Virginia Basketball: Cavaliers Set Up To Make Yet Another ACC Title Run

By Gregory Philson
Malcolm Brogdon
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers basketball team surprised many during the 2013-14 NCAA season, picking up the regular season and the ACC tournament championships. The Cavaliers lost team leader Joe Harris, but with a sturdy group of returning players and a nice recruiting class coming in, another run like last season is a definite possibility.

Malcolm Brogdon led the team on scoring and comes back as a more seasoned and likely wiser player in coach Tony Bennett‘s scheme. Brogdon will be the focus for opponents, and it will be interesting to see how he reacts. If he can take the larger role in stride and not get overwhelmed, he could be a real candidate for conference player of the year. He is a talented player who can freestyle around the system if the offensive play falls apart.

Bennett’s recruiting will also help fill the loss of Harris and Akil Mitchell. B.J. Stith is a player who scouts have taken a liking to because he is a heady player who can run the break well. Bennett’s playbook is made for players with a high basketball IQ, and Stith seems like a perfect fit.

Isaiah Wilkins, son of Dominique Wilkins, will add even more ash with his leaping and open court skills. Wilkins has a mid-range game that should fit right into Virginia’s offense. Scouts also love Wilkins’ tenacity on the offensive boards. Bennett also is bringing in size to replace Mitchell with Jack Salt. Big men do not need to have a great offensive scoring presence at Virginia, and Salt can just focus on rebounding and defense.

Virginia is coming off a great season and has a great group coming back and coming in. There is a chance that in 2014-15, the Cavaliers could match and eclipse what they did last year.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC basketball writer at Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.

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