Only 11 days remain until basketball season is truly upon us, so today let’s check out #11 for the Hoos: Ty Jerome.
Jerome, a guard out of Iona Prep, comes into the Virginia program with a lot of hype and expectations surrounding him. As part of the severely talented incoming class made up of Jay Huff, Kyle Guy, and DeAndre Hunter, Jerome is a four-star recruit who committed in September of 2014 and then continued to rocket up the recruiting boards. His play was so impressive, he was nominated for the 2016 McDonald’s All-American game.
Unfortunately for Ty, a nagging hip injury forced him to end his high school career early. He underwent hip surgery in January of this year. Before being sidelined with injury, Jerome was averaging 24.7 points, eight rebounds, and five assists per game with Iona Prep.
Now, Jerome is still rehabbing his hip, but played during Virginia’s trip to Spain and in the Pepsi Blue White Scrimmage two weekends ago. So far, both Coach Bennett and current UVA superstar point guard London Perrantes have been impressed with the young guard’s play.
“He absolutely has shown that a lot of times, and that's exciting, because he's got good size, and that would be his strength.” Bennett said at Virginia’s Media Day. “It's similar to London, that feel for the game and understanding what needs to be done.”
Perrantes agreed, saying, “He doesn't get sped up. He plays at his own pace, he shoots the ball really well, and looks to get other people involved as well.
“I think he's a little bit more aggressive than I was when I came in, but I think he's seeing that we don't have as many options, I feel like, as my freshman year, where we had Malcolm, Joe [Harris], A.G., Justin [Anderson]. So he's able to shoot the ball more and be a little bit more aggressive. But I definitely feel like he plays a lot like me. It'll be good to have somebody that plays like me in the backcourt.”
Jerome’s ability to shoot the ball will be crucial to a team looking to replace offensive output from the likes of Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill, but having the ability to spend a year learning the ropes from Perrantes will be huge going forward. Some have wondered if Jerome is a good candidate for a redshirt this season with the combination of bench depth and continuing to rehab his hip surgery. Minutes played in the deep and competitive ACC (not to mention Virginia’s tough out of conference schedule) could be crucial to developing Jerome’s game, but four full years of another player with the qualities of Perrantes would also be fantastic.
Either way, when Jerome hits the floor, he brings a lot of talent with him. Jerome can make the long shot, but is more focused on getting his teammates involved. Described by the NY Post as an ‘egoless star’, Jerome seems to have all of the qualities that have become the hallmark of the Tony Bennett led Wahoos: unselfish, high basketball IQ, and a coach’s son, to boot.
With the initials T.J., I expect big things from Ty Jerome at the University of Virginia.
Best: Little Superman! Awwww!
Check back tomorrow for a look at Virginia’s out of conference schedule!