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CHARLOTTESVILLE—Virginia men’s head basketball coach Tony Bennett has announced the signing of five players to national letters of intent with the Cavaliers during the early signing period. The players are 6-4 guard K.T. Harrell of Montgomery, Ala.; 6-6 guard Joe Harris from Chelan, Wash.; 6-9 forward James Johnson of Wildomar, Calif.; 6-7 wing Akil Mitchell of Charlotte, N.C.; and 6-8 forward Will Regan of Williamsville, N.Y. currently ranks Virginia’s recruiting class 11th and ranks it 14th nationally.

“Obviously this is a very important recruiting class because it’s the first for our staff at Virginia,” Bennett said. “I think the goal to bring in a wide range of players in terms of playing positions and a group that complements each other has been accomplished. We want to take the foundation that’s in place here already with the current players and enhance it with this group of five young men.

“As a group they all embody and represent what the University of Virginia stands for and they are excited to be a part of returning Virginia basketball to prominence. Each of them is also looking forward to the academic opportunity that the University presents. They are coming to Virginia for the right reasons.”

Harrell did not play high school basketball last season after transferring to Brewbaker Tech Magnet High School in Montgomery. and rank him as a Top 100 recruit.

Harris averaged 25.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game as a junior at Chelan High School last season, was the Class 1A Player of the Year in the state of Washington and an All-State selection. He averaged 22 points a game as a sophomore and was the Caribou Trail League Player of the Year each of the last two seasons.

Johnson did not play high school basketball last season after moving from Canada to California. and rank him as a Top 100 recruit.

Mitchell averaged seven points and five rebounds a game at Charlotte Christian School last season on a team that featured three players now playing Division I basketball at the collegiate level. He also played for Charlotte Christian School as a sophomore during the 2007-08 season.

Regan averaged 23.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots a game as a junior last season at the Nichols School and was named the Buffalo News Player of the Year. As a sophomore he averaged 18.7 points, 14.3 rebounds and four blocked shots a game. Regan was the first sophomore in 14 years to be named to the All-Western New York first team and earned that honor again last season.

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