Not much there: Virginia releases 2021-2022 non-conference schedule
Virginia basketball coach Tony Bennett must think his team needs some work. That’s my take from the light touch non-conference schedule announced on Friday.
There are the games with Houston (Nov. 16) and Iowa (Nov. 29), the latter in the B1G/ACC Challenge. Houston was #17 in the latest ESPN Way-Too-Early Top 25; Iowa, which finished the 2020-2021 season ranked eighth, won’t have Luka Garza back this year, so the Hawkeyes aren’t sniffing Top 25s right now.
Bennett’s ‘Hoos were 23rd in that Way-Too-Early Top 25, incidentally.
The defending ACC regular-season champs lose their top three scorers from last season – Sam Hauser, Jay Huff and Trey Murphy III – though Bennett replenished with top transfer targets Jayden Gardner (East Carolina) and Armaan Franklin (Indiana), late incoming freshman signee from the international scene, 6’9” wing Igor Milicic Jr., and 6’7” New Zealand sharpshooter Taine Murray.
Those three get added to a mix of returning players including point guards Kihei Clark and Reece Beekman, wings Carson McCorkle and Kody Stattmann, and bigs Kadin Shedrick and Francisco Caffaro.
Which is to say, yeah, there’s some work to do to build chemistry, so it might be best to lay low in November and December, so the team can get its feet set.
There is one other set of decent games in the pre-ACC slate – the Nov. 22-23 Legends Classic (Newark, N.J.), which features Northwestern, Providence and Georgia – though none of those three are on anybody’s radar heading into the fall.
The rest of the non-conference slate is guarantee games with Navy (Nov. 9), Radford (Nov. 12), Coppin State (Nov. 19), Lehigh (Nov. 26) and Fairleigh Dickinson (Dec. 18) at John Paul Jones Arena, and then a road game at James Madison on Dec. 7.
That one is a makeup from the scheduled November 2020 game that got lost to COVID.
The 20-game ACC schedule includes home-and-homes with Clemson, Duke, Louisville, Miami, Pitt and Virginia Tech.
The one-offs have UVA hosting Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, with road contests at North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame and Syracuse.
Dates for ACC contests, game times and TV designations for the entire 2021-2022 schedule will be announced at a later date.
Fans who held season tickets in 2020-2021 will be able to renew their season tickets for the 2021-2022 season beginning on Wednesday, July 14. More details will be sent to those fans via email.
Fans who did not have season tickets for the 2020-21 season can add their names to the season ticket waitlist here.
If tickets are available, fans on the wait list will be contacted by email during the month of September.
Story by Chris Graham