Thursday, March 09, 2000

Gillen has Cavs on move

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Pete Gillen can't dispute it. The turnaround of the Virginia basketball program has come much quicker than he could've imagined.

        The former Xavier coach is in only his second year coaching the Cavaliers. Just a year ago, he was talking about maybe getting in the upper half of the Atlantic Coast Conference in three or four years.

        But his team enters the ACC tournament as the No. 3 seed — the Cavaliers' highest seed in 11 years — and faces North Carolina State at 7 p.m. Friday. Virginia is 19-10 and finished 9-7 in the ACC, behind only No. 3 Duke and No. 20 Maryland and tied with North Carolina.

        The Cavaliers have defeated Maryland once — ending the Terps' nine-game conference winning streak — and the Tar Heels twice. They took Duke to overtime before losing.

        No ACC team with at least nine conference victories has ever been left out of the NCAA field.

        “I didn't set any goals or have any parameters for this team, but they're doing better than I thought,” Gillen said. “We still haven't arrived by any means. We're still rebuilding. But I think we're headed in the right direction.”

        That might be an understatement.

        He took over a program that had finished 11-19 in 1997-98.

        “We're getting better,” Gillen said. “We've still got to recruit some more players, get some more size like anybody. In this league, there are so many talented big men, 6-10, 6-11; we only go 6-7, 6-8.

        “Bottom line: You have good players you win; you don't have good players, usually you lose.”


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Xavier wins A-10 opener
XU's West playing beyond his years
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A-10 Tournament Pairings
A-10 dropping divisions
A-10 lobbies for NCAA bids
- Gillen has Cavs on move

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