The All-Decade Virginia Basketball Team of the 2000s
Hard to believe that the first decade of the new millennium is almost over.
For Virginia, it was a decade where Virginia reached the NCAA tournament only twice and never even made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
The Cavaliers may not have had the overall success they had become accustomed to in the past decades, but they did have some memorable moments and some memorable players.
This article is meant to give homage to some of the best players that defined this decade, for better or worse.
This list is very telling for Virginia because it is full of underrated guys who developed into consistent producers, and highly talented players who may not have lived up to their potential.
Of course, it is also has one or two great players that will forever be remembered in Virginia history.
So without further ado, the all-time Virginia basketball team from this decade.
No debate here, I would think. Singletary became the first player of the 21st century to get both his number and jersey retired.
His memorable plays are supplemented by career numbers, which show amazing consistency for the Philly point guard.
Singletary finished his career with over 2,000 points, which was good enough for fifth all-time at Virginia.
He also ranked 10th in field goals made, fourth in three-pointers, fourth in free throws made, third in assists, and second in steals.
SG-Roger Mason Jr.
Mr. Big Shot is making a splash in the NBA, but he learned the art of late game heroics while he was at Virginia.
Mason was a tremendous free throw shooter, finishing with the best career and season percentage in school history.
It took some time before Mason Jr. got his opportunity on the court at Virginia, and he left early, which hurt his career numbers.
But there is no denying the talent and overall game of this budding superstar.
A little premature you say? Maybe, but Landesberg is already re-writing Virginia record books.
He opened his career with a 28-point performance against VMI, the best opening performance for a Cavalier and second only to J.J. Hickson in ACC history.
Landesberg currently has scored 20+ points in 12 games this season, tied with Rashad McCants for second most in ACC history by a freshman.
He is tied for the school-record for most Rookie of the Week awards, and he is the second-leading freshman scorer behind Liberty's Seth Curry.
Still, Landesberg is more than a scorer. He has at least three assists in his last three games. He is one of the better rebounders on the team, and he is money at the line.
Landesberg is the real deal and everyone in the ACC knows it. If his team continues to mature, in a few years, everyone will know.
So it should come as no surprise that Singletary is the top scorer of the 21st century. It may be a little more surprising that second on that list is "Big Smooth" himself, Chris Williams.
Once named the most underrated player in the ACC by Sports Illustrated, Williams deserves a starting spot on this list.
Williams had an amazing freshman season, and although his numbers never really improved after that point, he was a complete player who made an impact on both the offensive and defensive end.
Williams finished his career eighth in scoring and seventh in rebounding in Virginia history.
Although he primarily played the small forward position, he will take the power forward spot on this rotation (mainly because Virginia's lack of quality big men in this decade).
Watson finished third all-time in blocks at Virginia and second in school history with 54 career double-doubles.
He brought down over 1,000 rebounds, second only to Sampson and nearly 200 more than Junior Burrough.
Watson was truly a power forward, but played out of position nearly his entire career. Still, he led the team in rebounding all four years,and the ACC his final two years.
With a lack of quality superstars in the low post, Watson made his reputation at Virginia for sheer toughness and resiliency.
His heart made him a memorable player and, with over 1,500 points in his career, he could provide a good inside-outside combination for the Cavaliers.
No player blossomed as much as Reynolds did during his time at Virginia.
Many questioned whether he had what it took to be a quality guard in the ACC, but his junior and senior campaign made him a formidable partner for Singletary.
The two needed each other to reach success and one tweaked ankle separated Reynolds and Virginia from a potential Sweet Sixteen berth in 2007.
Reynolds finished 11th all-time in points, 10th in assists and fourth in three-pointers.
A player of great potential that was often wasted.
Brown has grown a great deal after his time at UVA, and certainly fans may want to forget some of the poor performances the big man had in Charlottesville, but he still finished his career with some impressive numbers.
There is no doubt that when Brown was in the game mentally and was taking care of himself physically, he could be the best player on the court.
Brown finished with 1,356 points for his career and led the team in rebounding for two straight years.
Granted, I would much rather have the Brown of today than the one who donned the orange and blue, but his talent alone earns him a spot on this list.
The JUCO transfer had a very good career at Virginia.
Smith may have looked 50 years old, but he played like a young kid wanting to prove himself.
His best performance was a 40-point outburst on the road against Iowa State, a number that puts him in a rather elite class, matching performances like Reynolds against Wake Forest and Singletary against Miami.
Smith also had the game-winner against Wake Forest in Virginia's late season run in 2004 which saved Gillen's job...for one more year at least.
Smith finished with over 1,100 points in just three years.
The human highlight reel himself.
Hall's numbers were decent enough, but he makes this list for his big play ability.
Every team needs a guy like Hall who can make a big dunk to get the crowd going and get your team energized.
Hall's greatest performance came in 2001 against Duke, where he had two signature dunks and delivered the game-winning tip-in with less than two seconds remaining.
Hall's athleticism may only be matched by Landesberg this decade and for that, he must make a spot on the team.
Mike Scott has certainly has some impressive games in his short career.
Scott has seven double-doubles his sophomore year. Considering Elton Brown only had 15 his entire career should show you just how Scott ranks among big men at Virginia.
Scott has a great deal of athleticism as well and has made some of the best dunks Virginia has seen since the days of Adam Hall.
Currently the second leading scorer on the team and the best post presence, expect Scott to continue to develop and grow while at Virginia.
He has the physical tools and when the mental toughness to perform consistently comes along Scott may end up being much higher on this list.
I really thought about this. After all, Cain was a laughingstock for his first two years at Virginia.
Then I thought, would I rather want Cain or Brown on my team and the answer became clear.
Cain had an amazing maturation under coach Leitao. He became one of the best post defenders Virginia has had this decade.
He may have been mediocre at best offensively, but the guy competed, and he really knew how to get under the skin of whomever he was guarding.
Cain was skinny as a pole, but he had the heart of a lion. He would make a great bench player to come in and bring some energy to this team.
The Rutgers transfer sure left an indelible mark on Virginia basketball.
Billet single-handedly gave coach Gillen an extra year at UVA with his late-game heroics his senior year.
Billet was one of the best three-point shooters in UVA history, and he made them when they counted.
Billet was not a very good defender, and for that, many have not given him much credit.
I guess I didn't either since I gave him the last spot, but Billet's touch forced defenses to put a hand in his face, which could open up passing lanes.
Billet would be a very good offensive specialist and someone that Virginia could depend on in close-game situations.