Virginia coach Tony Bennett acknowledges 'newness' after Cavaliers' stunning loss to Navy
Virginia suffered one of the biggest upsets on the opening night of the college basketball season on Wednesday, losing 66-58 at home to Navy.
The Cavaliers have several fresh faces this year, led by East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner. Gardner led the way, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Unfortunately for Virginia, the rest of the newcomers didn’t mesh quite as well on opening night. Coach Tony Bennett addressed that dynamic after the game.
“The newness of our team, I think it showed,” Bennett told reporters, via Richmond.com. “We weren’t as connected and collectively good defensively, and you press a little bit.”
For the Midshipmen, it was their first ranked win since NBA legend David Robinson was playing for them. John Carter Jr. led the team with 19 points.
The biggest difference in the game was beyond the arc. Navy hit 11-of-21 3-point attempts, while Virginia cashed just 4-of-16.
Expectations for the Cavaliers are still there — as they always are — but perhaps they’ll be a bit more measured in what appears to be a rebuilding season. Virginia has won double-digit ACC games every season since 2011-12.
Virginia hosts Radford on Friday.