'Hoos have Talent, Depth, and Optimism for 2013-14 - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

'Hoos have Talent, Depth, and Optimism for 2013-14

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The UVa men's basketball team is ranked in the Top-25 in many preseason polls.    The team has more depth than at any time during the Tony Bennett era, and the guys are fighting for playing time.

Akil Mitchell says, "We go at it, we go at it in practice every day. Every opportunity you get is against a battle tested guy."

Virginia returns its top two scorers, senior sharp shooter Joe Harris and senior Akil Mitchell.

Mitchell says, "After being here four years this is the accumulation of what I expected all that hard work to pay off for."

The 'Hoos add 6-foot-8 South Carolina transfer Anthony Gill and the team has more depth than any time during the Tony Bennett era especially in the front court.

UVa center Mike Tobey says, " I think its going to help us tremendously. Last year everyone's legs were a little tired at the end of the season. This year we should have more even minutes and have fresh legs and be able to make a big run."

Expectations are the highest they've been for a Tony Bennett coached Virginia team.

UVa sophomore guard, Justin Anderson says, "Coach Bennett and our team have been doing a great job of just keeping us humble and understand of who we are as a group. I think with that mixture we realize if we get better every single day that we have a chance to be really good."

Bennett says he thinks this year's team will be tougher, more physical, and get to the free throw line more for easy points.

"It might not be the prettiest team but they're going to have to be physical and rugged. I think we have a group that wants to be good collectively and that's still how we have to do it. We don't have enough individual talent and just line them up and say we're going to dominate."

UVa junior forward Darion Atkins says, "We can be great, we have all the pieces to the puzzle. We got the guards, we got the versatile big men, we all can defend. We need to come out and punch people in the face and I feel like its going to happen. I feel like we have all the pieces to the puzzle this year."

The 'Hoos play their season opener November 8th at home against JMU.

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