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Virginia men's basketball player Akil Mitchell chats live Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 1:30 p.m.


The Cavaliers host James Madison in their 2013-14 season opener on Friday, Nov. 8. Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena is 7 p.m.

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Wahoo Central Moderator: We are ready for today's live chat with Akil Mitchell!

Michelle (charlottesville): What are you most excited for this season?
Akil Mitchell: It's my senior season and it's a great opportunity to play with a great group of guys. Joe and I are looking to go out in style.

Mike (Harrisonburg): About the middle of last season, I thought maybe a light went off and you realized that you were one of (if not the most) athletic and best big men in the ACC. Is there any truth to that and do you believe you are one the best big man in the ACC? I think you are without a doubt.
Akil Mitchell: Yes, I've always believed in my ability and I gained a lot of confidence each and every game I played.

Carolyn, Boston: What is something that you do before or after every game?
Akil Mitchell: I don't have a specific pre-game routine, but I do try to take a nap. I do try to silence my mind about 1-2 minutes prior to taking the court.

Steve (Alexandria): Joe Harris recently said that he wants to try and get Taylor Swift to a game this year. Who would you want as your guest to a big ACC matchup this season?
Akil Mitchell: If he's going to get Swift, then I'm going to get Alicia Keys to a game. Then, we'll have both of our celebrity crushes in the stands.

Haley (Charlottesville): What is your favorite thing to do when you are not playing basketball?
Akil Mitchell: I like listening to music, going to movies and I clean my apartment to relax.

Neo (Fredericksburg): Who on the team has the worst taste in music?
Akil Mitchell: Has to be Caid Kirven. He loves this rapper named Yellawolf and he's terrible.

Mitch (Atlanta): Joe Harris has "Joey Hoops". What do you want fans to call Akil Mitchell this season?
Akil Mitchell: Call me Akil and a winner.

Doug (Ch'ville): Favorite player to go up against & favorite road venue you have played in?
Akil Mitchell: Anybody from Duke and the favorite venue is Cameron Indoor.

Ted(NYC): What can we expect from Anthony Gill this year?
Akil Mitchell: Physical and aggressive basketball. He's going to surprise a lot of people this season.

Tom: What are your expectations for this season? How far can this team go?
Akil Mitchell: I expect us to be as good as we can be every night. If we can do that, then a deep run in the NCAA Tournament is possible.

Brandon (Virginia Beach): Who would win a dunk contest between you and Justin Anderson?
Akil Mitchell: That's a good one. Probably Justin, just because he's shorter.

Shawn (Reston): In your opinion, who has improved their game the most over this past offseason?
Akil Mitchell: Malcolm Brogdon for sure. His game has really blossomed.

Colin (Winchester): How are you guys going to be able to handle "Havoc", VCU's pressing defensive style?
Akil Mitchell: First we have to prepare and play JMU. Then, we'll worry about handling VCU's pressure after that.

Aaron (Richmond): Which part of your game have you worked on improving the most in the offseason?
Akil Mitchell: I've worked on all parts of my game this offseason. The game is slowing down for me and I think my jump shooting and decision making has improved.

Brendan-from Fairfax, Va: With all the hype coming into this season, with a deeper squad and new teams entering the ACC, waht has the vibe been like in practice among yourself and the rest of the team?
Akil Mitchell: Practice has been super-competitive. We are a close-knit group and it's one of the tightest teams I've been on.

Kevin NYC: What have been the key factors that led to your success and growth the last three seasons? Your performance has impressed many every year.
Akil Mitchell: I would say dedication to hard work, staying motivated to get better and believing in myself.

Dean (Va Beach): How is the chemistry down low with you and Gill?
Akil Mitchell: I think it's pretty strong - we've had it since high school. We can't wait to start the season Friday.

Kyle (Richmond): In Jay Bilas' preseason basketball opus, he listed Virginia as a team he thinks could seriously contend for a spot in the Final Four. What does this team need to do to make that happen?
Akil Mitchell: Same thing we always do. Be a strong defensive-minded team and don't lose sight of who we are.

Rob (Hickory, NC): I've enjoyed seeing you grow up a lot from your days at Charlotte Christian to your final season at Virginia. From your perspective, outside of basketball, what significant examples of growth have you experienced since coming to UVa.
Akil Mitchell: I've grown as a man both in the classroom and on the court. My spiritual life has allowed me maintain a good balance.
Wahoo Central Moderator: Thanks fans. That's all the time we have today. See you Friday night!