ESPN College GameDay Anchors Give Wahoos Rave Reviews
ESPN's College Gameday returns to JPJ on February 10th
ESPN's College GameDay returns to UVa's John Paul Jones arena Saturday for the third time in the last four years.
The network's signature college basketball pregames show will air on ESPN from 11am to Noon Saturday.
JPJ gates open at 9:30am. The event is free and open to the fans.
Folks at ESPN say UVa has had one of the best ever GameDay atmosphere for the show.
"Every time I come here, I expect the fans to be crazy," says ESPN's Jay Williams. "I also expect somebody to make a shot from half court for $18,000. That kid last year was amazing. The fact that he was wearing a headband and nobody thought he was going to be able to make the shot. The energy here is next level stuff."
Virginia is riding a 15-game win streak. The 'Hoos are 12-0 in the ACC and leading the county in scoring defense holding opponents to an average of just 52 points per game.
"Basketball is about establishing rhythm, establishing yours and disrupting theirs," says ESPN's Jay Bilas. "They (UVa) disrupt rhythm better than anyone I've seen in 10-20 years."
Williams adds, "You have a lot of talented players on this team, but the thing that makes them great is the system and the fact that they've all bought in to the system."
A win over Virginia Tech will give the 'Hoos their best ever start in the ACC at 13-0 and will have the 'Hoos ranked number one in the country next week for the first time in 35 years.
"Togetherness is one of the most underrated thing in all of sports," says Williams. "Coach K said it before, one of the things that makes them (UVa) great is they don't play like five individuals, they play like a fist on the court."
ESPN's Seth Greenberg says, "His vision, his total commitment to doing it his way and getting guys to buy in to each other and develop a trust, It's phenomenal what he's been able to do."
"So for them to play at the level, it's a collective thing where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts," says Bilas
"It's like old school basketball," says Jay Williams. "You're seeing what basketball used to look like back in the day when teams used to put effort on the defensive end and in the one-and-done culture that we live in now and the next great draft prospect, we rarely focus on the best team, and I'm willing to say this, UVa is the best team in the country right now."
Virginia and Virginia Tech tip off at 6:15 Saturday night.
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Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.