CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia men's basketball team will play its first game of the season on Wednesday, as Cavaliers travel north to face Syracuse.

The national champions will begin their title defense with a lot of new faces on the roster.

Senior Sam Hauser has an impressive resume.

He averaged 14.9 points per game last season, and shot 40.2 percent from three-point range.

The 6-foot-8 forward also grabbed 7.2 seven rebounds per game, but that all came while he was playing at Marquette in the Big East. 

Sam Hauser was able to play in the Blue & White Scrimmage

Hauser transferred to Virginia for his senior year, and he will have to sit out the 2019-20 season, due to NCAA transfer rules.

While he is unable to play in any games this year, he can practice with the team, and Hauser knows what his role will be this season.

"Helping these guys get better every day in practice," says Hauser.  "Competing, because practices are like my game days now. I got to take full advantage of that. There's a lot of knowledge on this staff, and these players, so I can take a lot in, and make it useful, for this off year."

Senior forward Braxton Key says, "He's a great player. He makes us all better, and he comes trying to score every time he gets the ball. He's someone to keep you honest every day, and if you don't come ready to play, he'll make sure you notice."

Head coach Tony Bennett adds, "He's real competitive, and whenever his team is out there, he wants to win, and hopefully he'll really work hard, develop his game, and really do what guys have done in the past in that situation. Do whatever he can to serve the team, make them better, and improve his game in the process."

The Cavaliers and Orange tip-off on Wednesday at 9 PM in Syracuse.