When Virginia's Justin Anderson took the court last week during the ACC Tournament after missing a month of play due to an injury in his left shooting hand followed by an appendectomy, Cavaliers fans were understandably excited to see how the star would reignite Virginia's somewhat stagnant offense.
Unfortunately, that excitement was met with harsh reality, as it was clear that Anderson just simply wasn't himself, struggling with both ball control and shooting. Top-seeded Virginia would bow out of the ACC Tournament earlier than expected, falling to North Carolina in the ACC Semifinals.
Bennett said that Anderson's hand wrap was specifically affecting his ball handling more so than his shooting.
In today's open practice for the Hoos in Charlotte, however, the storyline was different. By multiple people's accounts, Anderson looked like he had returned back to the mid-season form that Virginia fans were so desperately longing for.
Excitingly, one fan tweeted that Anderson hit nine of ten threes, which led to a big show of support from the Virginia fans present:
Justin Anderson, though, begged to differ:
Looks like Anderson was also taking some of his signature dunks with his injured hand:
When asked about Anderson's status, though, Bennett replied, " It all depends. He only had two days of practice after being off over a month with his hand injury heading into the ACC tournament, and the appendectomy. So these practices, I think, leading up I think were valuable from a stamina and conditioning standpoint, and even a feel standpoint of playing and getting the reps in games or practice-like settings. So again we'll see how it goes and I'm hopeful that he is further along than where he was after those two games in the tournament and keep building on that because we obviously know what he can do when he's right. I don't think it's fair to say, oh, yeah, he is a hundred percent. He still has to wear protective things and some of our reporters have asked me about do I still think he'll wear the protective splint that he wore, and just see how it goes and hopefully he is more comfortable with everything."
The Hoos take on Belmont at approximately 3:10 p.m. today in the round of 64.