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WATCH: UVA men’s basketball practicing before trip to Italy (featuring a special guest)

98 days and counting until basketball is back.

NCAA Men’s Final Four - Previews Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As the Virginia Cavaliers’ men’s basketball team is less than two weeks away from its first exhibition game of four during the ten day trip, the ‘Hoos are back in the gym with a number of new faces and one old one.

Specifically, former Wahoo Mamadi Diakite can be seen shooting a few deep balls and getting involved in 5-vs-5 action particularly guarding Ben Vander Plas. With Diakite’s NBA future currently unknown, it’s nice to see him back in Charlottesville getting work in.

Interestingly, the video opens on UVA assistants Johnny Carpenter and Kyle Getter going through film of what looks like a Tennessee versus Alabama game from last season among other footage, perhaps implying that Virginia is looking to add some offensive schemes to its arsenal come November.

Watching Alabama could imply that the Wahoo staff is hoping to limit the number of midrange jumpers the team takes this season and up the volume of three-balls — especially after UVA so heavily relied on long twos in the 2021-2022 season — considering that Alabama coach Nate Oats is vehemently opposed to two-point jumpers. Of course, that’s just speculation from a few seconds of footage that could mean absolutely nothing.

We also get a look at UVA’s incoming freshmen as Isaac Traudt and Isaac McKneely each featured in the 74 seconds of video with both of them scoring baskets off Reece Beekman assists and playing alongside a number of Virginia’s starters from last season in the 5-vs-5 action. Again, we’re talking about practice, but it’s always fun to see the new guys in action. Speaking of, Vander Plas was shown plenty as well, particularly in the scrimmage play when he exploited a hasty closeout from Diakite and surprisingly beat the agile shot-blocker to the rim.

There are 98 days until UVA’s season opener. Can you tell we’re ready for it?