#8 UVA basketball opens season at JMU on Friday
No. 8 UVA travels to James Madison for its 2014-15 season-opener on Friday (Nov. 14). Tipoff at the Convocation Center is set for 7 p.m. The Cavaliers, who enter their 110th season of competition, are 15-1 in their last 16 season-opening games.
The game will be streamed online on JMUSports.com and broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. Live statistics will be located on VirginiaSports.com, as well as the Virginia Sports app, which is available free of charge through iTunes.
Single-game tickets for the Virginia-James Madison contest are sold out.
Virginia-James Madison Series
Virginia sports a 9-0 all-time mark, including a 2-0 mark in Harrisonburg, against James Madison in the series that dates back to 1977-78. The Cavaliers play James Madison in Harrisonburg for the first time since a 51-34 win over the Dukes on Dec. 1, 1982.
The Head Coaches
Virginia: Tony Bennett (Green Bay, 1992), 106-60 in five seasons at UVa and 175-93 in eight seasons overall.
James Madison: Matt Brady (Siena, 1987), 99-102 in six seasons at JMU and 172-152 in 10 seasons overall.
Virginia’s No. 9 AP Preseason Ranking Best Since 1982-83
UVa is ranked No. 9/8 in the Associated Press and USA Today preseason coaches’ polls. The No. 9 AP preseason ranking is UVa’s best since a No. 1 ranking to start the 1982-83 season. Virginia has been ranked in the preseason rankings in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2000-01 and 2001-02. UVa’s No. 3 final AP ranking last season marked its highest final ranking since 1982.
Meet the Cavaliers
Redshirt junior guard Malcolm Brogdon headlines a list of 12 returning letterwinners that helped Virginia capture the ACC regular season and tournament championships in the same season for the first time in school history in 2013-14. The Cavaliers (30-7) earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, tied a school record with 30 wins and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 1994-95. Brogdon averaged a team-leading 12.7 points and 5.4 rebounds en route to All-ACC honors. Other key returnees are Justin Anderson (ACC Sixth Man of the Year), London Perrantes (All-ACC Freshman Team), Anthony Gill, Mike Tobey, Darion Atkins and Evan Nolte. Anderson averaged 7.8 points and 3.2 rebounds and Gill averaged 8.6 points and four rebounds off the bench. Tobey started 28 games and led the team with 39 blocked shots. Perrantes averaged 5.5 points and a team-leading 3.8 assists. Atkins, who is the lone senior on the team, has led the team in blocked shots in two of the last three seasons. Nolte is a valuable 3-point threat off the bench role. Perrantes and Nolte will miss the season-opener after violating team rules in the summer. Redshirt freshman guard Devon Hall will make his collegiate debut against James Madison.
Meet The New Guys
Freshman recruits Marial Shayok, Isaiah Wilkins, B.J. Stith and Jack Salt look to make their marks on the UVa program this season. Shayok averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds per game for Blair Academy last season, while Wilkins 18.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks en route to Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year honors for Greater Atlantic Christian. Stith averaged 12.4 points and 4.3 rebounds for national runner-up Oak Hill Academy, and Salt averaged 18.9 points and 14.8 rebounds while leading Westlake to back-to-back New Zealand National High School championships. Wilkins is the stepson of NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, and Stith is the son of UVa all-time leading scorer Bryant Stith. Salt played at the same high school as former All-Big Ten player and current pro basketball player Kirk Penney, whom Tony Bennett coached while an assistant at Wisconsin.
Virginia hosts Norfolk State in its home-opener on Sunday, Nov. 16. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.