2011-12 Virginia Cavaliers Basketball Preview - SCACCHoops.com

2011-12 Virginia Cavaliers Basketball Preview

by WebMaster

Posted: 10/31/2011 7:00:06 AM

ACC Season Previews

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Virginia Season Preview

Record Last Season 16 - 15, 7 - 10 ACC
Players Lost Mustapha Farrakhan, Will Sherill, Will Regan, Billy Baron
New Players Paul Jesperson, Malcolm Brogden, Darion Atkins 
Projected Lineup Sammy Zeglinski, KT Harrell, Joe Harris, Mike Scott, Assane Sene 
Schedule Highlights 12/6 vs George Mason, 12/18 @ Oregon, 1/2 @ LSU 
Virginia Schedule
Virginia Scouting Report

Projected Statistics (Returning Players Only)

Explanation of Statistic Projections


Name Pts Asts Rbds Stls Blks TOs % Correct
 Mike Scott 14.8 1.2 7.5 1.0 1.1 2.0 58
 Joe Harris 11.2 1.8 4.2 1.0 0.6 1.9 87
 Sammy Zeglinski 10.5 2.8 3.4 1.3 0.3 1.9 79
 KT Harrell 9.2 1.7 2.7 0.7 0.2 1.6 89
 Jontel Evans 6.0 3.1 2.4 1.1 0.2 1.9 87
 Akil Mitchell 5.7 0.9 3.9 0.6 0.4 1.4 91
 Assane Sene 4.6 0.7 4.5 0.4 0.7 1.1 74
 James Johnson 1.5 0.2 1.5 0.3 0.2 0.3 100

Things to Watch

Tony Bennett's second season in Charlottesville was filled with highs and lows. After several defections, the Cavaliers were picked to finish 11th in the ACC last year. Tony Bennett brought in a stellar six-man recruiting class, but they were still freshman. The Cavs started the season with an underwhelming showing in the Maui Invitational which included a 43-point drubbing at the hands of Washington. The Hoos bounced back with impressive road wins at Minnesota and rival Virginia Tech. Virginia was dealt a big blow just before the start of 2011 when senior leader and double double machine Mike Scott would have season ending ankle surgery. Scott was the team's leading scorer and rebounder in Virginia's first nine games. The Cavs played surprisingly well without Scott in the lineup. The Hoos won four out of its last five games and finished tied with Maryland for 7th in the league. Unfortunately, Virginia's season came to screeching halt when they blew a ten-point lead with under 40 seconds to go in the first round of the ACC tournament. Despite the horrendous end to the season, the Cavs have plenty to build off of. Scott was granted a medical redshirt and all but two players return from last years team. Joe Harris and K.T Harrell are primed for breakout sophomore seasons. Bennett proved once again that he can recruit with the best of them as he welcomes another top flight recruiting class to Charlottesville.

The Backcourt

The point guard battle will be a major storyline to follow this season for Virginia. Senior Sammy Zeglinski and junior Jontel Evans both return after solid seasons a year ago. Evans is an athletic lockdown defender but is limited offensively. Zeglinski is a streaky shooter and a solid floor general but lacks initial quickness. KT Harell will likely takeover Mustapha Farrakhan's role at the two-guard spot. The sophomore shot an impressive 42.3 percent from downtown last season. 6-5 Freshman Malcolm Brogdon has the ability to drive the ball to the hoop which the Cavs sorely missed last season. Brodgon could even get a few looks a point guard. Fellow freshman Paul Jesperson is another elite shooter who was named "Mr. Basketball in the state of Wisconsin. Jesperson could be a match-up nightmare at shooting guard with his 6-7 frame.

The Frontcourt

For the first time in a long time, the front court will be the strength of a Virginia basketball team. Mike Scott returns from a successful surgery and his presence will make a world of difference for Virginia's perimeter game. Scott will be able to draw the double team and will allow one of Virginia's many shooters to get open looks from the outside. Seven-foot senior Assane Sene was Virginia's most improved player last season. Akil Mitchell is an athletic option at power forward for the Cavs. The Virginia coaches are very excited about 6-9-redshirt freshman James Johnson. Johnson is an athletic freak who can play either the 4 or the 5. Freshman Darion Atkins is a defensive specialist with a long wingspan. With all of the depth at the 4 and 5, sophomore Joe Harris will be able to return to playing on the wing fulltime. Last season, Harris shot 41.8 percent from three-point range last season.

The Schedule

Virginia will have the opportunity to get a few quality nonconference wins for its NCAA tournament resume'. Michigan comes to John Paul Jones Arena for the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The Cavs host George Mason who is usually a top 100 team. There is also a potential matchup with Marquette in the Paradise Jam finals in St. Thomas. The back half of Virginia's ACC slate is very difficult with two games against North Carolina, two games against Florida State, and a trip to Cassell Coliseum.


Point guard play is key. If Virginia can get good production from Zeglinski or Evans, then all of the pieces will be in place for the Cavs to have a special season. Tony Bennett has done a terrific job building this program and it looks like his third year could be a breakthrough season.

10-6, 4th place in the ACC

by Drew Goodman

Fantasy Player to Watch

If Virginia played at a faster tempo, Mike Scott might be a #1 pick in your fantasy draft. That said, that's just not Tony Bennett's style, but despite his coach Scott is still a first rounder in your draft. Scott is versatile offensively and can score in a number of ways meaning he'll be a consistent fantasy scorer. He'll also rebound enough to be a double-double machine.

Last Year's Player Statistics

Name GP Mins Pts Asts Rbds Stls Blks TOs FG% 3P% FT%
 Mustapha Farrakhan  31  30.8  13.5  1.8  2.8  0.7  0.3  2.2  42.0  36.8  77.6
 Joe Harris  31  29.4  10.4  1.3  4.4  0.9  0.4  1.6  41.8  41.7  75.9
 KT Harrell  31  22.2  8.0  0.8  2.1  0.3  0.1  0.9  42.3  42.1  64.2
 Sammy Zeglinski  24  25.6  7.8  2.3  3.1  1.3  0.2  1.3  35.6  38.7  57.1
 Assane Sene  31  22.5  5.1  0.1  5.5  0.3  1.3  1.1  52.7  0.0  55.7
 Jontel Evans  31  27.3  5.7  3.5  2.4  1.3  0.1  1.9  39.0  35.7  59.6
 Mike Scott  10  33.7  15.9  1.6  10.2  0.3  0.7  2.4  48.2  100.0  88.1
 Will Sherrill  23  18.9  4.3  0.6  2.8  0.5  0.2  0.6  43.8  43.8  100.0
 Akil Mitchell  29  15.1  2.4  0.8  3.0  0.6  0.2  0.6  33.8  12.5  51.7
 Billy Baron  17  11.1  3.0  0.8  0.7  0.4  0.0  0.5  31.3  31.6  69.2
 Will Regan  20  6.6  1.3  0.0  0.9  0.1  0.3  0.3  42.3  25.0  40.0
 Thomas Rogers  6  1.3  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0

Team Stats


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