An early look at the 2020-2021 Virginia Cavaliers
This should be another year of change for Virginia, mostly due to graduation this time. While last year’s team saw three players make jumps to the pros and another graduate, Tony Bennett is set to lose Mamadi Diakte and Braxton Key to graduation.
Those two were vital cogs in Virginia’s starting lineup, and filling their shoes won’t be easy. One thing that will help is the eligibility of senior Sam Hauser, who had to sit out this season after transferring in from Marquette.
Hauser will be a tremendous fit in the Virginia lineup as a stretch four thanks to his ability to shoot from the perimeter. The addition of Hauser will allow Jay Huff to play the five, which he is a much better fit for considering his skill set.
Bennett has also put together a solid three-man recruiting class headlined by Jabri Abdur-Rahim, the son of former NBA All-Star Sharif Abdur-Rahim. The younger Rahim has a great chance to fill Key’s spot in the starting lineup while fellow freshmen Reece Beekman and Carson McCorkle will try to fill roles in the rotation.
This could be another transition year for Virginia, which has enough talent to make the tournament but whose ultimate upside will be determined by how much extra offense next year’s group is able to generate. Bennett got 23 wins out of a roster that was extremely limited on offense this season, so if he gets a little more punch next year the Cavaliers could be extremely dangerous.
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