It appears that UCLA, which has fallen on hard times in college basketball following the departure of Lonzo Ball to the NBA, is now targeting Virginia head coach Tony Bennett.
Could he be on his way to LA come next season?
Source: UCLA 'going hard after Tony Bennett and he has not said no yet'— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) February 14, 2019
Bennett has experienced plenty of success in his nine seasons at the helm of the Virginia Cavaliers. He's guided them to three top-seeded appearances in the NCAA tournament, but they've yet to move beyond the Elite Eight in his tenure and suffered a crushing defeat to 16th-seeded UMBC in the first round of last year's tournament.
It seems unlikely, though, that Bennett would leave a program that he's done well with in recent years. Departing to the Bruins would be a leap of faith to say the least.
The Tony Bennett to UCLA rumors are interesting. Personally, I'd hate to see him leave the ACC for the Pac-12.— Jacob Turner (@JacobTurnerTHI) February 14, 2019
UCLA currently holds a record of 13-12 in what has been a disappointing season. Virginia, meanwhile, sits at 21-2, is ranked fourth overall in the nation, and is gearing up for another run at a title.
On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer that Bennett, who previously coached in the Pac-12 at Washington State, would stick with Virginia. However, if they find themselves again exiting the tournament sooner than expected this coming March, don't be surprised if he defects to the west coast.