#20 Virginia Cavaliers: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Despite finishing with an 11-7 ACC record, the Virginia Cavaliers had their bubbles burst on Selection Sunday, missing out on the NCAA Tournament.  With the majority of their core returning, Tony Bennett’s team won’t have to worry about being left off the invite list to this year’s Big Dance.

VIRGINIA CAVALIERS
Last Season: T-4th, 11-7 in ACC, 23-12 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 5th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Akil Mitchell (Sr)/Mike Tobey (So)
F: Anthony Gill (So)/Darion Atkins (Jr)
G/F: Justin Anderson (So)/Evan Nolte (So)
G/F: Joe Harris (Sr)/Malcolm Brogdon (So)
PG: Teven Jones (So)/Landon Perrantes (Fr)/Devon Hall (Fr)

Gone: PG-Jontel Evans, G/F-Paul Jesperson (transfer-Northern Iowa), SG-Taylor Barnette (transfer-Belmont)

2013-2014 Outlook:
Virginia brings back their returning scorer and three-point sniper, Joe Harris who was named to the All-ACC First Team last season.  He is an efficient scorer who plays within the system and takes advantage of his opportunities.  Likely to join him on the starting wing is Justin Anderson.  A physical, athletic talent, Anderson is a solid glue guy who can do a little bit of everything on floor especially on the defensive end.

Even though the Cavaliers lost Paul Jesperson and Taylor Barnette to transfer, Bennett still has decent depth behind Harris and Anderson in Evan Nolte and Malcolm Brogdon.  Nolte is a three-point threat off the bench who can play both wing positions and even some power forward when Bennett wants to use a smaller lineup that can stretch defenses.  Brogdon missed all of last season with a foot injury but was a quality reserve during his freshman campaign two seasons ago.

The point guard position is the biggest question mark for UVA.  Teven Jones takes over for Jontel Evans and the two are cut from the same cloth in that they are both game managers more than play-making or scoring point guards.  Jones started nine games as a freshman when Evans was dinged up and needs to emerge as a true floor general since newcomers Landon Perrantes and Devon Hall are the other point guards on the roster.  Hall is an intriguing prospect since he brings great size to the position at 6-5 and is a true playmaker.

Bennett is loaded with options in his frontcourt.  Akil Mitchell made a major jump in his game last season averaging about 13 points and nine rebounds per game.  He is a lock for the starting five with South Carolina transfer Anthony Gill, Mike Tobey, and Darion Atkins fighting for the other starting forward spot.

I think Gill gets the nod.  He has range out to the three-point line and a nice mid-range game and started for the Gamecocks during his freshman year.  Tobey made the most of reserve minutes last year averaging almost seven points in just 14 minutes per game and could be headed for a bit of breakout year.  Darion Atkins is an energy role player who will help on the glass when he is in the game.

The new look ACC is stacked this year with five teams in my pre-season top 20.  If the Virginia Cavaliers can get steady point guard play, they have the depth and talent on the wing and in their frontcourt to be a real factor.  Plus, a more challenging non-conference slate should help boost their RPI so UVA should be a lock for the tourney.

Player to Watch: Mike Tobey
The 6-11 sophomore played for the US U-19 team this summer at the FIBA World Championship and Bennett was an assistant coach of the team.  He has bulked up during the off-season which should help him be a more physical presence on the boards and in the post.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/12 vs. VCU
11/16 vs. Davidson (in Charlotte)
11/29 vs. SMU (Corpus Christi Challenge)
11/30 vs. Texas A&M/Missouri State (Corpus Christi Challenge)
12/4 vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/7 at Green Bay
12/21 vs. Northern Iowa
12/30 at Tennessee

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#21 Wichita State
#22 VCU
#23 New Mexico
#24 UConn
#25 Indiana
#26 Colorado
#27 Tennessee
#28 Baylor
#29 St. John’s
#30 Harvard
#31 UCLA
#32 Iowa
#33 Boise State
#34 Villanova
#35 Oregon
#36 St. Louis
#37 La Salle
#38 San Diego State
#39 Stanford
#40 Arizona State
#41 BYU
#42 Pitt
#43 California
#44 Iowa State
#45 Providence
#46 Cincinnati
#47 UNLV
#48 Purdue
#49 LSU
#50 Illinois
#51 Xavier
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#54 Missouri
#55 Washington
#56 Saint Mary’s
#57 Maryland
#58 Butler
#59 Minnesota
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#61 Akron
#62 Temple
#63 Alabama
#64 Florida State
#65 Arkansas
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#68 Davidson
#69 Dayton
#70 Miami FL
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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