Monday, July 26, 2010

monday linkpile: former hoos edition

Tomorrow we kick off the season previews, so today we'll catch up on some loose ends I've left hanging. Mostly to do with former UVA players, some of the news good and some not as good.

- Sylven Landesberg: Set to play in Israel, which comes as little surprise, as 1) he really isn't quite ready for the league yet and 2) he's half Jewish. The mistake people are making is equating "not ready for the NBA" with "shouldn't have left school." As much as anyone, I like for guys to stay four years and get their degree, and it's the decision I tend to respect the most. But I can't disrespect Sylven's choice to leave. If basketball is what you want to make a career out of, it's hard to fault the idea of making half a million or more a year playing in an exotic location like Israel. (Or Spain, or Greece, or Italy, as some of them end up doing.) C'mon, you'd do it right now if you could. Leaving early and getting some time in overseas worked for Roger Mason, it can certainly work for Landesberg.

- Tristan Spurlock: I wonder if the article-writer's choice of the words "taking his talents to Central Florida" was coincidence. Should have said Disney World or something if he really wanted to LBJ it up. Anyway, yeah, UCF is where Spurlock is gonna be, so, best of luck with that.

- Phil Gosselin: Tearing it up in Rome - that's Rome, GA, home of his mid-level A-ball minor league team. Another not-surprise for leaving early.

- Vic Hall: released by the Bears. Hall's route to the NFL is going to be a really, really difficult one, full of sign-and-releases and time spent on the practice squad.

- Corey Lillard: wait, what? Dammit. Lillard, one of the few remaining scholarship defensive backs on the team, is no longer one of that ever-thinning crowd. We now have ten defensive backs on scholarship - barely enough to make a nickel package two-deep. Mark my words, unless London thinks one of the walkons is playable, one of these guys that got moved to linebacker (LoVante' Battle, say) is gonna find themselves moved back out to the secondary by the time the season is over. This is the thinnest secondary in history.

And so as to prevent any heart attacks, here's where I specifically mention I'm not talking about former Cavaliers any more, because Marc Verica is the next topic of (very short) discussion. Really, it's just to point out that if for whatever reason you still had any doubts about who would be the starting quarterback, or who thinks he's the starting quarterback, you should put them to rest. Verica it is. And the way the schedule shakes out, I figure that's for a bare minimum of five games, and hopefully by then things are not going so badly that it's time for a switch.

Lastly, for you swimming enthusiasts, here is the incoming men's recruiting class, ranked fifth in the country. The only other ACC teams in the top 25 are UNC (8th) and Maryland (22nd.) And the women? Third. None too shabby at all, especially in pulling the 5th-ranked swimmer in Florida out of the state. Getting past the Stanfords and Arizonas and Floridas of the world is going to be a tall order, but Mark Bernardino just might have a national championship brewing in the next decade or so, if he can keep that up.

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