October 12, 2009
Both the Cavalier men's and women's basketball teams will take the court on Friday to begin their normal practice schedules. Both squads enter 2009-2010 looking for success, but building off very different seasons last year.
Tony Bennett begins his first year as the Virginia men's head coach. He inherits a team that went 10-18 last season, 4-12 in the ACC, and was eliminated in the first round of the ACC Tournament by Boston College. All five starters from last year's team return this season, and Bennett will look to Sylven Landesberg to lead the charge. Landesberg is the reigning ACC Rookie of the Year, and the head coach is challenging him to make his teammates better in addition to himself. The Cavalier men open up their season on November 13 at John Paul Jones Arena against Longwood.
Meanwhile, Debbie Ryan's women set out on a quest to make the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year. Ryan's team is headlined by youth, as five freshmen and four sophomores make up a good part of the roster. All-American Monica Wright returns in hopes of leading the team to new heights this season. Ryan says that her senior leader has worked incredibly hard during the offseason on her game, and she has come into her own in terms of leadership. The women will tip off on November 13 as well, but on the road at UMBC. Ryan will enter that game with 699 career wins, and in search of 700.
Both coaches as well as players met with the media on Monday as part of Cavalier Basketball Media Day. Click on the above video link to hear from both coaches and select players.
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