Bennett Talks Harris and Mitchell in the NBA

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Akil Mitchell Akil Mitchell

The NBA will hold its annual entry draft Thursday, and a couple of former UVa stars will be hoping to hear their names called, and continue their basketball dreams.

Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell don't have to look far when it comes to former Cavaliers in the NBA.

Mitchell and Harris were sophomores when Mike Scott was drafted into the league, and Scott saw a big increase in his production with the Atlanta Hawks from his first to his second season.

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett says, "It's a league that values specialists. You look at what Mike Scott's been able to do with the Hawks, his ability to shoot that 17-footer, and now he's even developed a three-point shot. He's carved out a nice niche for himself. Joe will be similar, but adding other things."

Specialization could be the key to success for two players who are projected as possible second round picks.

Harris is known for his ability to shoot the lights out from long range, while Mitchell can be a lockdown defender.

Bennett says, "The things you saw those guys do for us, certainly, they'll improve and develop little things in their game, but that's why people are attracted to them, because they know who they are."

Whether they have their names called during the draft or not...Bennett expects both former Cavalier players to be playing professional basketball next season.

"There is a place for those guys," says Bennett.  "Whether it's high-level European ball, in the NBA, they help people win. That's the bottom line, does this guy help my team win? I can say yes about both of those things for them."

The NBA Draft begins Thursday night at seven o'clock in Brooklyn.


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