Second-year head coach Tony Bennett did some house cleaning this offseason to get rid of players who didn't buy into his system. Sylven Landesburg was ultimately kicked off the team resulting in his decision to turn pro. Tristan Spurlock and Jeff Jones decided to transfer with little fight from Bennett to try and convince them to stay at Virginia. In total, the Cavaliers lose seven players from their 2009-10 roster.
Three starters return in Mike Scott, Mustapha Farrakhan and Sammy Zeglinski to provide some leadership for Virginia. A nice mix of freshmen arrive to the program including K.T. Harrell and James Johnson who were both top-100 national recruits and figure to see significant minutes in their first season. Depth and experience off the bench will be two issues the Cavs will struggle with this season.
While the talent is far from overwhelming in this year of transition, Bennett has a knack for getting the best out of his players once they embrace his style of hard-nosed defense and patience on the offensive end. That brand of ball worked well in the Pac-10 at Washington State but only time will tell if Bennett-ball can flourish at Virginia in the athletic ACC.
Player to Watch: K.T. Harrell, SG
In losing Landesburg, Jones, and Spurlock, the Cavaliers have a need for someone to step into that athletic scoring role. Harrell is a great creator who loves to attack the basket and if he can provide that style of play, it should benefit everyone on the floor including the team's top returning three-point shooter in Zeglinski. Outside of the Duke and Carolina guys, and N.C. State's C.J. Leslie, Harrell should be one of the top freshmen in the conference.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/18 at Stanford
11/22 vs. Washington (Maui Invitational)
11/23 vs. Kentucky/Oklahoma (Maui Invitational)
11/24 vs. Michigan State/UConn/Wichita State/Chaminade (Maui Invitational)
am i the only to think Walt's got his J. Williams' confused? Joe Williams, highly talented explosive speedster from Utah retired at the beginning of the season and came back a few games in to have a stellar season. Dont see him anywhere on this list, but would think him worthy of top 10 at least by comparison.
Why is it that you hate the Chargers? Every year you make @#$@ picks for them, it just bad all the way around starting with Hooker at 7. Tom Telesco doesn't draft players who have been at the position only a year, and recently has been straying away from injury prone players as well. I would re-access your thought process on the Chargers.