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Virginia head coach Tony Bennett praises Malcolm Brogdon and Sam Hauser

Bennett spoke highly of his former players.

UVA Men’s Basketball head coach Tony Bennett joined the Celtics Talk podcast and I expected generic coach-speak, but he provided insight that would interest Celtics fans.

The 2022-2023 Celtics feature two of his former players, Malcolm Brogdon and Sam Hauser. Bennett coached Brodgon from 2011 to 2016 and said “whatever role you put him in, he’s gonna find ways to enhance the team and win at a high level.” He told NBC Boston’s Chris Forsberg that he’s a fierce competitor, and his humility and calm demeanor might lead people to believe otherwise. Bennett said he knew Brogdon was special as a freshman, citing an early season game against Michigan (who went to the national championship) where he scored 16 points off the bench.

Sam Hauser only played one season at UVA after transferring from Marquette. Bennett, also a Wisconsin native, has a deep relationship with the Hauser family, playing AAU basketball with Sam’s father and uncle. He obviously talked about Hauser’s gift for shooting the ball, and mentioned his growth as a positional defender.

Forseberg’s pod also included a short interview with Malcom Brogdon from Media Day. He gave a great quote on new head coach Joe Mazzula, saying, “he is the example of only caring about the details, not worried about the big picture, not worried about keeping the head coaching job... He’s worried about this team winning, he’s worried about doing stuff right every single day.”

He spoke about the importance of understanding roles within a team, saying every team has one “delusional” player who wants to be the main guy and doesn’t understand his place in the league. Brogdon also talked about his recent trip to Egypt, how he’d always wanted to play with Al Horford, and the way Boston is perceived as a historic franchise around the league.

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