Coach: Tony Bennett (3 seasons at Virginia 53-41) Overall 122-74, 6 years
2011-12: Record 22-10 overall, 9-7 in ACC (Tie 4th)
Starters Returning (3) Jontel Evans, Joe Harris, Akil Mitchell
Preseason Tournament: NIT Tip-Off
Top Non-Conference Games: vs. Tennessee, at Wisconsin
Transfer Out: KT Harrell (Auburn), James Johnson (San Diego State)
Transfer In : Anthony Gill (South Carolina)
Finally, Virginia got back to the NCAA tournament. In doing so they won the most games (22) for the program in 17 years. What a great job Tony Bennett has done rebuilding this program, last year they finished the season with 7 scholarship players. The Cavaliers lose 2 of their top 3 scorers from last season, but they do bring back 3 starters and add some talented recruits to the program. One thing is for sure don’t count on a Bennett coached team.
Leading the way for Virginia is sharp shooter Joe Harris (11.3 ppg). Harris was shooting over 50 % from three in ACC play until a hand injury limited him down the stretch. Running the point guard duties will be Jontel Evans (7.3 ppg). Evans is a very pesky player especially on the defensive end. Joining Evans in the backcourt is Malcolm Brodgdon (6.7 ppg). Brodgdon did a little bit of everything for the Cavs last season before getting hurt. He was their 6th man. The depth could be an issue here because it is mostly unproven. Providing that depth will be Paul Jesperson (1.5 ppg), and two freshman Teven Jones, Taylor Barnette.
The Cavs lose all everything Mike Scott here, without him last year they don’t even come close to making the tournament. The best player here for the Cavs will likely be freshman Justin Anderson. Anderson is very physical player who likes to attack the rim. Joining him upfront will be Akil Mitchell (4.1 ppg). Without Scott look for Mitchell to double his output from last year. The top option off the bench will be Darion Atkins (2.3 ppg). Two freshman will also provide depth here in Mike Tobey and Evan Nolte. Nolte is a big time shooter while Tobey will be the Cavs tallest player.