A large crowd packed the Charlottesville Catholic School Sunday evening to hear ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas speak about life and basketball.
Bilas is in town for the reception and to play in Monday's Gene Corrigan Golf Tournament.
Bilas mingled with guests at the reception and talked about the Virginia men's basketball team before he spoke to the crowd.
"I think (Virginia) will finish in the top five of the ACC," Bilas said. "Tony Bennett's got a lot of real good players. I got a chance to watch Akil Mitchell this summer at the LeBron James Skill Academy and he was terrific. And Joe Harris is one of the best players, best shooters, best scorers in the country."
Bennett's "Pack Line" defense is notorious for giving opposing offenses fits and Bilas believes that will once again be a key for the Cavaliers.
"They make you work hard to get the best possible shot and not a lot of teams have been successful doing that," he explained.
Bilas also thinks the ACC will be one of the top conferences in the nation with the additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame.
"I think at the top the ACC is going to be right with anybody," Bilas said. "You can finish ninth in the league and not only be a tournament team but be a tournament team that can advance."
As for Virginia, Bilas says the Cavs will be a contender in that ACC.
"They've got good depth, they can shoot it, good passing team, and they do a really good job defensively," he said. "Don't turn it over, get the best shot and get to the free throw line. That's a recipe for success and (Bennett) has been really successful."
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