Nov. 8, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The University of Virginia men's basketball team opens the 2012-13 season at George Mason on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
Virginia returns eight letterwinners from last season's team which posted a 22-10 overall record, finished fourth in the ACC at 9-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five seasons. The 22 wins were the most for Virginia since posting 25 in 1994-95.
Head coach Tony Bennettenters his fourth season at Virginia with a 53-41 record at UVa and 122-74 mark in six seasons of collegiate coaching. Bennett was named the 2012 U.S. Basketball Writers Association District III Coach of the Year.
With third-team All-American Mike Scott, who averaged 18 points and eight rebounds per game, moving on to the NBA, Virginia will turn to senior guard Jontel Evans (Hampton, Va.) and junior guard Joe Harris (Chelan, Wash.) to lead the way this season. Harris is Virginia's top returning scorer, averaging 11.3 points per game. Evans, who is UVa's most experienced player, tallied 8.4 points and 3.9 assists per game and was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team last season. Junior forward Akil Mitchell (Charlotte, N.C.) is UVa's top returning rebounder, pulling down 4.4 boards per game. Also returning to this year's team are sophomore guards Malcolm Brogdon (Norcross, Ga.) and Paul Jesperson (Merrill, Wis.), senior guard Doug Browman (Midlothian, Va.), sophomore forward Darion Atkins (Clinton, Md.) and junior guard Thomas Rogers(Farmville, Va.).
The newcomers include freshmen guards Justin Anderson (Montross, Va.), Taylor Barnette (Lexington, Ky.), Justin Miller (Columbia, Mo.) and freshmen forwards Mike Tobey (Monroe, N.Y.), Evan Nolte (Milton, Ga.) and Caid Kirven (Raleigh, N.C.). Redshirt freshman Teven Jones (Kannapolis, N.C.) and sophomore Anthony Gill(Charlotte, N.C.) round out the 16-man roster. Gill, who will sit out the season after transferring from South Carolina, will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Virginia, which has won 14 consecutive season-opening games, is 7-0 all-time against George Mason. The Cavaliers defeated the Patriots, 68-48, last season in Charlottesville. The teams are meeting for the second time in Fairfax in a series that dates back to 1981. George Mason, who is one of two Colonial Athletic Association opponents on Virginia's 2012-13 schedule, posted a 24-9 overall record (14-4 CAA) mark and 15-1 record at the Patriot Center last season. Head coach Paul Hewitt is in his second season at George Mason after 11 seasons as the head coach at Georgia Tech.
Virginia hosts Fairfield, Penn and Delaware during the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off at John Paul Jones Arena on Nov. 12-13. The Cavaliers play Fairfield on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., and either Penn or Delaware on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. Virginia needs to win both games to advance to the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21.