Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEWARK, N.J. — Virginia coach Tony Bennett knows that to compete with the Carolinas and the Dukes of the world, he needs as much height and as much talent as he can muster.
So Bennett is looking forward to the return of 6-foot-8 senior forward Mike Scott, who missed 21 games during the 2010-11 season with an ankle injury and received a medical hardship waiver.
“He was a key player for us, so him coming back, getting his fifth year hopefully will help us,” Bennett told SNY.tv Tuesday during an open gym at St. Benedict’s Prep.
Scott averaged 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 33.7 minutes and shot 88.1 percent from the free-throw line in the 10 games in which he played last season. He also became the first Cavalier to post five consecutive double-doubles since Ralph Sampson in 1983.
“He’s been the leading scorer, so he’s an important returner that we weren’t expecting to have,” said Bennett, whose team finished 16-15 last season, 7-9 in the ACC.
“He’s looking pretty good. It’s nice to have him back because we struggled a little bit to score around the lane without him.”
Virginia offered St. Benedict’s prep junior point guard Tyler Ennis. Bennett plans to be at St. Anthony Wednesday.
“As always, we’re just trying to identify young kids to build relationships with,” Bennett said, speaking generally because he is not permitted to comment on specific recruits.
“There’s real good coaching around here. That’s what I like. That can save you a year to a half a year when these young men come from programs where the coaches prepare them for college.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.