Scott’s Return Boosts Hoos’ Hopes

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UVa forward Mike Scott recorded six double-doubles in 10 games last season.

Virginia fans received the news they’d been waiting for on Thursday: the ACC approved the medical hardship waiver request of Mike Scott. That clears the way for Scott, who missed 21 games last season after two surgeries on his left ankle, to return for another year of eligibility with the Cavaliers. It’s also immediately ratcheted up the already growing fan excitement for the 2011-2012 season.

Why? The initial answer is obvious. If Scott can pick up where he left off prior to his ankle problems last season, the Hoos basically have added an All-ACC player – one of the league’s 15 best players – to the line-up. Scott averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and had six double-doubles in 10 appearances in 2010. That included a stretch of five straight double-doubles, the first Cavalier to do that since Ralph Sampson in 1983. He’ll enter his new senior season with 24 double-doubles (tied for eighth on the program’s career list), 963 points, and 679 rebounds.

From an experience and statistics standpoint, it’s undoubtedly good news for the Hoos. Strategically, it’s a dose of good fortune as well and if Scott can improve on some of the weaker points in his game – hey, everybody has ’em! – he could be an all-out force for his final year as Tony Bennett tries to revive the UVa program. So what does Scott’s return do for Virginia on the strategy front? Let’s take a look.

Offensively, the first thing Scott’s return brings is the obvious and that’s because it was largely missing after his injury in 2010: post scoring and offense. Scott gives Bennett the option of feeding the ball to the low block for offensive touches. The senior forward has the ability to score from either block and he has

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