Tony Bennett says ‘Hoos have ‘Plenty of room for growth’ at ACC Tip-Off

Tony Bennett and the UVA men talked about the upcoming season Wednesday, October 25.
Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 3:30 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2023 at 3:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The ACC is holding its annual Basketball Media Day “Tip-Off” this week in Charlotte.

Tony Bennett and the UVA men talked about the upcoming season Wednesday, October 25.

There are many new faces on the UVA men’s team this year with five freshmen and four transfers.

Coach Tony Bennett says he’s doing a lot of teaching in fall scrimmages.

“Be patient and encouraging, but also be very stubborn and I think they can coexist,” Bennett said.

Reece Beekman is back for his senior year after considering turning pro.

“I feel like we have all the right pieces. Everybody just has to be brought in. If that happens, I feel we can go a long way,” Beekman said.

Fellow starters Isaac Mckneely and Ryan Dunn also return this season.

“There are moments in spurts where we’re really good. We just have to be consistent,” Dunn said, “Me and Reece’s job this year is believe that and instill that to them this year.”

Leon Bond III led Virginia with 13 points in this month’s Blue-White Scrimmage.

He’s expected to give the ‘Hoos a big spark after redshirting last season.

Transfers Jake Groves from Oklahoma, Jordan Minor from Merrimack, and point guard Dante Harris from Georgetown will play key roles.

“Dante is one of the quickest on-ball defenders that I’ve coached. Dante brings a level of quickness and toughness on the ball is certainly helpful for us. When you have newer guys and you have fierce competitors, that really has an impact,” Coach Bennett said.

Virginia will start the season unranked for the first time since the start of the 2017-2018 season.

Virginia went 31-3 that year and reached the #1 ranking in the country for the first time since 1982.

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