassmen to ACC rivals -- guard Casey Morsell to North Carolina State and forward Justin McKoy to North Carolina.

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Page Moir

Change has come

Coach is not wrong, but probably not right either. Coaches and the NCAA have enjoyed the good life and now that has passed. The NC... Read More
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:24
Dave Scarangella

The response has been interest...

I posted this on several other social media places, and it seems older fans don't like it, younger fans do, and really younger fan... Read More
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 23:07
Dave Fulton

Well Groomed, On Target

Yessir Dave Odom. You were well groomed during your yeats at UVA in the traditions of the Honor Code along with loyalty to your te... Read More
Thursday, 15 April 2021 11:57

Mark Byington Impresses At Roanoke Valley Sports Club

A long-awaited appearance by Mark Byington before the Roanoke Valley Sports Club lived up to all expectations at the Salem Civic Center earlier this week.

In his second season as the James Madison men's basketball coach, Byington directed the Dukes to a 13-7 finish, including an 8-2 record in the Colonial Athletic Association, after which he was named CAA coach of the year.

The original agreement was for Byington to speak to the sports club last year, but a COVID-19 breakout put that meeting on hold. In the end, it probably was better to have him speak in 2021, when he was a finalist for mid-major national coach of the year.

Byington spoke to a crowd Monday night that included two honorees designated as local "legends," Paul Bernard and Charlie Morgan. Bernard coached basketball at William Byrd High School and Charlie Morgan at Salem.

Many of Byington's former coaches and players were there, including Richard Morgan, one of the most decorated players to come through the valley. Morgan and his brother Charlie sat with the Byington family.

It was not the first time Byington had spoken to the sports club. As a young graduate assistant at UVa, he was dispatched to Salem by then-head coach Pete Gillen. When he got to the sports club, he learned that he would be sharing the podium with legendary Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer.

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Dave Fulton


Nice to see Shawn Moore back on Grounds.
Friday, 23 April 2021 11:47

College Notebook: Virginia Schools Linked To NDSU

At some point, the paths of former Virginia Tech quarterback Quincy Patterson and would-be Virginia cornerback Josh "Hollywood" Hayes will cross if they haven't already.

Patterson is transferring from Tech to North Dakota State in Fargo, and Hayes is transferring to UVa from North Dakota State. Patterson is joining a Football Championship Subdivision team and Hayes is joining an FBS program, but in this case, there isn't a huge difference in level of play

North Dakota State won five straight FCS national championships from 2011 through 2015 and has 16 titles spread over a variety of college football levels.

"This isn't the last experience we've had with someone leaving or coming," North Dakota State coach Matt Entz told Inforum, the newspaper that services Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota.

Entz met with Hayes earlier this week, according to Inforum, and accepted Hayes' plans to return to his home in the Lakeland, Fla., area, where he has a daughter, according to an Entz interview with KVRR TV.

"He sees other guys in our league opting out right now and getting offers from power five ]schools]," Entz said. "I’ll tell you what, I think Josh is the best corner in the league, so you take it for what it’s worth."

On the flip side, Entz will be getting a quarterback with an FBS background in Patterson, who played in 10 games over two seasons at Virginia Tech. Patterson was rated the No. 13 dual-threat quarterback in the country when he signed with the Hokies in 2018.

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All-Big East PG Reunited With Former UVa Coach at Miami

Charlie Moore, an All-Big East point guard at DePaul, is no stranger to one of the coaches he will be joining at Miami.

One of the Hurricanes' assistants, Bill Courtney, previously was on the coaching staff at DePaul, where he worked for Dave Leitao. Courtney earlier had been an assistant to Leitao at Virginia.

Moore, named Mr. Basketball in Illinois as a senior in high school, had stints at California and Kansas early in his college career.

A spot opened for Moore when the Hurricanes' Chris Lykes transferred to Arkansas. An ankle injury limited Lykes to two games last season. He scored 1,256 points in just over three years for the Hurricanes.


In an projection of candidates for the NBA Draft on July 29, Virginia shooting guard Trey Murphy is rated 42nd. Murphy has not said for sure that he has eliminated an additional year at UVa.

The only ACC underclassmen ranked ahead of him are Duke's Jalen Johnson at No. 7, Florida State's Scottie Barnes at No. 10 and North Carolina's DayRon Sharpe at No. 33.

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Casey Morsell Heading To North Carolina State

Casey Morsell, a top Virginia men's basketball recruit in 2019, is headed to North Carolina State after entering the NCAA transfer portal.

Morsell, a four-star recruit coming out of St. John's in Washington, D.C., played in 23 games for UVa this past season but averaged only 4.4 points, with three starts.

He shot 39.6 percent from the field and was 10-of-38 on 3-pointers.

Word of Morsell's destination came one day after Indiana guard Armaan Franklin's decision was announced, saying he was transferring to UVa.

Morsell's decision to transfer had been known for several weeks.

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Virginia Gets 6-7 Power Forward Who Averaged 18.3 PPG

For a Virginia men's basketball team whose top two scorers in 2020-2021 were senior frontcourt players, there was promising news Monday with the addition of a high-scoring transfer.

Headed to Charlottesville is 6-foot-7, 235-pound power forward Jayden Gardner, who averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds last season for East Carolina.

Gardner, who came out of Heritage High School in Wake Forest, N.C., joined the UVa program two days after the Cavaliers landed Armaan Franklin, a double-figure scoring shooting guard at Indiana this past season as a sophomore.

Gardner was recruited this spring by N.C. State, Miami, LSU and Arkansas, according to various sites. He has two years of remaining eligibility.

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Indiana Guard Armaan Franklin Joins UVa Backcourt

The Virginia men's basketball program took a step toward fortifying its backcourt Thursday when University of Indiana guard Armaan Franklin confirmed that he is transferring to UVa.

Franklin started 20 games for the Hoosiers, averaging 11.4 points while shooting 42.4 percent on 3-pointers.

His commitment to UVa followed the dismissal of Indiana coach Archie Miller, whose team went 12-14 this past season. Indiana's choice of Mike Woodson as Miller's successor apparently did not affect Franklin's decision.

Franklin, a product of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, had offers from Ohio State and Purdue, as well as Clemson and Louisville, as he was coming out of high school.

Franklin led the Indiana team in assists this year with 68 in 21 games and shot 42.9 percent overall.

Virginia's only returning double-figure scorer, with 11.6 points per game, is 6-9 Trey Murphy III, who was 52-of-120 from behind the arc. It is not for certain that he will pass up a final season of eligibility and turn pro after beginning his career at Rice.

UVa guards Casey Morsell and Jabri Abdur-Rahim earlier had entered the NCAA transfer portal, along with forward Justin McKoy.

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Dave Fulton


I detest what is happening in college sports. Mercenary athletes swapping schools & allegiances to the highest bidder really sucks... Read More
Friday, 09 April 2021 22:23

The Transfer Portal: UVa Needs To Take As Much As It Gives

More than four months have passed since Virginia opened the 2020-21 men's basketball season in "Bubbleville" at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The Cavaliers used 17 players that November day in an 89-54 rout of Towson.

Although it wasn't in the post-game notes, that might be the all-time, one-game UVa high for participation.

The group included 13 scholarship players, which is the Division I basketball limit, and four walk-ons.

Most were underclassmen and it appeared that Virginia was set with the addition of a recruiting class that was ranked No. 19 in the country by

That was then and this is now. In a matter of days, top 2019 signee Casey Morsell and top 2020 signee Jamir Abdur-Rahim entered the transfer portal, as did a second 2019 signee, Justin McKoy.

Of the eight players who logged more than 200 minutes or more, leading scorer Sam Hauser has applied for the NBA Draft and 7-footer Jay Huff is headed in that direction.

Who's left?

Honorable mention All-ACC performer Kihei Clark should be back for a fourth year in 2021-2022, but who else is there?

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Recent Comments
Dave Fulton


The current college basketball culture across the board disgusts me. Sad that such a large percentage of players are not student a... Read More
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:11
Dave Scarangella

It's Different, That's For Sur...

I have a feeling it's become such a wild, wild west sort of atmosphere, this will be the last year you see such unfettered movemen... Read More
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:33
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