The Virginia basketball team came up two-points shy of advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time in 19-years Friday night...but the Cavaliers say the experience can still be very beneficial.
Sophomore guard Evan Nolte says, "The guys coming back, we know we experienced this now. We've gotten the NCAA Tournament atmosphere, and we know what to expect, so we're going to come back hungry."
"It's satisfying, and frustrating, because it was that close," says head coach Tony Bennett. "That's sports. It's kind of like a drug, it gets you.You can taste it, it was right there."
The returning players will be looking to build on the legacies of seniors Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell.
Sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon says, "This team has made their mark on Virginia basketball history. The seniors who are leaving have left a legacy behind that will be remembered."
"The program has an extremely bright future, and it's very rewarding and awesome to know you had a little part in it," says Harris. "I'm excited to see where the program goes from here."
The Wahoos have increased their win total every season under head coach Tony Bennett
Sophomore center Mike Tobey says, "This program is definitely moving in the right direction. Coach Bennett and the coaching staff has done a phenomenal job."
Freshman point guard London Perrantes says, "Coach Bennett talked about coming in and changing the program, changing Virginia basketball. They left that legacy. Virginia basketball is definitely back on the map."
UVa will return three starters next season, and the core of the program is made up of sophomores and freshmen.
"There are some good pieces in that locker room," says Bennett. "I like what I see. We got to recruit well, and I think this season will continue to help us in our recruiting efforts."
Perrantes adds, "We got a young team. We got a lot of talent coming in, and we have a lot of talent here. We'll be back."