The defense has always been there, but it's the offense that has turned Virginia into the ACC's front-runner. Senior Joe Harris, who led the team with 16.3 points per game last season en route to being named all-ACC first team, no longer has to carry the team with his scoring. He's not even the leading scorer anymore.
That title belongs to Malcolm Brogdon, who is scoring 12.3 points per game. Harris is second, averaging 11.5 points per game. Justin Anderson, Anthony Gill and Akil Mitchell all hover around eight points per game and can break out on any given night.
The Cavs' balance has made it a lot harder for opponents to defend them. But Tony Bennett said it all started with Harris willingly sacrificing his individual numbers for the team. Last season, Harris took nearly 12 shots per game. This season, he's down to 8.6 shots per game.
"That's sometimes the loudest or biggest influence for your team," Tony Bennett said. "When it's actually happening with [Harris], that's why I think it's been different guys on different nights. The shots have been distributed equally."
After those early losses, Tony Bennett simplified things offensively and reiterated the need to get the ball inside. What he also hoped for, but did not depend on, was the maturation of freshman point guard London Perrantes.
In conference play, Perrantes ranks sixth in the league with 4.1 assists per game. He also ranks first in league play in assist-to-turnover ratio.
The conversations between father and son nowadays have less to do with lamenting Virginia's troubles. They're more about closing out the season strong. The Cavs have a chance to win their first ACC title since sharing it in 2007 with North Carolina.
"It comes down to your quality," Tony Bennett said. "I'm not as worried about results, but what it looks like."
Dick Bennett will finally get a chance to see what it looks like firsthand. He said he plans on attending the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. But until then, he's content to not watch the hottest team in the league.
"I'm thrilled for them, I truly am," Dick Bennett said. "But it's not over. ... I just prefer to stay out of the picture and let him tell me about it."