Virginia Basketball Predictions
Overall: 16-15 (11-6 H, 4-6 A, 1-3 N)
ACC: 7-9 (4-4 H, 3-5 A)
Conference Tournament: 0-1, lost in first round
The Cavaliers made some progress last year, winning one more game overall and two more in ACC play than in 2009-10. The squad seemed to lack some consistency, as it never could get a good rhythm going – it did win five straight games early to get to 8-3 but then lost seven of nine later and ultimately fell in overtime in the first round of the ACC tournament. With head coach Tony Bennett heading into this third year, expectations are raised a little higher with the experience that will be returning in 2011-12.
Other Returning Players
Tony Bennett, third year
Mustapha Farrakhan is the only starter lost from last year’s team. He was second on the team in scoring (13.5 ppg) and assists (57) while leading the team in free throws made (104) and attempted (134) and ranking second in percentage (78 percent).
Will Sherrill started 13 games and averaged 19 minutes, 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while leading the team in 3-point accuracy (44 percent).
|Sun, Nov 13||South Carolina State|
|Tue, Nov 15||Winthrop|
|U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam|
|Fri, Nov 18||@ TCU|
|Sat, Nov 19||@ Drexel or Norfolk State|
|Sun, Nov 20||@ Drexel or Norfolk State|
|Mon, Nov 21||TBD|
|Fri, Nov 25||Green Bay|
|Big Ten/ACC Challenge|
|Tue, Nov 29||Michigan|
|Sat, Dec 03||Longwood|
|Tue, Dec 06||George Mason|
|Sun, Dec 18||@ Oregon|
|Wed, Dec 21||@ Seattle|
|Tue, Dec 27||Maryland-Eastern Shore|
|Fri, Dec 30||Towson|
|Mon, Jan 02||@ LSU|
|Sat, Jan 07||Miami *|
|Thu, Jan 12||@ Duke *|
|Thu, Jan 19||@ Georgia Tech *|
|Sun, Jan 22||Virginia Tech *|
|Thu, Jan 26||Boston College *|
|Sat, Jan 28||@ NC State *|
|Tue, Jan 31||Clemson *|
|Sat, Feb 04||@ Florida State *|
|Wed, Feb 08||Wake Forest *|
|Sat, Feb 11||@ North Carolina *|
|Tue, Feb 14||@ Clemson *|
|Sat, Feb 18||Maryland *|
|Tue, Feb 21||@ Virginia Tech *|
|Sat, Feb 25||North Carolina *|
|Thu, Mar 01||Florida State *|
|Sun, Mar 04||@ Maryland *|
|Thu, Mar 08||ACC Tournament First Round|
|Fri, Mar 09||ACC Tournament Quarterfinals|
|Sat, Mar 10||ACC Tournament Semifinals|
|Sun, Mar 11||ACC Tournament Final|
Four starters and seven significant contributors overall return this year, and with the incremental steps taken the last couple of years, the expectation within the conference is that Virginia should be in the top half, as it was ranked fourth in the league’s preseason poll.
Three of the four top returners from last year’s guard corps were starters and the fourth was one of the top six scorers. This group will likely be the strength of the Cavaliers this year with their combined experience.
Sophomore Joe Harris is the top returner, leading the team in 3-pointers (65 made, 42 percent) while finishing third in scoring (10.4 ppg), rebound average (4.4 pg) and steals (27).
Sophomore KT Harrell finished fourth on the team in scoring (8.0 ppg) and shot 42 percent from beyond the arc.
Junior Jontel Evans led the team in assists (109) and steals (40) while averaging 5.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per contest.
Senior Sammy Zeglinski was second in steals (32), third in assists (54) while listing fifth in scoring (7.8 ppg) and fourth in rebound average (3.1 pg).
In terms of experience, the frontline is looking a little thin in terms of numbers with signficiant minutes, but at least two of these players were starters and had major contributions to last year’s team – thus should be the leaders this year.
Senior Mike Scott was granted an additional year of eligibility for medical reasons. In 10 games last year, he started nine and led the team in scoring (16 ppg) and rebounding (10.2 pg) while shooting 88 percent from the f our line (53-59).
Senior Assane Sene was tops in blocked shots (39), second in rebounding (5.5 pg) and shot a team-best 53 percent from the floor.
Akil Mitchell played 15 minutes per game off the bench, tallying 2.4 points and three rebounds per contest, shooting just 34 percent from the field.
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