Home Notebook: Tony Bennett addresses late night in Chestnut Hill, court storms

Notebook: Tony Bennett addresses late night in Chestnut Hill, court storms

Chris Graham
uva bennett carolina
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

Virginia hasn’t played a 9 p.m. game all season, which will take some adjusting on the part of Tony Bennett and his squad as they ready themselves for Wednesday’s late-night game at Boston College (9 p.m. ET, ESPNU).

“It’s just being as ready as you can. You have a shootaround, you do different things,” Bennett told reporters on his Monday ACC conference call.

The other part to the late start for Bennett and his team is that BC doesn’t normally attract a lot of fans for its home games, averaging 5,393 in the 8,606-seat Conte Forum, with a season-low 3,459 in the house for the Feb. 13 home game with Louisville, an 89-77 Boston College win.

A late tip, and an expected sparse crowd, means you have to be able to create your own energy.

“It’s just being as ready as you can, knowing you’re gonna have to be ready to play against them,” Bennett said. “Every game is meaningful, and you know, it’s quite a privilege to play, and you never, as the season is winding down, these opportunities for this team to be together are limited. So, you look at it that way, and be as ready as you can, and who knows what the environment will be like, but it’s about what we can do to be as prepared as we can and then be good in the game.”

Bennett on court storms

Everybody is talking court storms in the here and now, in the aftermath of the court storm after Wake Forest’s 83-79 upset of Duke on Saturday, in which a court-storming Wake fan plowed into Duke sophomore Kyle Filipowski, leaving Filipowski with an injured ankle.

We haven’t had a court storm involving a Virginia game this season – it’s been a minute since Virginia fans have stormed the court after a home win; the last one I remember came in 2013 after the Joe Harris 36-point outburst that felled Duke.

There was one in University Hall after another upset of Duke, in 2001, in which a UVA media-relations staffer was trampled, suffered a broken arm, and had to be rescued by two UVA student-athletes before something worse happened.

Tony Bennett was asked on his teleconference to share his perspective on what can be done to keep players and fans from injury in those chaotic situations.

“We’ve been part of a lot of those where the court’s been stormed on us, not this year, but in years past, and, you know, sometimes it gets a little dicey. Thankfully, no one’s got hurt. You’ve had people say stuff, bump a little bit, but you don’t want obviously that to happen,” Bennett said.

“So, it’s just got to come up. I mean, it’s their job to get it done, figure it out, whether we got to clear the court, then let them rush it, but sometimes you can’t control everything. But you know, now that this happened, and I know a lot of coaches have been, you know, concerned about this, maybe this will be the thing that puts something in place,” Bennett said.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].