Virginia Cavaliers have potential to be dangerous on the court for 2022-2023 season

‘I think we’re deeper and better prepared.’

Virginia men's basketball team at ACC Tip-Off (WSLS)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – By all accounts and even from head coach Tony Bennett himself, the Virginia Cavaliers took a step back during the 2021-2022 season. As the team had a number of new and talented transfers, it took the better part of the season for them to find a rhythm on how to play cohesively.

While they eventually figured it out by season’s end, the Cavaliers hadn’t done quite enough to receive an NCAA Tournament bid. But they were able to play postseason hoops after making a quarterfinals run in the NIT.

There’s no doubt that getting back to their standard is the main goal for the Virginia Cavaliers this season and there’s lots of optimism as they work to do so. Virginia returns all five starters from last season--Kihei Clark, Jayden Gardner, Reece Beekman, Kadin Shedrick and Armaan Franklin. They are joined by Ohio University transfer Ben Vander Plas and a host of young talented players.

“I think it could be dangerous if we go take care of business step by step, don’t sell ourselves short, don’t overlook opponents,” said Jayden Gardner. He led the team in scoring in his first season with the Cavaliers after transferring from ECU.

“I think because of the experience returning, four recruits coming in, very good transfer in Vander Plas, then all the guys that were significant starters and minute holders, being a year improved, better—all that stuff helps,” said head coach Tony Bennett. “I think we’re deeper and better prepared.”

“Really excited to get the season rolling and prove to a lot of people what we can do,” Clark said. “I don’t think my role has changed too much. I think I still have to be the leader I was last year. But we’re all veteran players at this point so it’s a lot easier to have a team-led program.

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.