Jim Rome, Tony Bennett, UCLA: Tea leaves

tony bennett uva basketballWhen Jim Rome said he was going to have Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett on his show on Wednesday, yes, I’m stressing.

Rome is based in LA. Which is half of the acronym UCLA.

I doubt he brings it up, I think to myself, but, what if he asks him about the UCLA job, and UCLA’s supposed interest in Bennett?

So, I listen.

Rome asks Bennett about Virginia Tech, about Kyle Guy, about UMBC, Klay Thompson.

UCLA never comes up.

My wife, listening in, suggests that it’s likely that Bennett would have made it clear, no questions about UCLA.

Which, OK, yes. Because even if Rome asks, what’s Bennett going to do, but be awkward in trying to run away from the question?

But, she also suggests, and, yes, I married a good one, you’d have to suspect that Rome would have asked Bennett about UCLA off the air.

Hmmm, maybe, I reply.

Then, Rome, after the interview, still in the same segment, though, brings up the UCLA job, rather rando, if you ask me.

He says, in response to a viewer comment, that if he’s UCLA, he totally hires Eric Musselman to be the next coach.

Reading a lot of tea leaves here, but …

Was that a quiet way for Rome to say, sorry, UCLA, but Tony ain’t comin’?

Column by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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