Ask the Cavs: Dom Starsia's Answers Are In!
April 28, 1998
Q. Given the strong schedule you play, how do you keep the team mentallysharp week after week?- Bill New York, New York
I think playing the strong schedule we play helps us keeps us mentally sharp week after week. The point is to not get too high for any one game because as soon as one game is over, we have to prepare for another one and we dont want to sell our souls for any one game and not have anything left in the emotional bank the following week. So it is important to keep an even keel. Our task is to develop a consistent level of performance, something we can depend on week in and week out with the schedule we play.
Q. Why have the fortunes of Maryland and Duke risen, Virginia has remainedstrong and North Carolina’s performance dropped off so dramatically?- Mary K. Stanfordville, NY
At this level in college athletics, so much is related to the recruiting. Almost all the coaches know their Xs and Os and do a good job with that and bring some enthusiasm to the practice field and are really intent on winning their games on Saturdays. So much of the final result of our effort is related to the quality of kids we have to work with and that is all recruiting. Here at Virginia, my coming here, a new coach at Duke who has been there six or seven years, Mike Pressler, Dick Edell has ratcheted up his recruiting at Maryland- that is what it is related to . The recruiting world evolves from year to year. It has become more intense. The timetable has moved up. Were just recruiting all the time. It never ends, there is no recruiting season anymore. It is a year-round activity. And if you look at a team over time, you have to look at the quality of athletes they have on campus.
Q. The last several years you have opened with Syracuse and Princeton inthe first 2-3 games of the year when the weather is still quite cold andnot conducive to a bigger, more enthusiastic crowd? – Doug, Long Island, NY
One of the things I wanted to do when I came to Virginia, is I wanted to get Syracuse on the schedule. Princeton was already on the schedule. The problem is that were locked into our ACC part of the schedule and I cant make the ACC teams change our dates. So in the month of April, when the weather is best, our schedule is devoted to the ACC teams. We play right in a row, Maryland, Duke and North Carolina and then the ACC Tournament. So the only weekend outside of April that is available is the last weekend. And the Ivy League teams are doing the same things were doing which is they are locked into their season in April and are also busy on that last date. Syracuse has a very traditional rival on that last weekend in April when we played Bucknell this past weekend. We couldnt get them to change that game. We actually started with Syracuse in a mid-week game and the only weekend that we could get the game was the weekend that we have it at now. Strangely enough, it is a better game at Syracuse because were playing in the dome where you know it is going to be 70 degrees and overcast. So on March 1, that was the only time we could make it happen. And frankly, weve been fortunate with the weather with Syracuse and Princeton the last couple of years.