Cavalier Corner

April 2017

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14 ◆ CAVALIER CORNER "I'm in a pretty deep slump right now," Perrantes said at the time, "and I need to figure out a way to get over it." It was late February, but it was clear any success in March would be based on a Per- rantes return to good form. He delivered. After perhaps releasing some demons with a shave of his signature beard, Perrantes made 60.5 percent (26 of 43) of his shots during a four-game Virginia winning streak that carried through the sec- ond round of the ACC Tournament. His Senior Day performance came with a certain degree of symbolism as he was replaced by first-year Ty Jerome, seen as the program's point guard of the future, late in the second half. "I am just happy for London," Jerome said. "I only got to spend this year with him, but he has been phenomenal on and off the court, especially with me and the re- lationship that we have built in such a short amount of time. "I am going to miss him, but we still have more basketball to play." The hope then was UVA could continue its hot streak to the point where Perrantes would get revenge for what happened a year earlier. He took the meltdown loss to Syracuse in the 2016 Elite Eight about as hard as anyone in that Cavaliers' locker room. It was that kind of pain that would fuel his attempt at breaking through to the Final Four. "Last night," Perrantes said on the brink of his final NCAA Tournament, "I woke up in the middle of the night, I couldn't sleep for a while. My mind was racing, just think- ing that maybe the end is near. "I'm not saying that it's close. It could be a couple weeks from now, it could be the next game. I obviously don't want it to be that, but you obviously have that nervous- ness around you. "I'm trying to push it out of my mind as best as I can. Right now I'm trying to Forward Isaiah Wilkins (21), who missed UVA's loss to Florida in the second round of the NCAA Tournament due to illness, and guard Devon Hall will serve as the fourth-year leaders for the Cavaliers in 2017-18. PHOTOS BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA "I told this team a few nights ago they're one of my favorite teams. I still feel that way about them because we lost a lot. There was a lot of expectations, but they did a lot. Take this game away — and you can't take it away completely, but to finish 11-7 [in the ACC], to win 23 games, to make the tournament, to advance with the inexperience and to stay together … we went through some of the losses. I admired that about them, and I'll always admire that." HEAD COACH TONY BENNETT AFTER HIS TEAM'S 65-39 LOSS TO FLORIDA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

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