We are off and running on THE BIG COUNTDOWN for the 2016-2017 Virginia Basketball season, starting with a player profile for incoming first year Jay Huff.
Huff, a Durham, NC native, comes to Charlottesville from the Voyager Academy where he was a standout for his dad, Mike Huff. Part of an incredibly talented incoming class that includes Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and De’Andre Hunter, Huff finished high school as a four-star recruit, ranked 73rd overall according to ESPN. He chose Virginia over Duke, Clemson, and Wake Forest, among others.
But, we all know that recruiting rankings stop mattering the minute the players step into their college gyms.
According to ESPN’s profile, Huff weighed 195 pounds. That’s pre-UVA Strength Coach Mike Curtis. Now, Virginia has him listed at 215 after just a few months of wizard-like Curtis. His frame needs to develop as a tall, lanky player, but his handles and touch have been praised.
On Virginia’s trip to Spain this summer, Huff saw a lot of playing time and led the team in scoring in their third victory with 14 points. He also added five blocks in the game. Check out the highlights:
Huff has received praise regarding his shooting touch. His jumper has range (he can make threes!) and he makes free throws consistently. In addition to shooting, his footwork is strong and has a good shot fake in his repertoire. Could we be seeing a stretch-four in the making?
It will be interesting to see if Coach Bennett and the staff elect to use a redshirt on Huff this season with big men Austin Nichols, Isaiah Wilkins, Mamadi Diakite, Jack Salt and Jarred Reuter all available (with Nichols, Diakite, and Salt already having redshirted in some capacity). The additional year could be beneficial for Huff to gain more mass as well as being able to pick up the fundamentals of the pack line defense.
Despite all this talk of bulking up, Huff has already proven a couple times that he is a dunking force to be reckoned with. Back at the Voyager Academy, he destroyed a backboard on a reverse dunk:
At Virginia, teammate Kyle Guy caught this footage:
Twitter: @jayhuff_ (no tweets though, so, yeah)
Player Comparison: Frank “the Tank” Kaminsky