Cavalier Corner

April 2015

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Page 22 of 56

• A second straight ACC regular-season cham- pionship. • A second straight 30-win season for the first time in program history. • Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Anderson be- coming the first Virginia teammates to earn All- America honors in the same season since Ralph Sampson and Jeff Lamp. • Darion Atkins winning ACC Defensive Player of the Year. • Head coach Tony Bennett winning ACC Coach of the Year for the second straight season. Overall, six players on UVa's roster received some form of All-ACC recognition. The season started with an impressive 79-51 victory at James Madison. The Cavaliers, behind 18 points from Anderson, 15 from Anthony Gill and 14 from Brogdon, steamrolled JMU in front of a sold-out crowd of 6,782 at the Convocation Center. Anderson, just a 29-percent shooter from three-point-range the year before, was 4 of 5 from behind the arc. His proficiency was a sign of things to come. Virginia had a 7-0 record, which included a pair of wins in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center Clas- sic, before entering a tough back-to-back stretch with Maryland and VCU in early December. UVa's last visit to College Park had ended in an overtime loss. With Maryland having moved to the Big Ten, that game was believed to be the last time that the ACC foes would be facing each other for some time. However, the powers that be paired the rivals in the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Maryland was missing injured star Dez Wells, but entered the game 7-0 and ranked 21st in the country. In an extremely physical contest, Virginia — behind 18 points from Brogdon and 16 points from Anderson —- defeated the Terrapins 76-65 at the Xfinity Center. "We could have got unraveled a few times," Bennett said, "but the guys stuck in there. I told them after the game, 'You were enjoyable to coach tonight.'" With the win, Virginia was off to its first 8-0 start since the 2003-04 season. But VCU was looming. The season before, the Rams had come into BY WHITELAW REID W HAT DO YOU DO FOR AN ENCORE AFTER winning both the ACC regular-season and tournament cham- pionships? And how do you do it without Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell? Those were the challenges facing the Virginia men's basketball team in the 2014-15 season. While the year didn't end the way UVa fans were hoping — a third- round loss to Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament — there were plenty of things to be proud of.

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