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CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team officially opens practice for the 2010-11 season on Friday (Oct. 15). The Cavaliers, in their second year under head coach Tony Bennett, have six returning lettermen and seven first-year players on their 13-man roster.

“We have a lot of work to do because we have so many new guys and we are really looking forward to working with them,” Bennett said. “I like the feel of this group.

“Our schedule this season will certainly challenge us out of the blocks. The guys that have returned are in a good place. They are working hard and trying to lead while the new young men are trying to figure it all out. That’s normal. It is a nice group.”

Heading the list of returning players for Virginia is 6-8 senior forward Mike Scott who led the team in rebounding last season with an average of 7.2 rebounds a game and was second in scoring with an average of 12.0 points a game. He also led the team in double-doubles with eight and now has 18 during his UVa career.

Scott started 25 of the 28 games he played in last season, shot 50.5 percent from the field (143-283) and 71.9 percent (46-64) from the free throw line. He has started 65 games in his three seasons at Virginia.

Junior guard Sammy Zeglinski also returns. The 6-1 Zeglinski played in all 31 of the Cavaliers games last season, starting 29, and averaged 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. He led the team in three-point field goals made (61), assists (80) and steals (38). Zeglinski has started 44 games the last two seasons.

Other returning lettermen include 6-4 senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan (6.5 ppg., 2.0 apg.), 6-9 senior forward Will Sherrill (3.0 ppg., 3.0 rpg.), 5-11 sophomore guard Jontel Evans (2.4 ppg., 1.9 apg.) and 7-0 junior center Assane Sene (1.6 ppg., 3.6 rpg).

Joining the Cavaliers this season as first-year players are guards Billy Baron (6-2), KT Harrell (6-4), Joe Harris (6-6) and Thomas Rogers (6-6), and forwards James Johnson (6-9), Akil Mitchell (6-8) and Will Regan (6-8).

Virginia finished the 2009-10 season with an overall record of 15-16 and tied for ninth in the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season standings with a record of 5-11. Bennett’s first Virginia team led the ACC and ranked 13th in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (10.7). The Cavaliers shot 74.8 percent from the free throw line to rank second in the conference and 18th nationally in free throw percentage. UVa also improved by 8.9 points in points allowed per game (63.6 ppg.). The Cavaliers were 3-3 against ranked opponents last season.

Virginia has an exhibition game scheduled at John Paul Jones Arena with Roanoke College on Nov. 6 at 4 p.m. before opening its 2010-11 regular season at JPJA against William & Mary on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

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