UVA Basketball Plays Season Opener Friday Night

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The UVa men's basketball team will play its season opener Friday night at 7pm against UNC Greensboro.   The 'Hoos beat the Spartans by 25 points last year in Greensboro.

Virginia will start the season unranked in the AP Top-25 poll for the first time in over three years.    The 'Hoos have a record of 18-1 in its last 19 season openers.

Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins and Jack Salt are tri-captains for this season.

The 'Hoos will try to score more in the paint this season.

Sophomore forward Mamadi Diakite says all of Virginia's big men have worked hard on their offensive game this summer.

Diakite averaged 3.8 points per game last year as a freshman.    He was counted on primarily to be a defensive presence.

Diakite says his worked hard on his post moves in the paint to give the 'Hoos more inside scoring.

"This year I'll be putting the ball on the floor much more than I have done before," says Diakite.   "I've been taking responsibility, in general.  Passing the ball.  Creating plays for myself, and attacking the basket more.  Post moves.  Learning how to jab step.  Create your offense, but on your own."

Senior Devon Hall is Virginia's leading returning scorer at 8.4 points per game.   It's just the third time in UVa history that the Virginia has started the season without a returning double-digit scorer.