Projected Starting Five: Kihei Clark, Reece Beekman, Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner, Kadin Shedrick
This is a team where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Virginia will not out-talent you — nor will they out-athlete you. However, they will out-coach you — and they will attempt to out-discipline you. It seem like Kihei Clark has been at Virginia for 7 years. Yet, he’s just about to enter his senior campaign. He epitomizes the Tony Bennett type of player perhaps more so than anyone. He doesn’t turn the ball over, plays within himself, and is dogged on the defensive side of the floor.
Beekman and Shedrick figure to be role players in the broadest sense of the term. Shedrick will be asked to rebound, play positional defense, and defend the rim. Beekman is a little-used guard with some upside. However, the success of this team sits with the two transfers in Franklin and Gardner. Franklin came over from Indiana where he was averaging over 11 PPG (on 42-percent from three). Gardner was a beast for East Carolina — averaging nearly 19 a game to go along with 8 rebounds and over 50-percent from the field. This isn’t a deep team, which means this group (with maybe one or two reserves) will be playing the lion’s share of the minutes for the Cavs.
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