Maui Invitational Preview - Virginia

Now on the beautiful island of Maui, the University of Washington men's basketball team is aiming to show the country that it can stick with the best teams in the country in the EA Sports Maui Invitational, hosted by Chaminade University. The Huskies' first test of the tournament will be against the Virginia Cavaliers. The game time is set for 9 p.m. PST on ESPN 2 and 950 KJR.

Virginia, who is coached by former Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett, is coming into the game with a 2-1 record. The two wins came against William & Mary and USC Upstate. Stanford was the lone loss for Virginia, and it was also their first road test of the season.

Like most teams in the ACC, Virginia is a team that features some size on the depth chart. Out of their 13 players, eight are 6-foot-6 or taller, with the tallest being junior center Assane Sene, who is 7-feet tall.

Leading the team in scoring so far in this young season has been Mike Scott, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward. The senior will provide a formidable matchup against the Dawgs' interior, as he is averaging 15 points on 56 percent shooting from the field and 88 percent from the free-throw line. He has also been a terror on the boards, pulling in nine rebounds a game.

Starting at the two, Mustapha Farrakhan, a 6-foot-4 senior, is second in scoring behind Scott with 11.7 points a game on 42 percent shooting.

One thing to watch for the Cavaliers is the play of their three freshmen shooting guards; Billy Baron, Joe Harris and K.T. Harrell.

Although Baron hasn't been starting, he has been playing starter's minutes off the bench, and for good reason. The 6-foot-2 marksmen is averaging 11.7 points a game on an impressive 59 percent shooting from the field, 90 percent from the line and 54 percent from beyond the arc. He isn't exactly filling up the rest of the stat sheet, but he is playing the passing lanes and is averaging one steal a game. His father, Jim Baron, is the head basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island.

A native of Chelan,Wash., Harris was a relatively unknown quantity in the recruiting world the last couple of years outside of the Evergreen State, where he was Washington's Mr. Basketball for 2010. However, standing in at 6-foot-6, Harris is averaging 7.3 points a game on 47 percent shooting. In the three games this year he has averaged 20 minutes per contest.

The last of the three freshmen guards - and the highest-rated recruit - is Harrell, who is 6-foot-5. He is averaging seven points and 2.3 rebounds per game. He is only shooting 38 percent from the field, however.

As with most Bennett-coached teams, look for the Cavaliers to play a slow-it-down defensive style and try to keep Washington out of their fast-paced tempo.

The victor of this matchup will proceed to play the winner of the Kentucky-Oklahoma game and the loser will play the loser of that same game. If UW beats Virginia, their next game will take placeTuesday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN. Otherwise their next game will be at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN 2.


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