UVa's Bennett Gears Up to Take on his Mentor - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVa's Bennett Gears Up to Take on his Mentor

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Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett won't be greeted by just anyone at John Paul Jones Arena this Wednesday as UVa takes on Wisconsin, he'll be shaking hands with one of his mentors.

Bennett said, "I have such respect for Coach Ryan and what that program has done."

Coach Bennett served as Bo Ryan's assistant at Wisconsin and said his favorite memory with him was beating Illinois in the BIG10 conference championship. But what is even more meaningful to Bennett were the little moments they shared. Bennett elaborated, "whether you're in the locker room 10 minutes before tip and its just the two of you sitting in there and just being able to share moments like that and really him giving me a chance."

Bennett's ties to Wisconsin go even further back as his Dad, Dick Bennett, was the head coach at Wisconsin from 1995-2000. Bennett was his father's assistant at the time and Ryan made the call to keep him around. 

After winning the Corpus Christi Challenge this weekend, the 'Hoos are now riding a 6 game winning streak. Coach Bennett says while it would be great to beat his old team, it would also be a signature win for this program. 

"When you come from a certain place, there's obviously that inside, you know you have so many friends and family back there and you want to do well," said Bennett. "So when you have a chance to be successful against a program like that, it means a lot for ya."

Tip off at John Paul Jones Arena is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday night.


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