Cavalier Corner

February 2018

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14 CAVALIER CORNER BY BRAD FRANKLIN S ECOND-YEAR GUARDS KYLE Guy and Ty Jerome took their time as they meandered into the media room underneath John Paul Jones Arena and sat down behind the podium, not too long after the second-ranked Wahoos decimated No. 18 Clemson in a 61-36 blowout Jan. 23. It feels like a lifetime ago when smaller, less defensive-minded versions of Guy and Jerome held court at JPJ for the first time as four-star commits in the class of 2016 who had come to Charlottesville for the NBPA's annual Top 100 Camp. But as they were then, on this night they are as eager to talk about the intricacies of the pack-line defense as to clown and joke on each other, a brotherly bond always on full display and one that figures to be the backbone of Virginia basketball for the next few years. "I think we got along real well right from the start," Jerome said 10 days before the Clemson blowout. "I mean, he's always an- noyed me a little, but we've always gotten along real well." "I overheard some of what he said," Guy interjected a few minutes later. "I remem- ber him being really cool and I think we were really excited that we were going to be teammates and in the backcourt together at some point in our careers. "He was a big factor in why I came; I felt like I got along with him and I could play next to him. "But he's childish," Guy added with a laugh. "Very childish." Such is the way it goes for the 6-2, 175-pound Guy and the 6-5, 200-pound Jerome. A somewhat unlikely pair, the mid- western gunner and the New York point guard. But they each have an abundance of confidence, which depending on the day borders on cockiness. And that's something that head coach Tony Bennett remembers well from when he first realized he wanted them to be Wahoos. "First time I saw Ty, I had no idea who he was," Bennett recalled. "He wasn't the most impressive looking kid because he wasn't very tall, but he was just so clever with the ball and he made his team win. I told [as- sistant coach] Jason [Williford], it was in Pittsburgh at a tournament the spring of his junior year, I said, 'There's something about this guy but I'm not quite sure what.' "I asked who was recruiting him and he said nobody really, maybe some Ivy League schools. And for a while after that, I kind of forgot about him. "But later on, I was recruiting another kid and it was the first event of the summer," he added, "and I saw this guy stealing the ball, making threes, and I was like, 'Man, that guy's really good.' And I thought he looked really familiar and that's when I realized it was the same kid! I looked at my book and decided, 'This kid's too good.' "So I locked in, I watched Ty play three or four more games, and I told our staff that I know there's not a lot of schools looking at him right now, but I think he's got a chance to be special." With Guy, the situation was eerily similar. "Interestingly enough with Kyle, I was out watching another kid, too, and Coach [Ron] Sanchez said to me, 'Look at that skinny guy on the other court,' and I thought, 'Gosh he's really good. But, gosh he's really skinny,'" Bennett said with a laugh. "But I couldn't stop watching him shoot the ball. He could move so well and even though I didn't know much about him, it was the same thing. Jerome (11) and Guy (5) — both four-star prospects that formed the foundation of UVA's top-10 class in 2016 — have already built a strong bond on and off the court. PHOTO BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA TERRIFIC TANDEM Second-Years Kyle Guy And Ty Jerome Are Quickly Becoming One Of The ACC's Top Backcourt Duos

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