'Hoos count on experience in big games

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- While big name freshmen create the most noise in college basketball, Tony Bennett knows in big games like Wednesday night in Maryland his team has the experience to thrive.

"Get guys and get them to their upperclassmen years and those experiences," Bennett said after the Cavaliers' 76-71 win over Maryland, "There's no substitute for playing in the games that Ty and Kyle, De'Andre and Jack have played in."

Virginia's lone senior this season is fifth-year Jack Salt, but between all the primetime road games and tournament games over the past couple seasons even the younger players are battle tested.

"We have experience, this is only my second year, but I kind of have experience," sophomore De'Andre Hunter said, "Ty has been playing for three years, Kyle has been playing for three years, Jack's been here for ten years."

Whatever opposing crowds throw at Virginia this season they feel prepared after years of tough ACC environments.

"It's huge playing in the ACC road games," Salt said, "You play in environments that are very similar to this and we've got a pretty experienced team, so a lot of guys that are used to playing in hostile environments."

Virginia returns home for their next two games before their final non-conference trip to South Carolina, but this experienced is ready for the road ahead.

"We just have experience and they just know how to calm down when it gets a little tight," Hunter said.

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