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The Virginia men’s basketball team begins a six-game stretch away from home this week as it visits Stanford on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET – FSN). Following the game, the Cavaliers head to Hawaii where they will play in the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational from Nov. 22-24. caught up with senior forward Will Sherrill to preview the trip and discuss the start of the season.

Question: How does it feel to be named a Team Captain for the 2010-11 season?

Sherrill: It is a great honor to be named a captain, and a lot of responsibility comes with that title. I have to be a role model for the younger guys, and be a leader on and off the court.

Question: You started your career as a walk-on, but have recently earned a scholarship. How special is it to see your hard work pay off in that way?

Sherrill: I feel very privileged to have a scholarship to play basketball here, and I recognize the amazing opportunity that it brings. I think it shows how much I have improved over the course of my career here, and it is a blessing to play for a guy like Coach Bennett who recognizes hard work and sacrifice.

Question: How much of a difference does being in the second year in Coach Bennett’s system make for the program?

Sherrill: As returning players we feel more comfortable with it than the new guys, so we have to impart our wisdom and experience we gained last year on to them. There will be a lot of adversity this season, as always, and the level of comfort we have with the coaching staff after a season will really help us through that adversity.

Question: What is the mentality of such a young team, and have you established any team goals for the season?

Sherrill: In talking with the team and the other captains, reaching the NCAA Tournament is something we have not accomplished in our time at Virginia, so that is a goal for us. We want to continue moving this program in the right direction and leave on a good note.

Question: What are the team expectations on this six-game road-trip?

Sherrill: I think we can gain a lot of good experience heading into ACC play from that road trip. It is a good opportunity for us to face off against some big-time programs. We do not look at it as a bad thing that we have such a tough early schedule. Every game is a new opportunity, and that is how we will approach it.

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