Cavalier Corner

April 2017

Cavalier Corner is the publication just for UVa sports fans!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 31

APRIL 2017 ◆ 15 cherish with the team, with the coaches. It's tough to think about, for sure." Reality set in just past halftime against the Gators March 18. UVA, which rallied to beat No. 12 seed UNC Wilmington two days earlier by using an unprecedented five- guard lineup, had its tank emptied. Wilkins, slowed by a nasty virus for close to a month, wasn't able to play, making the task even taller to reach the Sweet 16. Virginia had no chance for victory after a scoreless drought of nearly eight minutes that stretched both sides of halftime. Florida, eventual Elite Eight participants, grew its lead to as many as 29. Perrantes, UVA's lone senior, checked out with 4:15 remaining. "I don't even know what was going through my mind," he said. "It's a bunch of emotions, obviously, just it was over. It was over for me. I couldn't do anything else. To help extend that, help extend my season, my career. I was just feeling like I couldn't do anything any- more. It was kind of frustrating for me. "Yeah, obviously, I've got to step back from it and look at the past four years. I did some things that I could be proud of, but right now, obviously it's tough." Perrantes' legacy lives on through those he played with. First-year guard Kyle Guy, showing ma- turity for a young player in a somber locker room, offered nothing but love. "London hasn't said anything yet," Guy said. "He's pretty upset and I would be, too. I feel real bad for him because I didn't want to let him go out like that. And that hurts me and everyone, and him. "It's unfortunate, but he's the best point guard I've ever played with. So he's going to bounce back strong." Perrantes is moving on to chase his pro- fessional dreams. He leaves UVA first all time in starts (134), games (138) and min- utes played (4,425), second in three-point field goal percentage (40.9), fourth in wins (108) and assists (569), fifth in free throw percentage (81.2), sixth in three-pointers made (211) and 33rd in points (1,225). "He had a tremendous career, one of the all-time greats at this school in this sport," Guy said. "He's got nothing to hang his head on." From that podium in Orlando, Perrantes looked at the road ahead for his alma mater. "You've got to take this feeling and put the fuels to the fire and get back to work during the summer, during the offseason, so we don't — so they don't have this feeling again," he said. "Obviously, I don't want to have this feeling again. It's going to add some fuel to my fire, too, moving forward. "I know they'll be back. We've got some good young talent, and Coach Bennett is a genius behind it. So they'll get back to work, and they'll be back for sure." ◆ REDSHIRTS READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT The duo, one a seven-footer who can shoot three-pointers and the other a gifted athlete who can play up to three positions, sat on Virginia's bench for every game during the 2016-17 season. Both Jay Huff and De'Andre Hunter were inches from touching the floor and impacting a team that could have used a boost in length and versatility. Yet Tony Bennett, the UVA head coach who decided in November to redshirt these first-years, man- aged to resist the temptation. "It was a challenge," Bennett admitted. Soon, though, Huff and Hunter won't be held back. Both figure to have handprints all over next season's Virginia team. What can Cavalier fans expect? With Huff, a skilled forward who spent his year away from games at the dinner table. "A lot of eating," Huff said. "I don't even consider them meals anymore, just kind of constant food. And then a lot of time in weight room, a lot of protein shakes, stuff like that." For as long as he is, Huff partially required a redshirt because he wasn't wide enough. The Durham, N.C., native arrived on Grounds at 205 pounds. He's now up to 224. "Jay can step out and shoot the three," Bennett said. "He's 7-feet, I don't think there's anything 6-11 about him. Bouncy guy, blocks shots, has gotten stronger, has a face-up game, does some good things that will help. "And he has good hands and good finishing ability. I think that's important around the rim when he catches things. His back to the basket game is continuing to evolve. Because he's not the strongest right now, he'll shoot different kids of shots. He'll shoot some of these Dirk Nowitzki fall-away shots and he has the touch." Hunter, at 6-7 and 212 pounds, can be slotted in at shooting guard, small forward or even power forward, should the Cavaliers go to a small lineup, a strategy Bennett often used last season. "De'Andre is a guy that can get to the rim," Bennett said. "He's long. He's 6-7 and long. He can slash, he can step out and shoot the three. He gives you diversity. You can go four-guard [lineups] with him and he can do some things that way. "He can score a little bit in the post. He does bring some nice dynamics." That have been waiting to be unleashed. "It's really hard," Hunter said. "This is like the first time, other than injury, that I haven't been able to play in games. I'm just learning in practice, just learning the formations in the game and watching players. "Hopefully next year I can take what I've learned and just use that in the game." — Andrew Ramspacher Forwards Jay Huff (left) and De'Andre Hunter (right) are expected to play major roles for the Wahoos next year after redshirting this season. PHOTOS BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cavalier Corner - April 2017