Next up for the Zags: Virginia

This issue with UVa is their youth, not their talent. Pete Gillen left new coach Dave Leitao a group of talented youngsters. Four have the chance to be really good ACC players one day. The best of the bunch is the Diane (think Luol Deng). They are clearly struggling with Leitao's system. Shot selection and turnovers have hurt them. But damn can this team rebound. GU better board up. Their center Soroye could cause J.P. Batista a few problems, although he is thin. We take a look at the Wahoos.


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VIRGINIA CAVALIERS

Head Coach: Dave Leitao
Last Season: 14-15
Postseason: None
This Season: 3-3 with wins over Liberty, Richmond, and Northwestern, and losses to Arizona, Georgia Tech and Fordham.

2005/06 Outlook: a new era has begun in Charlottesville. Pete Gillen stepped aside this offseason, and was replaced by ex-DePaul head man Dave Leitao, who comes from the Jim Calhoun coaching tree. Leitao has inherited a team that is very young, but is long, highly athletic and full of potential. Like all young teams, Virginia has had ups and downs this season. Like Gonzaga, they have been prone to turnovers. They have also struggled offensively, only averaging 62.5 PPG. But they are holding teams to just under 40% shooting, and they are only giving up 58.3 PPG. The Cavaliers are dominating on the glass (+11.3 rebounding margin) and will challenge Gonzaga because of that stat.

Key Players:

#44 PG Sean Singletary (6-0, soph. 2005/06 = 17.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 37% FG, 36% 3PT, 85% FT)

Finished second in the voting for ACC freshman of the year last season. Started every game last year for the Cavaliers. He constantly pushes the ball up the floor, and can score inside and out. Has scored in double figures each game this season, including a 24 point performance at Arizona. Sat out last game with a hip injury but should be healthy for Gonzaga.

#2 G J.R. Reynolds (6-3, junior. 2005/06 = 11.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.8 APG, 37% FG, 17% 3PT, 71% FT)

Came into Virginia from Oak Hill Academy with the reputation of being a great shooter. Has struggled with his shot so far this season, but he is a time bomb waiting to go off. Has a lightning fast first step, and is an excellent passer for an off-guard.

#24 G/F Mamadi Diane (6-5, freshman. 2005/06 = 10.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 37% FG, 36% 3PT, 88% FT)

Hails from the highly successful program at DeMatha High School. Chose UVA over Maryland, West Virginia and others. Perhaps the best upside of any UVA player. Has a game and body vaguely resembling Luol Deng at times. Good mid range and long distance shooting ability. Has long arms and defends well on the wing. Very versatile.

#11 F Laurynas Mikalauskas (6-8, freshman. 2005/06 = 4.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 61% FG, 50% FT)

Has a hip pointer injury, but has been playing. Bulky post who plays inside. Averaged 22 points and 13 boards per game in high school. Tends to be foul prone. Hails from Lithuania.

#21 C Tunji Soroye (6-11, soph. 2005/06 = 3.2 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.0 BPG, 46% FG, 70% FT)

Long, athletic defender in the post. Excellent shotblocker. Doesn't offer much in the way of offense right now.

#33 F Jason Cain (6-10, junior. 2005/06 = 7.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 45% FG, 53% FT)

UVA's best rebounder. Had 11 and 15 boards his last two games. Has good perimeter skills for a big man. Scored 31 points the last 2 games as well.

#30 F Adrian Joseph (6-7, soph. 2005/06 = 8.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 38% FG, 24% 3 PT, 73% FT)

Lefty shooter. Has scored in double figures in 4 games. Tends to play on the perimeter.

#12 PG Billy Campbell (6-0, senior. 2005/06 = 1.8 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 1.2 APG 33% FG, 100% FT)

Lone senior in UVA's regular rotation. Provides leadership and holds the fort down when Singletary needs a breather.


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