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CHARLOTTESVILLE-Virginia men’s head basketball coach Tony Bennett is the U. S. Basketball Writers Association 2011-12 District III Coach of the Year and UVa senior forward Mike Scott (Chesapeake, Va.) is a member of the USBWA’s All-District III Team.

It is the second USBWA District Coach of the Year honor for Bennett. He was named the District IX Coach of the Year in 2007 when he was the head coach at Washington State. That same year he was the USBWA’s National Coach of the Year after leading Washington State to a 26-8 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The awards were announced by the USBWA on Tuesday (March 6).

Bennett, in his third year as the men’s head basketball coach at Virginia, led the Cavaliers to an overall record of 22-8 and a 9-7 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference during the 2011-12 regular season. UVa finished fourth in the ACC regular-season standings.

The Cavaliers’ 9-7 ACC record marks the first time Virginia has finished regular-season ACC play with a winning record since going 11-5 in 2006-07. UVa’s 22 regular-season wins are the most in a regular season for the Cavaliers since the 1982-83 team won 25. Virginia also won nine road/neutral site games for the first time since the 1990-91 team won 10.

Bennett’s three Virginia teams have compiled an overall record of 53-39. He was the head coach at Washington State for three years before coming to UVa. His Washington State teams compiled an overall record of 69-33 and participated in the NCAA Tournament twice, reaching the Sweet 16 in 2008.

The 6-8 Scott, who earned first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors this season, is averaging 17.9 points and 8.3 rebounds a game, while shooting 57.3 percent (200-349) from the field and 81.4 percent (131-161) from the free-throw line. He ranks first among ACC players in field goal percentage, second in scoring, tied for fifth in rebounding and fifth in free throw percentage.

Scott also leads all active ACC players in career points scored (1,500) and rebounds (928). He is the 33rd player in ACC history to record 1,500 career points and 900 career rebounds.

Scott has been named the ACC Player of the Week four times this season. He is the first Virginia player to earn the honor four times in one season. Barry Parkhill (1971-72), Ralph Sampson (1982-83), Bryant Stith (1989-90) and Norman Nolan (1997-98) all were named ACC Player of the Week three times in a season.

Scott has also received third-team Sporting News All-America honors this season.

North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller is the USBWA’s District III Player of the Year. Joining Scott and Zeller on the USBWA’s All-District III Team are Harrison Barnes (North Carolina), Seth Curry (Duke), John Henson (North Carolina), Kendall Marshall (North Carolina), Ryan Pearson (George Mason), Mason Plumlee (Duke), Austin Rivers (Duke) and Terrell Stoglin (Maryland).

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