Last season the Hoos followed Miami's dream season/ACC Championship sweep with one of their own.
Everything broke right for Tony Bennett's squad.
Joe Harris was Joe Harris. Malcolm Brogdon emerged as a star. Freshman London Perrantes manned the PG spot like an old vet. The D was it's usually stifling self, and they scored at an efficient pace. Frankly they flat out dominated the league.
Can they repeat in 2014-15?
It won't be easy. But with a very balanced roster don't count UVA out.
Replacing NBA Draft pick Harris will be a chore. But the 6'5 Brogdon is back, and could pick up some of the slack with his very good all-around game. Last season, 6'6 Justin Anderson provided defense, energy, and athleticism off the bench as the league's premier 6th man. This year he could emerge as a break out player/star and help Brogdon with increased production. Parrientes will control thing from the point, but is also an effective scorer when needed. 6'8 Anthony Gill does his damage in close, and played big minutes last season as a reserve. He should fill the void nicely at PF for departed Akil Mitchell. Mike Tobey is not going to blow you away by doing anything spectacular, but he is a solid pivot for Virginia. Darion Atkins and Even Nolte as also reliable options at the 4/5 spots. A couple of freshman with familiar last names in B.J. Stith and Isaiah Wilkins (Dominique's stepson) give the Hoos a lot of depth as well. 1-5 this team may not be the best in talent, but they fit together very well, and all defend relentlessly.
G Malcolm Brogdon - 6'5 217 Jr.
G/F Justin Anderson - 6'6 227 Jr.
G London Perrantes - 6'2 189 So.
F Anthony Gill - 6'8 230 Jr.
C Mike Tobey - 6'11 253 Jr.
What to Expect in 2014-15:
Unless they struggle to score, there is no reason UVA won't be a top 3 or 4 team in the ACC again. Their D keeps them in every game, and when they shoot the ball well, watch out. Sweeping the conference again might be a lot to ask, but they have the horses to give it a run.
How they match-up with the 'Canes:
That depends on how Miami shoots the ball. The "pack line" defense of Virginia takes away drives and inside looks. If you can get out and run and/or make perimeter shots, you might have some success against it. A hot night from and of the combination of Deandre Burnett, Sheldon McClellan, Angel Rodriguez, and Manu Lecomte might make this match-up favorable. UVA will be very good again this year though, so it's certainly going to be a challenge.
Stay tuned for more ACC Team previews as we count down to Tip Off