Cavaliers Ready For Stretch Run - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cavaliers Ready For Stretch Run

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Joe Harris is averaging 11.6 points per game this year Joe Harris is averaging 11.6 points per game this year

The Virginia men's basketball is currently the 17th ranked team in the nation, and is riding an eight-game win streak.  

The Cavaliers are 20-5 overall, and are in second place in the conference standings.   UVa didn't reach the 20-win plateau until mid-March last season.  

The success is coming despite a drop-off in scoring from Virginia's senior leaders.   Joe Harris led UVa with 16.3 points per game last season, while Akil Mitchell was second at 13.1.

The seniors are averaging four and six points less, respectively, this year, with Malcolm Brogdon emerging as the leading scorer.

UVa doesn't have a single player that ranks in the top-20 in the ACC in scoring.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett says team goals are trumping individual stats.

"When you're having success, it's easier," says Bennett.  "That doesn't mean you don't have individual goals and desires.  You always want to play as much as you can as a competitor, but there are times where you are just trying to do whatever you can for the team, and usually those are the teams that have success."

The Cavaliers have six games left in the ACC regular season.

Bennett says, "Each one is very important.  On is not more important than the other.  We've used the stairwell example: If there are six steps left until conference is done, you better not put one foot on a step, and skip over another step.  You better have two feet on each step when you get to that step, and give it everything you have.  That's what's in front of us.  That's the quality that we're seeking."

Virginia will play at Clemson Saturday at noon.

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