Tony Bennett has signed a new, seven-year deal with the University of Virginia, keeping him on the sidelines through the 2020-2021 season, the school announced on Tuesday.
Bennett’s base salary and supplemental compensation will bumped up to $1.9 million.
Virginia won both the ACC regular season and tournament titles while earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Bennett was also named ACC Coach of the Year.
“I’m thankful for receiving this new contract,” Bennett said in a statement. “I love coaching at the University of Virginia and living in Charlottesville where the community has been wonderful to my family. I feel we are building something special here and this commitment by the University is another great step towards ensuring we continue to compete at a high level.”
In five seasons in Charlottesville, Bennett has compiled a 106-60 record. This past season, he led the Cavaliers to their first 30-win season since 1981-1982 and the team’s first Sweet 16 berth in 19 years.
“We are pleased with Coach Bennett’s commitment to the University of Virginia,” Director of Athletics Chris Littlepage added. “Tony believes in the goals of the athletics department and the mission of the University. The vision he had for our program when he accepted the head coaching position is developing according to his plan. It will be exciting to watch the development of our players and the program in the coming years.”
Virginia’s success looks to roll over into the 2014-2015 season. Despite losing Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell, the majority of the rotation is back headlined by Justin Anderson, Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill and London Perrantes. The Cavaliers will not only be viewed as a preseason contender in the ACC, but also be considered a top-10 team nationally.
Bennett took over the program in 2009 following three seasons at Washington State.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.