Famous fathers are a theme amongst the 2014 Virginia basketball freshman class. While Isaiah Wilkins' stepdad is more known nationally, freshman B.J Sith's old man is beloved in Cavalier Country. Bryant Stith entered the UVa program in the 1989, and left Charlottesville as Virginia's all-time leading scorer. Twenty-two years later, his son B.J. is here to make a name for himself.
While many recruiting processes are long and strenuous, Stith's decision was wrapped up early in his high school career. The 6-5, 205 pound freshman committed to the Wahoos back in September or 2011. Stith is the highest rated member of the class of 2014. If he really wanted to, Stith could have had offers from a number of top programs, but the Virginia legacy knew exactly where he wanted to go all along.
Winning is all that Stith knows. The explosive wing was apart of three state championship teams at Brunswick High School from 2011-2013, coached by none other than his father Bryant. After wrapping up their third consecutive title, both Bryant and B.J. departed Brunswick school following the 2012-13 school year. Bryant took an assistant coaching job at Old Dominion, while B.J. spent his senior year of high school at Oak Hill Academy. Stith joined several other future Division I players at Oak Hill, and helped lead the Warriors to a 35-4 record.
Sizing up Stith's game, the freshman is exactly what head coach Tony Bennett is looking for in a wing. The former four-star recruit can transition from either the "two" or the "three," and his size allows him to guard either position. Stith has an excellent mid-range jumper, and demonstrates a great deal of patience with his shot selection. Physicality-wise, Stith is ahead of many incoming freshman. At 6-5, 205 pounds, the UVa legacy can outmuscle other wings, and is an effective rebounder.
If there is one part of Stith's game that needs addressing, it is his ball handling. Sometimes during his high school career, Stith would encounter trouble against teams that pressure the ball, and had to settle on offense. Having several talented ball handlers in the program, and being coached by a former NBA point guard can certainly help with any issues there.
Bennett has an excellent problem this year, in that the Cavaliers may have too much talent on the wing. Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Anderson are locks to start at the two and three respectively, but it gets a little tricky after that. Redshirt freshman Devon Hall can run the point, but is probably better utilized at the two-guard. In addition, Marial Shayok is an athletic freak, and can play anywhere on the wing. Where does Stith fit into the rotation? We're not exactly sure. The freshman is certainly good enough to play for just about any team in the ACC this year, but Bennett is going to have to find a way to juggle this much talent.
One thing is for sure, if Stith turns out to be anything like his father, Wahoo fans are in for a real treat. There is a long way to go, but is impossible to not see the younger Stith's upside.