Virginia won’t be at full strength when it hosts Wake on Wednesday

By Jerry Ratcliffe

tony-bennett

Tony Bennett talks with his team. Photo by Andrew Shurtleff/courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

Virginia’s basketball game at Wake Forest is on for Wednesday night barring any further Covid-19 issues with either program.

However, UVA coach Tony Bennett said Monday that his team will not be at full strength for the 9 p.m. home game against the Deacons.

“As of right now, we’ll have enough [players] to play,” Bennett said. “It’s more staff. It’s some players. If everything stays the way it is we’ll be good to go. Not at full strength, but we’re at a spot where if you can get games, we’ve got to try to play them.”

Virginia practiced Sunday but not at full strength.

One player who has been missing and will not be available for Wednesday night’s game is guard Kody Stattmann, who is undergoing medical testing not related to Covid-19.

“That’s hard. It’s kind of wait and see to get more information and more results back,” Bennett said about seeing one of his players who is sidelined.

The Cavaliers, ranked No. 22 in this week’s AP Top 25, are 5-2 heading into the week and hope to face Wake Forest, which has played fewer games (four) than any other ACC program.

“I didn’t know we were playing Virginia until this morning,” said new Deacons coach Steve Forbes. “I mean, I had a feeling we might, but didn’t really get the final say until this morning. We’re in different times.”

Virginia has had several games postponed or canceled due to the virus, including last Saturday’s home game against Virginia Tech, which will be played at another time, most likely in February.

“We had to get some further testing, get results before we could proceed,” Bennett said. “I’m just really hopeful that everyone is okay and there’s no more cases that pop up.”

The Cavaliers coaches and players wear an ankle chip that records every time they close to within the socially-distanced standard six feet of each other, a device used in order to aid with contact tracing. Those devices helped detect the latest round of tracing and quarantines for UVA’s team.

“Bottom line is a staff member was a positive test and from that there was some contract traced,” Bennett said. “We’ve very conservative here and trying to make the right decisions in the best interest of everybody. I’m hopeful that everybody is OK.”

Asked about his level of confidence about Wednesday’s game actually being played, Bennett said “I’m a basketball coach. I’m hopeful.”

The Virginia coach, who often uses Bible verses as inspiration for his teams, said he wrote this at the bottom of his practice plan for players on Monday: “Consider it pure joy. You face trials of many kinds.”

“To me, how can I use this setback to grow and be stronger for hopefully longer. That’s the mindset,” Bennett said.

Comments

  1. Have to love and admire Tony’s approach. Go Hoos!

  2. BillNCville says:

    Thanks for the news about Kody. I had been wondering about him and why he wasn’t playing.

  3. Leo Kennon says:

    Thanks for updates. Need to get through next few months. Need March Madness. I am still one who wants 128 not 68 & first round losers are NIT teams

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