Whether it was a down year in the ACC or not (which it is), Tony Bennett has this Cavaliers team moving in the right direction- up. Getting power forward Mike Scott, a double-double man (15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds) before his ankle injury, is huge, and puts the Cavs right there in the mix at No. 4 in the conference. We know North Carolina and Duke are going to be 1-2 and Florida State will ideally secure their spot at the No. 3 team, but UVA will tussle with Miami, Clemson, etc.
Rising-sophomore wing Joe Harris is a stud, a future NBA prospect, and a scorer who could really produce this season. He does most of his damage by way of his deadly jump shot, converting on 41.7 percent of his 3-point attempts as a freshman. As Mustapha Farrakhan, last season's leading-scorer (13.5 points) moves on due to graduation, Joe Harris and classmate K.T. Harrell should become household names. Harrell, is another strong perimeter option like Harris, knocking down 24-of-57 attempts from 3-point range, the best mark on the team.
Scott's return for his fifth-year gives Virginia a much-needed interior presence on both ends of the floor. He brings the versatility to score both inside and out with a smooth mid-range jumper, but his biggest impact will be felt on the offensive glass and getting to the foul line, two areas where the Cavs struggled last season. In his four seasons in a Virginia uniform, Scott has routinely had an offensive rebounding rate amongst the nation's best, and last year, he developed a new aggressiveness in attacking the rim- averaging 6 free-throw attempts a game, doubling his mark from his junior season.