By Ed Morgans @writered21 on March 17, 2014
It's not often when a coach says he has a five-year plan and it works out perfectly. But in this, head coach Tony Bennett's fifth season, Virginia has had its best season in 33 years, winning the ACC regular season and tournament titles, going 28-6, and earning the top seed in the East Region of the NCAA tournament. Here are Virginia's five most important players.
Gill, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, came into his own during the ACC Tournament, averaging nearly 13 points per game and grabbing almost six rebounds per game, coming off the bench. A 63 percent free throw shooter, Gill hit 18-for-26 in Greensboro to key three wins.
Tobey doesn't get very involved in the Virginia offense and others are more (rightly) lauded for their defense, but Tobey set the tone early vs. Duke in the ACC tournament final, hitting a pair of jumpers to help get the Cavaliers a lead they nearly maintained throughout. Tobey will be a standout by this time next year.
Perhaps the best defensive player in the ACC, Mitchell (6-foot-8, 235, senior) can block shots, dominate the glass and will score occasionally on putbacks and in the paint. Mitchell had 15 rebounds in Virginia's win over Duke on Sunday.
Other than likely one-and-done players like Jabari Parker, Brogdon may be in line to be one of the best all-around players in the ACC in the near future. He can score, shoot, rebound and pass, and is getting better defensively. He had 23 points vs. Duke on Sunday and scored in double figures in all 18 conference games.
The senior is the heart of the Cavaliers. While he didn't lead the team in scoring (Brogdon), rebounds (Mitchell) or assists (London Perrantes), when Harris hits a big 3-pointer or drives the lane for an and-one, it's usually the spark of a second-half Virginia run. Harris was the MVP of the ACC tournament.
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